1. IAA LECTURE MEETING: "The Sun in Time". 26 January, 7.30 p.m., Bell Lecture Theatre, Physics Department, QUB. The next lecture in the Irish Astronomical Association Lecture Programme, will be by Dr Graham Harper, of TCD: Title "The Sun in Time". This fascinating talk by an acknowledged expert on the subject will concentrate on how the Sun has changed through time, and how much it continues to change - a topic of great interest not just to astronomers but to climate change scientists, and indeed everyone on the planet.
Admission is free, including light refreshments, and all are welcome. There is free parking on the QUB site after 5.30 p.m.
For details of all forthcoming IAA lectures and other events, see http://www.irishastro.org/
2. NISO wins the UK 2011 BETT Award. I quote from Robert Hill, Director of the Northern Ireland Space Office, based at Armagh Planetarium:
"I am delighted to inform you that our 3d gaming and virtual education work, Learnit3d, has won the UK 2011 BETT award (Inspiring Learning Excellence Worldwide) for innovation in technology. This is a bit like winning the BRITS in our sector! As a small SME we beat off major ICT contenders including Promethean whiteboards.
Needless to say that we are greatly honoured to receive this prestigious accolade and it is fantastic acknowledgement of our innovation in education, learning and skills."
Robert Hill, Director, Northern Ireland Space Office.
3. ISS: The International Space Station will commence a series of morning passes on about January 23. Check www.heavens-above.com for accurate pass times according to your location.
4. VENUS: will continue to dominate the SE pre-dawn sky for another few weeks. It will sit a few degrees above a thin waning crescent moon on the morning of Jan 30.
5. Galway Astronomy Festival: 4-6 March. The theme this year is 'Life and Death in the Universe. Venue: Westwood House Hotel, Galway. It will open with a free public lecture in NUIG about meteorite falls in Ireland on the Friday evening. See http://www.galwayastronomyclub.ie/ for full details of what looks like an excellent programme.
6. Cosmos 2010: The MAC Committee are working on the speaker list for this year's Cosmos Star Party. Cosmos is Ireland's second-longest running star party, since 1992 in fact, when it was first called the Irish Astrofest. This year it takes place on the weekend of April 1st to 3rd at Annaharvey, Tullamore. See the club website at http://www.midlandsastronomy.com/ for more details.