Monday, 7 September 2009

LP Symposium, Competition, Mt Wilson fires, Lectures, BCO Events

Hi all,


ILPAC, the Irish Light Pollution Awareness Campaign, was asked to host this year's

European Symposium for the Protection of the Night Sky. This is an annual event held in a different country each year and is the main gathering of light pollution experts from around Europe with some speakers also coming from the USA and Japan.

Thanks to the help of Discover Science and Engineering and Armagh Observatory we have put together a great programme of talks that I'm sure you'll find interesting. And in addition to the main event we have free public lectures by Leo Enright in Dublin and Armagh. (You

need to register for these free talks by the way - details on the website ). There will also be excursions to Armagh Planetarium, An Creagan visitor center and the archaeoastronomy site at Beaghmore stone circles for some dark sky observing if clear.

You can see the symposium program, biographies of the speakers and other details on the website. Also pass this on to your colleagues. And if any of you have had dealings with elected council officials or county lighting engineers please tell them to come along. We will have experts in lighting and campaigners who have worked to get better lighting policies

implemented with local town councils to EU and USA federal level who will be happy to help councillors see the benefits of better lighting policy.

Please register as soon as possible so that we know how many to arrange catering and transport for. €30 for the weekend, €20 for either the Friday or Saturday.

2. IYA 2009 COMPETITION - DEADLINE EXTENDED: The major free entry competition being run by the IAA as part of IYA2009 has had the deadline for entries extended to 30 November. Anyone in Ireland, of any age, can enter in various categories, all with a great selection of prizes. See the attached for more details.

3. IAA NEW LECTURE SEASON OPENS: September 23rd: The IAA are delighted to announce that the opening lecture of the Irish Astronomical Association's new season will be given by Prof Tom Ray of the Dublin Institute of Advanced Studies and the Royal Irish Academy. It is entitled "Planning Hubble's Successor, the James Webb Space Telescope". Prof Ray is eminently qualified to talk on this topic, as he is involved in the design of some of the instrumentation which will be going on the telescope! We have had several excellent lectures from Tom before, and we are delighted to welcome him back again. It's on WEDNESDAY 23 SEPTEMBER, at 7.30 p.m., in the Bell Lecture Theatre, Physics Building, Queen's University, Belfast. ADMISSION IS FREE, as always, and includes light refreshments. Everyone is welcome. Full details of the rest of the programme are on the website:

4. MOUNT WILSON OBSERVATORY WILDFIRES: You can see the latest progress of the wildfires threatening historic Mt Wilson Observatory on Google maps at: Mt. Wilson is on the eastern edge. JPL is on the southern edge.

You can read the Director's blog on

The Towercam, a webcam on the 150-foot solar tower telescope, is pointed towards the approaching fire, but the links may be in danger of going down. See

5. BCO EVENTS: Here are some of the exciting programme of events for September 09. Don't miss Movies by Moonlight, a new exciting programme feature last Saturdays monthly, Culture Night on Sept. 25th and the ever popular First Fridays at the Castle. See

6. IAS LECTURE: September 7th: The first IAS talk of their new lecture season will be held in Dunsink Observatory, Castleknock, at 8pm. John O'Neill will speak about his recent trip to China to view the total solar eclipse in July.

7. AI LECTURE: September 14th: "Searching for exoplanets: modern methods and future prospects" by Dr. Christopher Allan Watson, Astrophysics Research Centre, Queen's University Belfast. More details at

8. RIA LECTURE: September 16th: The Royal Irish Academy will host a public lecture in conjunction with the 9th European Symposium for the Protection of the Night Sky. Well-known broadcaster and science populariser Leo Enright will give a talk titled "What is Light?" at the RIA building on Dawson Street. More details at

9. September 18th, Art Exhibition: A major exhibition collated by Deirdre Kelleghan will launch at Birr Castle, County Offaly. Titled "In the Footsteps of Galileo", the exhibition will feature drawings and sketches of the Moon created by Irish, American, and many more children along with lunar, solar, planetary, and deep sky sketches made by well known observers and artists such as Sir Patrick Moore, Sally Russell, Jeremy Perez, Sue French, Dan Davis, Jeff Young and many more. More details on

10. BURREN STAR PARTY: September 26th: Shannonside Astronomy Club will host the inaugural Burren Star Party in Ballyvaughan, County Clare. More details at

Clear skies,

Terry Moseley


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