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East Antrim Astronomical Society to host First Andrew Trimble Memorial Lecture


On Monday February 3rd. 2003, The East Antrim Astronomical Society  hosted  its first "Andrew Trimble Memorial Lecture".

This is the first annual Lecture to honour the late Andrew Trimble (shown left), Honorary Life Member of the East Antrim Astronomical Society who passed away on January 31st 2002 a few weeks short of his 95 birthday. His interest in astronomy began when as a young boy on his Father's farm; he studied the stars on clear nights and wondered what they were. Then one day at school he swapped his pocket-knife for a small Boy Scout telescope, and the marvellous views of the star fields, even as seen in such a small instrument, aroused in him his love of astronomy that he retained for the rest of his long life.

For a number of years he was Chairman of the then IAS Belfast Centre, and in later years was elected President of the IAS, which at that time covered all Ireland and was the highest post attainable in amateur astronomy in Ireland.


The guest speaker for the evening was  Professor Mark Bailey, Director of Armagh Observatory (shown below), who gave a fascinating talk on Giant Comets.

During his enjoyable and informative talk Prof. Bailey demonstrated that a significant number of distant cometary nuclei have diameters in excess of 100 km and dynamical lifetimes for evolution from source orbits in the Edgeworth-Kuiper belt or Oort cloud to the inner solar system on the order of 1 to 100 million years. These "giant" comets he continued are injected into the inner solar system with a frequency comparable to that of the civilisation destroying impacts of kilometre-sized near-Earth asteroids.

Once inserted onto short-period inner solar system orbits, giant comets survive dynamically for roughly ten thousand years, suggesting that giant-comet debris could perhaps have been present in the inner solar system within the past 10 to 100 thousand years.

The talk was hugely enjoyed by members of EAAS and was attended by members of the late Mr Trimble's family who expressed their pleasure and gratitude to the society for the honour bestowed by the inauguration of the lecture series in his memory. The event was also attended by his honour the Lord Mayor of Newtownabbey who expressed his support and enthusiasm for the work of amateur societies such as EAAS in popularising the fascinating science and hobby of Astronomy. Pictures of the event are shown below:


Andrew Trimble,  Andrew's Son gives speech thanking EAAS for the even t in memory of his father



Professor Mark Bailey delivers his talk on Giant Comets
Alderman Paul Girvan, Mayor of Newtownabbey, Professor Mark Bailey and John McConnell., Chair of EAAS.

For further details on any aspect of the Andrew Trimble Memorial lectures or  the speaker and his subject contact the Society Chairman, John C.McConnell.


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