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Out of this world honour for local physics lecturer

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Screen Shot 2016-08-17 at 10.04.24WHAT do Aberystwyth University Physics Lecturer Dr Tony Cook, Scott of the Antarctic, J.R.R Tolkien, John Lennon, James Bond, Sir Christopher Wren, and David Bowie all have in common?

The answer is they have all had asteroids named after them.

Asteroids are irregularly-shaped rocky or metallic objects which orbit the sun, and usually lie in the asteroid belt, between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. They date from when the rocky planets first started to form.

A few weeks ago, the asteroid formerly known as ‘2003 JO13’ was renamed ‘Tonycook’ in recognition of Dr Tony Cook’s amateur astronomy outreach and planetary topographic mapping work.

Asteroids vary widely in terms of their size, from just a few metres up to a few hundred kilometres. The precise size and shape of the Tonycook asteroid is not known, but it is estimated to be anywhere from 2.8 to 6.3 km in diameter. This equates to somewhere between the size of the towns of Aberystwyth or Shrewsbury.

An amateur astronomer specializing in the Moon, Tony explains: “I was so surprised and honoured to learn that they had named an asteroid after me.

“I didn’t discover the asteroid – it was found by a team of astronomers at the Catalina Sky Survey of the University of Arizona, back in 2003. However, there are so many asteroids being discovered all the time, it can sometimes take a while to name them.

“I’m chuffed to have this small lump of rock named after me, and hope that it inspires others interested in space to take up amateur astronomy or study at university.”

There are somewhere between 1 and 3 million asteroids in the Solar System that are larger than 1 km in diameter. Fortunately, very few of them come anywhere near to the Earth. The Tonycook asteroid will never come closer than 190 million km from us – so we are quite safe.

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New Quay RNLI lifeboat crew trains with lifeguards

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NEW QUAY lifeboat station hosted a special training evening with the lifeboat crew and Ceredigion’s RNLI lifeguards last week.

Pete Yates, one of New Quay RNLI’s inshore lifeboat helms, worked closely with Ceredigion lifeguard supervisor, Tirion Dowsett, to plan scenarios for the teams to practice working together in casualty care situations.

A large scale scenario included four casualties to be dealt with by the inshore lifeboat crew and two lifeguard teams on a nearby beach, whilst a third lifeguard team and lifeboat crew members dealt with a separate scenario at the lifeboat station.

Pete said: “It was a great evening of training. We had 9 lifeguards and 13 lifeboat crew in attendance.

“The main scenario included casualties suffering from hypothermia and propeller injuries. A second scenario involved a mechanic suffering head injuries in the forepeak of the all-weather lifeboat and requiring extraction on a stretcher.

“On completion of these scenarios we all gathered back at the station where one of our senior crew members sprung a great act at being a diabetic having a hypo, and being suitably angry and aggressive.”

Roger Couch, New Quay RNLI’s Lifeboat Operations Manager, added: “It was great for our lifeboat crew members to work with the lifeguards as it builds a deeper understanding of each other’s roles and encourages teamwork between us. This is of great benefit when dealing with real life casualty care situations.”

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Coastguard rescues dog stuck on cliffs

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LAST TUESDAY (Aug 27), New Quay RNLI’s inshore D-class lifeboat, Audrey LJ, was tasked by Milford Haven Coastguard to assist the Coastguard with a dog stuck on the cliffs near New Quay.

The volunteer crew launched the inshore lifeboat at 1.50pm with four crew members on board and made their way south down the coast.

Brett Stones, New Quay RNLI’s helm said: “We located the dog on the cliffs by Castell Bach, near Cwmtydu. We stood by while the Coastguard team caught the animal. The dog was unharmed and safe with the Coastguard so we were stood down.

“However, while returning to station we were then tasked to a small vessel with engine failure. We towed the stricken boat with three people on board back to New Quay. We rehoused the inshore lifeboat and it was ready for service by 2.40pm.”

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New maintenance Lorries cut carbon emissions

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The Ground Maintenance Team has purchased three new lorries to support ground maintenance services in Ceredigion.

The new lorries will move Ceredigion County Council’s Ground Maintenance Service’s equipment to and from the grounds that they look after. The lorries will also take cut grass away for composting. This provides the most efficient way of maintaining the areas that the team is responsible for.

Councillor Dafydd Edwards is the Cabinet member responsible for Highways and Environmental Services together with Housing. He said: “The new vehicles replace ones which had provided excellent service for almost 20 years. They are fitted with Euro 6 engines which are considerably more efficient and better for the environment.”

The Grounds Maintenance Team is also incrementally introducing electric-powered mowers, blowers, hedge cutters and strimmers into its fleet. This equipment is better for the environment, is easier to use and causes less noise and vibration.

The new lorries support Ceredigion County Council’s commitment to be a net-zero carbon council by 2030.

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