Wednesday, 25 June 2008

IAA Summer BBQ, Armagh P, Lecturer position, 4th July.

Hi all,

1. IAA Summer BBQ & Rocket Launching, Sunday 29 June:
The IAA's summer BBQ will again be held at Greencastle Planetarium at the
Maritime Museum, Greencastle, Inishowen, Co Donegal, where we'll have a
planetarium show, followed by real live rocket launching under the expert
tutelage of the director, Ash McFadden, followed by our BBQ.

Normal admission prices to the Maritime Museum and

Remember, Sunday 29 June, starting at 12 noon
if you want to build your own rocket from a kit, or 2 p.m. if you just want to
see the starshow & the rocket launching.

Armagh Planetarium Summer Blast off!
Blast off into a fun filled
family weekend at Armagh Planetarium on Saturday 28th and Sunday
29th June. It will be packed full of free activities for all
the family such as face painting, rocket building and competitions, as well as
the chance to check out one of our spectacular new shows in Ireland's only full
dome digital theatre (you can get into one show per family for free but you must
pre-book!) Our new shows
for family groups and children
up to 10 years old is the amazing 'Zula Patrol: Under the weather'. This
CG-animated show features a cast of loveable characters who take the audience on
a rollercoaster ride across the Solar System teaching them about science and
astronomy in a very entertaining comedic style.

The Zula
Patrol are a crew of wacky alien space explorers who must stop the evil but
bumbling villain Dark Truder (and Trixie, his talking hairpiece) before he
steals weather systems from the planets. If Truder gets away with this, he will
have the key to finding a magic ruby and become ruler of Planet Zula. The story
is fun with some great catchy songs, engaging and cute characters and funny
jokes. The show is superbly designed and animated in a colourful 'retro' style
and the audience will pick up facts about Earth and its neighbouring planets
without even realising that they are learning. 'Zula Patrol' covers the whole
dome in exciting action so this is a great show for small people and their
grown-ups. I am sure it will go down a storm!

Can you name
the Seven Wonders of the World? What about the
Seven Wonders of the Universe? In its thirty minutes running time 'Seven
Wonders' (narrated by Sean 'Sharpe' Bean) will take our audiences on two
separate voyages to ancient times on Earth and then out into the remote depths
of Space. The show covers the ancient wonders of the world, depicting them as
never before in their full glory. The audience will investigate the theories of
how these wonders were created and the stories of their downfalls before moving
out into space to get a glimpse of some of the Universe's great celestial
natural wonders. There are spectacular views of globular clusters and nebulae;
they look stunning in the full dome format. Every astronomer has his or
her own list of most wonderful sights in the Cosmos, how many of yours will be
among the Seven Wonders?

'Invaders of
Mars' is a very special show. Made by Evans and Sutherland with assistance
from Goto, ESA and ourselves at Armagh, it
tells of how the planet Mars, that tantalising red beacon in our skies, has
intrigued people on Earth for centuries. Could it be the home of alien life?
Could we fly there to see its wonders with our own eyes? Nowadays robotic
explorers from Earth are revealing the ancient secrets of Mars and showing us
just how our neighbouring world is both alien yet so like our own

spectacular new show will let our visitors see Mars as the astronomers of the
past did, before taking you on an unforgettable trip to the Red Planet with our
space probes from the Mariners of the 1960s right up to today's Mars Express and
Exploration Rovers. They will see mighty volcanoes, the biggest canyon
ever discovered and signs of water ice, before taking a peek at future times
when humans voyage in person to this mysterious world. I hope the audience for
this show will feel as though they too are invading Mars in

We are
also pleased to welcome Knights of the
Empire, who will be attending this event in full Star Wars costume.
Space, Fun, Astronomy, excitement… it's all at Armagh

Admission to one show and exhibition area is
free! (Maximum one show per family)
Check our website for more details
Pre-booking is Essential Call 02837523689.

Johnston and Alyson

3. Lectureship, University of Dublin, Trinity College

Title: Lecturer in Astrophysics
Status: Permanent
School of Physics
Closing Date: 12 noon on Friday, 1st August,
Salary: The appointment will be offered on the
Lecturer salary scale
€37,343 - €75,365 / €77,875 - €85,599 per annum.

School of Physics wishes to appoint a Lecturer in Astrophysics with a proven
research track record.
This permanent position is funded for the first three
years by the Higher Education Authority (Ireland)
under its SIF Cycle II
programme and thereafter by Trinity College.

Applicants must have a Ph.D.
in astronomy or astrophysics and at least two years' postdoctoral experience in
either solar or stellar physics. Ideally the successful candidate will develop a
research activity which strengthens existing themes in the group. The
candidate's publication and funding record must be
commensurate with

Currently there are 2 lecturers, 4 postdoctoral staff, and 8
postgraduate students working in the astrophysics
group. Current research
involves both ground- and space-based observations, and also utilises
performance computing facilities available both locally and nationally.
Information on these themes and the
group in general is available at:

successful candidate will join the two existing academic staff members in
handling an expanding
undergraduate astrophysics programme, as well as
participate in postgraduate supervision within the
School. As a result, the
candidates should have some previous experience in teaching to undergraduate
and/or postgraduate students. Previous success in obtaining research funding
will be advantageous. Background information on the astrophysics group can be
obtained at:

Lecturers from
other institutes currently assist in providing astrophysics courses and
supervising final year projects. In particular close ties are maintained by the
nearby Cosmic Physics School of the Dublin
Institute for Advanced Studies,
and interaction with staff and students through attendance at their
series is encouraged.

Candidates should submit a full
curriculum vitae, list of publications, research plan, summary of teaching
experience and a statement of the approach to teaching and the names of three
referees to:

Ms. Joanne Smith, Recruitment Executive, Staff Office,
Trinity College, Dublin 2
Tel: +353 1 896 1749
Fax: +353 1 677


4. Fourth of July. Are you ready to
celebrate? No, not USA Independence Day. For everyone on Earth, it's Aphelion
Day. That's the day when the Earth is furthest from the Sun in its annual
circuit around its elliptical orbit. From that day on, we'll start gradually
getting closer to the Sun again as we head for Perihelion, or our closest
point to the Sun, early in the New Year. The difference is not huge: the
variation is from 152m km to 147m km, and it's not enough to outweigh the
seasonal effects of the tilt of the Earth's axis, which gives us our Northern
and Southern summers and winters. But if you are observing the Sun USING ONLY
PROPER SOLAR TELESCOPES OR FILTERS OF COURSE! - then that's the day when the
Sun's image will be smallest.



Thursday, 5 June 2008

Michael Foale, Painting Prize, Names in Space, BA/Dublin, PhD Post.

Hi all,

1. Michael Foale at Armagh Planetarium on Thursday 5 June: A final reminder
about this event: This is from Naomi Francey." Please find attached an
invitation to Armagh Planetarium's latest event. We are having astronaut
Michael Foale coming to visit and are holding a presentation and question
and answer evening on the 5th June from 6.30 to 8.00 at the Planetarium. We
would like to invite the members of the IAA if any would like to attend.
There are limited places so it's a first-come, first-served basis. If they
contact me by email I can put their names on the list. If you have any
questions or queries don't hesitate to contact me.

Regards, Naomi"

Naomi Francey, Armagh Planetarium, College Hill, Armagh, Co. Armagh, BT61
9DB. Tel 028 3852 4725.

2. Dublin girl wins painting prize: This excellent painting of a nebula has
won a prize in ESO's 'Catch a Star 2008'. The artist is a young female pupil
in Saint Andrews Junior College in Blackrock. Congratulations to Ashley!

3. Names in Space. If you like the idea of sending your name into space,
free, here are links to

Send your name to the Moon on LRO (Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter): the
deadline is June 27.

You can also send your name in search of a habitable planet on the
Terrestrial Planet Finder mission, KEPLER. 1st Nov. is the deadline for this
one. On the KEPLER mission you can write some words as well. You can also
download a starmap showing its field of search plus the location of those
exoplanets already discovered. KEPLER is linked to International Year of
Astronomy 2009.,

4. BAA out of London Meeting. The British Astronomical Association will be
holding its 2008 "Out of London Meeting" in Dublin on the first weekend of
September, hosted by the Irish Astronomical Society.

The weekend starts on Friday 5th with a visit to Birr Castle and
concludes on Sunday 7th with a trip to Newgrange. The main meeting on the
Saturday includes a wide range of speakers. The weekend coincides with a
major sporting event in Dublin so it is advisable to book your accommodation
and travel as soon as possible. Full details of the venue and suggestions
for accommodation are on the BAA website at:

Details are also in the link below. Note your diary now & book soon, as
the trips have limited places. Book through the BAA only!

5. PhD position, Centre for Astronomy, NUI Galway: Candidates should submit
a letter outlining their suitability for the position, plus full curriculum
vitae (PDF format), to include the names, addresses and emails of 3 referees
(at least 2 of which are academic referees), by email to Ray Butler

Details: Applications are invited for a research position (Ph.D.
fellowship), funded by a Science Foundation Ireland Research Frontiers
Programme award to the "Star Clusters & Variability" group.

The PhD project is "Probing the existence of Black Holes in Globular Star
Clusters – by identifying and tracking their high-velocity stars". This is a
collaboration between the project P.I. in the Centre for Astronomy at the
National University of Ireland, Galway (Dr. Ray Butler) and researchers in
the University of California at Santa Cruz (Prof. Jean Brodie), the
Institute for Astronomy at the University of Edinburgh (Dr. Dougal Mackey),
and Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Massachusetts (Dr. Jay

The research focuses on the development, validation and deployment of
advanced image enhancement methods for Hubble Space Telescope (HST) imagery
of the centres of Globular Clusters. These are believed to harbour
intermediate-mass Black Holes – the "missing link" between stellar black
holes and galactic supermassive black holes. Near-miss encounters with a
massive black hole would greatly speed up passing stars. The project will
identify such anomalous stars, by tracking their motion across the cluster,
in images taken over baselines of a few years (1990s to the present) by HST
and by the Keck Telescope with adaptive optics.

This project offers the opportunity to gain experience and develop
practical expertise in the technologies which are driving the future of
astronomical research: image processing and simulation, space telescopes,
adaptive optics, precision astrometry, crowded-field photometry, N-body
dynamical simulations, data-archive mining, and project co-ordination via
Web3.0 instruments.

Travel for training and research exchange to the collaborating institutes in
California and Edinburgh, and to the Keck Observatory (Hawaii), is
anticipated. Funding is available for 3 years. The student will receive a
monthly tax-free stipend, worth €16k-17k annually. In addition, University
registration fees and all other research costs will be covered.

Requirements: Candidates should have, or expect to obtain, a minimum of a
2.1 (Second Class Honours Grade 1) honours degree in Physics, Astronomy,
Astrophysics, or a related discipline. This position is available from
September 1st 2008.

Contact: Dr. Ray Butler, Centre for Astronomy, School of Physics, National
University of Ireland, Galway. Phone: 091 493788. Email: Web:
Closing date: Friday 18 July 2008.

Clear Skies,

Terry Moseley