Wednesday, 15 June 2011


Hi all,
1. TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE MOON: There will be a Total Lunar Eclipse tonight, Wed 15 June. The eclipse begins before the Moon rises from Ireland, and in fact totality will end shortly after it rises over most of the country, whereas the far North and West won't even see any totality - it will just have ended as the Moon rises from there.
   The Moon will be rising almost due SE over most of the country, so look there as the sun sets (almost directly opposite the setting Sun).
   If it's clear, you'll see the Moon rising as a very pale red disc unless the sky is hazy, in which case you may not see it at all until it gets a bit higher and brighter. Then as totality ends you'll see the Earth's shadow gradually pass off the disc, and the moon will gradually get brighter and resume its more normal appearance.
   The Irish Astronomical Association (IAA) will be holding an 'Eclipse-watch' and BBQ at the car park at Scrabo, just outside Newtownards, Co Down. This should give a spectacular view of the Moon rising over Strangford Lough. The Moon rises from there at 21.54 BST, so be there from about 8.0 if you want to join in the BBQ (bring ALL your own stuff!), or from about 9.30 if you just want to set up a telescope or camera for the eclipse itself. Admission free to all. Obviously this event is weather-dependent, so check the IAA website that day to see if it's going ahead.
   This is the last Total Lunar Eclipse visible from Ireland until September 2015, so don't miss it!
NB: (For ROI members) The IAS and SDAS will be holding an eclipse observing event at the Martello Tower, Sandymount, Dublin, starting about 9.30.
2. IAA PUBLIC EVENT AT GLENAVY, Saturday 18 June. The Irish Astronomical Association will be running a public astronomy day at Glenavy, Co Antrim on Saturday 18 June, at the request of the Glenavy Development Commission. We will have a Stardome mobile planetarium, and lots of telescopes and binoculars and meteorites on display, and will be doing solar observing if it's clear. This event will run from 11.00 to 16.00. Full details will be on the IAA website
3. Solarfest, Dunsink, 18 June. IFAS, in conjunction with Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (DIAS) are organising a one-day event in Dublin to celebrate solar astronomy. Solarfest 2011 will take place at Dunsink Observatory, Dublin. We are very grateful to DIAS for supporting the event and entry is FREE. Speakers so far confirmed include:
John Flannery (SDAS): "The Story of Sunspots"
Dr. Ian Elliott: "Solar Activity and our Climate"
Steve Roche (Deise): Solar Photography Workshop
Trinity College Dublin will also be providing speakers at the event - details TBC shortly.
Weather permitting, we will have solar observing also. A tour of the facility will also take place for those who haven't seen the observatory and the 12" Grubb refractor.
   Spaces are limited to 60 seats. Applications for tickets must be sent to by June 5th.
Tickets are on a first come first served basis. Please state in the e-mail how many tickets you would like. After this date, seats will be opened up to members of the public.

4. IAA MIDSUMMER BBQ, Saturday 25 June: The Irish Astronomical Association's annual midsummer BBQ will be returning to one of its most popular locations this year - the beautiful grounds of Armagh Observatory.
   There will be a tour of the Observatory, which we hope will include the new 'State of the Art' robotic telescope, and the world-famous Human Orrery, and the fascinating Astropark and 'Hill of Infinity'. We may also have a quiz and or/other competitions.
  We will aim to eat around 4 p.m., and finish about 6 p.m.
   We will have at least one large gazebo to provide shelter if necessary.
   Admission is free to all IAA members and guests, but bring all your own food and drink, and eating items (cutlery, plates, glasses (preferably plastic), BBQ tongs etc if you have them) and folding chairs or waterproof rugs. We will provide the actual BBQs for cooking.
   Please let me know by 24 June if you are planning to attend, so we will have some idea of numbers.
   If the weather looks like being really bad, check the IAA website in advance to see if it will be going ahead or not.

Have an astronomically good summer at Blackrock Castle Observatory's popular Annual Space Camp where kids 8 - 12 to use science and engineering to explore the universe. Find out about life as an astronaut, the solar system and the search for alien life. For full details of this, and the rest of the BCO programme, see:
6. JOINING the IRISH ASTRONOMICAL ASSOCIATION is now even easier: This link downloads a Word document to join the IAA.  See also
Clear skies,
Terry Moseley

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