1. Final Reminder: The Irish Astronomical Association will hold its opening lecture for IYA2009 on Wednesday 7 January, at 7.30 p.m., in the Bell Lecture Theatre, Physics Building, Queen's University Belfast. Free parking is available on the Main campus, beside the lecture theatre, in the evenings - entrance via University Square.
IAA member Paul Evans will reveal all the secrets of astrophotography for those just starting in this field in his public lecture entitled "Astrophotography: The Fundamentals". Admission is free, including light refreshments, and all are welcome.
2. TV Programmes: IAA members got a very privileged preview of "BLAST!" at our New Year Party on Jan 3. If you missed that, you can see it on television on Wed night - see below.
For IAA members attending Paul's lecture, you might want to set your recorder for some of the following:
(Thanks to Peter Miller for this info:)
(RADIO TIMES BLURB)
The Sky at Night Special From 8:00pm BBC4
Stargazers are in for a treat. An evening of celestial programmes gets under way with a celebration of the humble (and Hubble) telescope. It all began with Galileo... or did it? Patrick Moore furrows his brow over the news that an Englishman may have invented the first. Meanwhile, Chris Lintott visits some mighty examples in the USA, and astronaut Jeff Hoffman describes how he repaired the Hubble Space Telescope.
Next comes a documentary about that very leviathan (Hubble Telescope, 9pm), followed by a full-throttle look at a revolutionary new telescope in Blast! (10pm). Finally, Adam Hart-Davis embraces amateur astronomy in Star Men (11.20pm). Claire Webb
8.00 The Sky at Night Special
New. Patrick Moore charts the development of the telescope over four centuries, while Dr Chris Lintott visits some modern-day astronomical leviathans. (S) 1430804
9.00 Hubble Telescope
Documentary celebration of the world's most famous telescope, examining some of the important discoveries it has allowed scientists to make since its launch in April 1990. (S) 1450668
New. Filmmaker Paul Devlin's Storyville documentary about a revolutionary new telescope being launched under a Nasa high-altitude balloon in an effort to find out how all the galaxies were formed. (S) 10391228
11.20 Star Men
Time Shift investigation of the world of amateur astronomy, examining the new technology that allows members of the public to pursue the hobby to professional standards. With contributions from celebrity stargazers. (S) 2493133
3. Galway Astrofest / Connaught Star Party:
The 'Western Winter Star Party', hosted by the Galway Astronomy Club, will be held as usual at the excellent Westwood House Hotel, Newcastle, on the NW outskirts of Galway City, from Friday evening 30 January to Saturday 31st, with a closing dinner that evening. They always have an excellent line-up of speakers, the venue is excellent, & the craic is good, so I wouldn't miss it.
Friday January 30th: Board Room
7.30 p.m. Official Opening by Prof Mike Redfern, NUIG. To be followed by a 30 mt talk by him on IYA 2009. Followed by
~ 8pm+: Robert Hensey: "5000 Years of Ritual Astronomy and Archaeology: Cosmology in Prehistoric Ireland'
Saturday January 31st: Main Hall
9.30-10.15am: Registration (If you are attending the evening dinner
please book by 2pm).
10.15: Official Welcome by GAC Chairman
10.20: Professor Luke Drury: "The New Gamma Ray Sky"
11.05: Gregg Hallinan: "Looking for a Pulse, the search for Radio Emission from Extra solar Planets"
11.50: Patrick Browne: "Celestial Mechanics"
12.30-2.00.: Lunch. Food served in bar
(1.00-1.35): Astronomy Workshop: Frank Ryan Jnr" Digital Astrophotography - An Artistic Approach"
2.00: Dr Andy Shearer: "What we don't Know"
2.50: Dr Tigran Khanzadyan: "Looking at the Universe through Infrared Eyes"
3.40-4.00 Tea/coffee break/sale of raffle tickets
4.00: Dave Mc Donald Title TBC (On Asteroid Discovery)
4.30-5.15 Dr Mark Simms Title TBC
6.00: Tour of NUI Galway Telescopic Observatory
7.30: GAC Festival Banquet
8.30: Carl O' Beirnes "An Evening with the Sky at Night"
10.00-1am: Observing at Barna Golf & Country Club, 5 miles drive, dark skies