1. IAA MEETING: I forgot to mention that we will also be having a 'swap shop' / 'bring & buy' / 'bazaar' (or bizarre?) at the IAA meeting on Wednesday 9 January, at 7.30 p.m. sharp, in the Bell Lecture Theatre, Physics Building, Queen's University, Belfast (main campus). So bring along some cash or your cheque book, and any items that you no longer need or use - accessories, eyepieces, software, books, even whole telescopes: you might pick up a bargain yourself, as well as getting rid of some items you no longer use.
The main agenda will be a twin speaker 'Members' Night' aimed mainly at beginners: I will talk about and demonstrate using binoculars, and David Stewart will talk about astrophotography. Admission free, including light refreshments.
2. QUADRANTID METEORS EXCELLED! I've just been sickened by a colleague in work who told me he was in West Cork on the night of the Quadrantid maximum, didn't even know about the shower, was up in the middle of the night (about 4 a.m.), looked out the window & saw a beautiful clear sky & right away saw a fireball. So he kept looking, and says that he saw an average of one meteor every 30" for a period of about 15 minutes, before he got too cold and went back to bed! And that was just looking out the window at a relatively small area of sky! They were definitely Quads, as he described them as coming from the NE. He also saw one sporadic, going in the opposite direction. Even allowing for some exaggeration, that means the ZHR must have been about 100! And if his quoted rates are correct, it must have been well over 100! Meanwhile in the North we were being heavily snowed upon!