2. AWESOME UNIVERSE, at ARMAGH PLANETARIUM: The year 2012 marks the 50th anniversary of when European astronomers headed south, to Chile, determined to build the most powerful ground-based telescopes in the world and founded ESO (European Southern Observatory).
Armagh Planetarium is celebrating this anniversary by launching a new gallery exhibition. Around 40 visually stunning images have been erected with captions, showcasing celestial objects such as galaxies, nebulae, and star clusters as seen by ESO's observatories, as well as beautiful images of the observatories themselves, which are located in some of the most unusual places on Earth.
Join us for our launch night on Tuesday 4th December 2012 when we will unveil our gallery. You will also have the opportunity to see our Christmas theatre show "Mystery of the Christmas Star" FREE and if the skies are clear we will be observing the wonders of the December night sky. Please note that spaces are limited for our theatre show so pre-booking is essential.
6pm – Doors open
7pm – Gallery Launch
7:30pm – Mystery of the Christmas Star theatre show
8pm – Night sky observing
9pm – Doors close
3. Public Lecture: "From here to Infinity: Gravity and the Cosmos" by Professor (Lord) Martin Rees, Baron Rees of Ludlow, O.M., F.R.S. Friday 7 December, MacNeill Lecture Theatre 3, Hamilton Building, TCD. This is the Synge Public Lecture for 2012. Admission free
4. Venus, Mercury and Moon: conjunction. On Dec 11, Venus and Mercury will be joined by a thin waning crescent moon, lying just to the right of Venus. You also get an excellent chance on the morning of Dec 12 to see a rare phenomenon: Mercury appearing further from the Sun than the Moon. On that morning the 1.7% illuminated Moon will lie as much as 5˚ below and left of the innermost planet. Look from about 07.40, low in the SE: find Venus first, then scan with binoculars to the lower left to find Mercury, and beyond it, the very thin crescent of the Moon. A lovely photo opportunity: Saturn, Venus, Mercury & an almost impossibly thin crescent moon.
5. ISS: The International Space Station will commence another series of evening passes over Ireland on December 13. Full details for your own location, along with lots of other information, on the free site www.heavens-above.com.