Tuesday, 25 September 2007


To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the space age, which started with the launch of Sputnik 1 on 4 October 2007, the IAA is pleased to announce a major public lecture by well known broadcaster, writer & lecturer on astronomy, Dr John Mason.

Entitled "The Next Giant Leap For Mankind", it will briefly review the history of space exploration over the last 50 years, and then look at the future for human exploration of space.

Dr Mason is doing a major lecture tour in Ireland to mark this anniversary, and we are delighted that he will be giving his first public lecture to the IAA in Belfast.

It will be on 3 October, at 7.30 p.m., in the Bell Lecture Theatre, Physics Building, QUB. Admission is free, and all are welcome.


Dr John Mason is a past President of the British Astronomical Association and a frequent guest on BBC TV’s Sky at Night. He is an Honorary Member of the Astronomical-Geodesical Society of Russia, a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society since 1976, and a full member of the International Astronomical Union since 1991.

Dr Mason travels extensively in the UK and overseas, lecturing on a wide range of scientific topics to audiences of all ages and varying degrees of expertise. He is a sought-after speaker with an international reputation as an enthusiastic and entertaining communicator of science.

He has led many overseas expeditions to observe and record phenomena such as annular and total solar eclipses, the polar aurora and major meteor showers to destinations as diverse as Alaska, Australia, Chile, China, Egypt, Hawaii, India, Indonesia, Mongolia, Scandinavia, Siberia and South Africa.

In September 2000, the asteroid 1990 MN (numbered 6092) was named Johnmason by the International Astronomical Union in recognition of his many contributions to astronomy.

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