A FINAL reminder of the EUROPEAN LIGHT POLLUTION CONFERENCE IN ARMAGH this week. It will be launched IN DUBLIN as follows:
SEPT. 16, 19.00: The Royal Irish Academy will host a public lecture to launch 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 on Dawson Street. More details at http://ria.ie/committees/astronomy/new.html
SEPT. 17-19: European Light Pollution Symposium in Armagh.ILPAC, the Irish Light Pollution Awareness Campaign, and Armagh Observatory jointly 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.
With sponsorship from Discover Science and Engineering and Armagh Observatory we have put together a great programme of talks that we are sure you'll find interesting. And in addition to the main event there are public lectures by Leo Enright in Dublin and Armagh. (You need to register for these free talks by the way - details on the website www.lightpollution2009.eu. There will also be excursions to the archaeoastronomy site at Beaghmore stone circles for some dark sky observing if clear, and a free buffet meal at the nearby An Creagan visitor center.
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. See http://www.lightpollution2009.eu
SEPT. 18: Art Exhibition: A major exhibition collated by Deirdre Kelleghan will launch at Birr Castle, County Offaly. Entitled "In the Footsteps of Galileo", it 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 http://www.deirdrekelleghan.com/
SEPT. 23: IAA FREE PUBLIC LECTURE, BELFAST: 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: www.irishastro.org
SEPT. 26: The Burren Star Party organised by the Shannonside Astronomy Club, will be held on 26 September at the Burren Coast Hotel, Ballyvaughan, Co Clare. More details on http://www.shannonsideastronomyclub.com/sac_burren_starparty.htm
IRISH ASTROPHOTOGRAPHY WINNER 1: Congratulations to Michael O'Connell of the Midlands Astronomy Club, who recently won an astrophotography exhibition organised by the Royal Greenwich Observatory. Michael's photo won the "Our Solar System" category and features the Moon in the daytime sky. You can see the photo at http://www.nmm.ac.uk/visit/exhibitions/astronomy-photographer-of-the-year/winners/our-solar-system/ or visit www.astroshot.com to see more of Michael's images of the day- and night-time sky.
IRISH ASTROPHOTOGRAPHY WINNER 2: Another Irish amateur astronomer, Paul Smith, also won the "Young Astrophotographer" category and Paul's photo is on view at http://www.nmm.ac.uk/visit/exhibitions/astronomy-photographer-of-the-year/winners/young-astronomy-photographer-of-the-year-2009/
ISS EVENING PASSES: The International Space Station is making a series of evening passes this week. You can generate predictions for your location via www.heavens-above.com
NEW HST PICTURES: Stunning pictures from the refurbished Hubble Space Telescope have been released by NASA. They really have to be seen as they highlight the advanced capabilities of the new instrumentation installed on the recent servicing mission. Check out the images at http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/hubble/multimedia/ero/index.html and read the latest on HST at http://www.hubblesite.org/newscenter/
ASTRONOMY COURSE in BANGOR:
STARGAZING FOR PLEASURE, In Association with the Bangor Spectator
Bangor, Hamilton House
Tuesday evenings 7pm to 9pm
November to December 2009
A series of eight illustrated evening lectures and practical demonstrations all aimed at beginners or those with a background interest. The lectures will cover;
1. The Night Sky Constellations – an introduction to the night sky and the basic principles – how to find your way around the night sky!
2. The History of Astronomy – how did our understanding of the universe and our place in it develop from Plato to Copernicus?
3. Our Nearest Star, the Sun – all our light and heat comes from our star, the Sun!
4. Planets of our Solar System – a romp through the planets, moons and dwarf planets of our Sun’s family
5. Meteors, Comets and Asteroids – a look at the ‘left overs’ from the solar system’s creation
6. The Milky Way and other Galaxies – our star city and its relationship to the others
7. Cosmology and the Universe – latest thinking on our place in the universe
8. Telescopes and Binoculars – will cover the purchase and setting up of astronomical equipment.
The series will be conducted by well known local amateur astronomer and monthly ‘Heavens Above’ columnist with the Bangor Spectator, Dr Andy McCrea, past President of the Irish Astronomical Association. Each evening session will be in two halves with a short break at 7.45. There will be an introduction with a description of what is visible in the night sky and there will be observing through telescopes and binoculars if weather conditions permit.
Special introductory cost for the complete series will be £90 per person
If you would be interested in attending this lecture series, please contact 91 273584 after 6 pm as soon as possible. Once numbers have been established, bookings and commencement dates will be confirmed.