1. NEXT IAA LECTURE, 24 February: The next of the Irish Astronomical Association's public lectures will be given by Dr Lucie Green, of the famous Mullard Space Science Laboratory, London. Dr Green is well known as a TV presenter on astronomy.
Her talk is entitled "Living in the Sun's Atmosphere", and will cover all the fascinating and potentially dangerous aspects of living on a planet which is constantly bombarded by the Solar Wind, and is hit every so often by massive Coronal Mass Ejections, producing fantastic aurorae. The Sun is just 'awakening' after one of the longest and deepest solar minima on record, and we are now seeing sunspots more regularly, and there was even an aurora visible from N. Ireland earlier this week. But the best is yet to come, as we build up to Solar Max in a few years time.
Dr Green is a renowned expert on this subject, so we're sure of a fascinating talk. It's on WEDNESDAY 24 February, 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
2. April has been designated as Global Astronomy Month, to follow on from the success of IYA 2009. See the following website for more details. I'll keep you informed of local events.
3. IMO Meteor Conference, Armagh, 16-19 September. Advance notice of this major meteor conference: The International Meteor Organisation will be holding its next annual conference in Armagh from the 16th through to the 19th of September. More details to follow shortly from principal organiser Dr David Asher, but mark your diaries in the meantime.
4. ISS + SHUTTLE: The ISS, with Shuttle Endeavour still attached, will be visible in Irish morning skies for another few days. See www.heavens-above.com for details for your own location.
5. IAA: Public Star Party + Planetarium shows at WWT, Castle Espie, 26 March. More details on this in the next bulletin, but mark your diaries now. See www.irishastro.org
6. Excellent Galway Star Party. Congratulations to Ronan Newman and the rest of the Galway Astronomy Club for another excellent star party last W/E. They even managed to provide TWO successive clear nights, with superb observing at their very dark site at St Brigid's Garden out in Connemara.