UPDATES: New visit; On the Saturday morning we now intend to visit the new 32 meter radio telescope facility at Elfordstown, near Midleton, Co Cork. This is a former communications dish, now being converted for radio astronomy under the guidance and initiative of Dr Niall Smith of CIT. this will be by far the largest radio telescope in Ireland. See:
Access there is now quite easy, with Motorway or M-standard dual carriageway the whole way from Belfast. Plans are that we will car-share, with ideally no more than 4 per car (unless someone can offer a people carrier or similar), sharing travel costs. Accommodation will be in a good but reasonably priced hotel, or several B&Bs / Guest Houses all in the same vicinity, in Cork.
We aim to depart about lunchtime on Friday 30 Sep, returning on the Sunday evening.
The provisional programme is as follows:
Friday lunchtime: depart Belfast.
Friday evening: Arrive, check in to accommodation. Dark sky observing with CAC, if clear. If not, socialising in local hostelry (optional).
Saturday morning. Visit Radio Telescope
Sat evening: dinner with CAC, and, if they wish, the Directors of the observatories & Science Centre
Sat night: dark sky observing with CAC, if clear. If not, stay on after meal or move to pub/hotel etc. (optional)
Sunday morning: Visit CAC Observatory near airport just south of the city.
Sun afternoon: tour of Blackrock Castle Observatory
Sun evening: return journey.
COSTS: The basic costs are estimated at about £150, including dinner (excluding your other meals) as follows:
2 nights B&8, singles, about £80 (maybe less if sharing)
Petrol, tolls, etc, @ 4 to a car, sharing: £25 each
Dinner on Sat night about £30 (optional)
Incidentals: £5 per head
Total about £140. Say £150 to be safe
Other meals to be paid for as taken.
For details on -
3 . Galway astro event, 23 September. Dr Andy Shearer is organising an event as part of the EU Researchers Night Programme - see www.sea2sky.ie. This event has a strong astronomy element, and the Galway Astronomy Club are taking a key role in this.
4. LECTURE IN WEXFORD: The public library in Wexford Town is hosting a particle physics lecture and discussion on THE GOD PARTICLE AND THE PARTICLE ZOO with Brendan Wallace, consultant engineer, on Wed 28 September 2011; 7 - 8.30pm. It also covers the LHC at CERN. Booking essential.
See previous email for more details on UARS.
On November 25th, NASA will launch one of the most ambitious missions ever sent into space – the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL). Recent named "Curiosity", the Mars Science Laboratory rover will land on the surface of Mars in July 2012 and drive many kilometres across the surface in search of evidence of an origin to life there. Building on decades of exploration of the Red Planet, Curiosity will tell us more about the planetary context for life on Mars – and on Earth – than any other probe ever sent there. Whatever its findings, Curiosity will contribute to a deeper understanding of the chemical and planetary context for life as we know it.
In celebration of the launch of Curiosity, and of Science Week 2011 theme "The Chemistry of Life", Kevin Nolan of The Planetary Society will present a Science Week media-rich talk titled "Mars Science Laboratory – In Search of Origins", in Dublin, Galway and Cork. The
talk, aimed at the general public, will present an engaging overview of the great questions regarding the origin of life, the groundbreaking research being carried out both on Earth and Mars in search of answers, how MSL-Curiosity will contribute, and what plans are afoot for the near and medium-term future for the exploration of Mars.
1. The search for the origin and cosmic abundance of life
2. What Mars will tell us about the chemical origin and cosmic abundance of life
3. The chequered road to Mars and the recently implemented optimum 'phased' strategy for present and future exploration of Mars
4. Results to date regarding Mars' past and the possibility of life there
5. Mars Science Laboratory – what it is, what exploration it will carry out and the value of that exploration
6. The near term future – the outcomes of MSL, a sample return mission, human mission
7. The value and relevance of Mars exploration
8. The value of Space exploration in general
9. The value and relevance of knowing answers to the origin and cosmic abundance of life
Event Details: The talk, including the latest "of-the-press" images sent back from Mars; delivered over three nights during Science Week 2011; in Galway, Dublin and Cork. The aim is to celebrate both Science Week 2011 and the imminent launch of the Mars Science Laboratory "Curiosity" (among the most sophisticated and far-reaching space probes ever to be launched in the search for life elsewhere in the universe).
Admission: Free. Reservation advised – seats allocated on a first come first served basis.
Suitability: All ages, general public
Venue and Times:
Dublin: Mansion House, Dawson Street; 8.00pm on Monday 14th November. Reservation: firstname.lastname@example.org
Galway: NUI-Galway (Theatre TBA), Galway, 8.00pm on Wednesday 16th November
Cork: Blackrock Castle Observatory, Blackrock, Co. Cork, 8.00pm on Friday, 18th November
Event Website: www.planetary.ie (Launch on September 30th)