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


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