2. The TRANSIT OF VENUS, 6 June: It seems that most of the island of Ireland was cloudy at the critical time: I know of only two sightings, through breaks in cloud, one in Cork, and one in Wexford. The former was visual only; I believe that a photo on film (remember that?) was taken. The luck of the draw. But we have two Transits of Mercury to look forward to, on
The programme for the event has been finalised: see http://www.irishastronomy.org/index.php?option=com_kunena&func=view&catid=11&id=93657&Itemid=40#93940
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Regards & Thanks, Michael O'Connell
(NB: Dunsink Observatory is on Dunsink Lane, Castleknock, Dublin. The Observatory is at 53 deg 23' 14.3"N, 6 deg 20' 19.0" W, with the entrance off Dunsink Lane at 23' 16.6"N; 20' 14" W. But Dunsink Lane has been blocked on the city side, and the observatory is now only accessible from the New River Road end, off the Navan Road, near the junction of the N3 and the M50 - the Castleknock junction, Junction 6. Since the M50 upgrade this has become a very complex junction.
If approaching via the M50 from the Dublin airport direction, you MUST get into the correct lane at the offslip, or you'll be way off course! So when you approach Junction 6, move onto the offslip lane (to the left, obviously), but then stay on the two right hand lanes of the offslip, signed for 'Castleknock'. Do NOT keep on going round to your left via the left hand lane on the offslip, which will take you on to the N3 and Castleknock village! (That seems wrong when you know where Dunsink is, but believe me - I learned the hard way! If your Satnav says something else, ignore it.)
Then move into the left hand of the two 'right' offslip lanes (in other words, the middle one of the three). This will bring you to the original roundabout, with traffic lights, where you then keep left, and then immediately left again, signed for 'Dunsink'.
This road leads directly on to New River Road. At the 'cul-de-sac' sign continue on straight, and it becomes Dunsink Lane. Go straight on for almost 2 km (past Elmgreen Golf Course) until you see the road blocked ahead of you: the entrance to the Observatory is on the right just before the block.
If you go this way, it's simple and easy, so don't be put off - just follow those directions exactly.
On the return journey you go back along Dunsink Lane, then follow signs for the M50 Northbound. (TM)
7. TWITTER: the IAA now has a twitter account: @IaaAstro