Subject: Lecture, IAA Events, end of SAN? More events, Tom wins, WSW,
Re-Entry + 18 more!
1. IAA LECTURE, 2 October. Dr Paul Dawson, TCD. "Star Chef: Cooking
with the Stars ".
TV schedules are full of cookery programmes. But of course, all the
ultimate cooking, of the elements in food and everything else, was
done either in the Big Bang or in the nuclear furnaces in the stars.
And if you use an iron frying pan, the iron in it originated in a
In this entertaining and easily accessible talk, Paul will explain
just how to create a star, and how the stars create all the elements
other than Hydrogen and Helium (and a wee bit of Lithium). He won't
actually create a star in the lecture theatre (at least, I hope not!),
so it will be a case of 'Here's one I made earlier'.
The lecture is free and open to all, including free refreshments.
It will be held in the Bell Lecture Theatre, Physics Building, Queen's
University, Belfast, at 7.30 p.m.
Thanks to the Astrophysics Research Centre, QUB, for help in
hosting these lectures.
2. IAA Astronomy Day at Carrickfergus Civic Centre, 5 October.
Yet another new venue: This time we have been invited to the lovely
new Civic Centre in Carrickfergus.
Time: 1.30 p.m. - 5 p.m.
It will follow our usual very successful formula for an afternoon
event: Talks in the Stardome, Exhibition, telescope display, hands on
meteorites, space memorabilia, DVDs etc, with Solar observing in the
courtyard. The facility has an excellent cafe, so come along and help,
or enjoy, this great new location. Car parking (pay & display) is
available at the car parks just off the Marine Highway (the main A2
Shore Road, just past the Castle, going towards Whitehead), so maybe
arrange to car share, or use public transport? Or there may be other
free parking nearby, e.g. at the Victoria Road Shopping Centre, a bit
further out along the Marine Highway towards Whitehead (does anyone
know if that's free or not?).
Address: Carrickfergus Borough Council, Museum & Civic Centre, 11
Antrim Street, Carrickfergus BT38 8DG, SatNav: 54 deg 42' 58"N; 5 deg
48' 21.6" W.
3. IAA Display at Belfast Central Library: Saturday 12 October. More
details on this in next bulletin.
4. IAA Telescope night: Sep 27 or 28, at Delamont Country Park, near
Killyleagh. Weather dependant. Check IAA website, www.irishastro.org,
at 18.00 each night to see if event is going ahead. If cloudy on the
27th, we will try again on the 28th.
5. End of the Sky At Night? Many reports indicate that the last
programme will be broadcast in December.
This story has been in the papers and social media recently. Many many
hundreds of complaints have been sent to the BBC via its online forum.
A Facebook group has been formed to petition the BBC not to axe the
show. Objections have come from both active observers, armchair
astronomers, and ordinary members of the public without a big interest
in astronomy. There is a lot of debate about retaining the show but
making it more modern, with many opinions on all aspects.
For press reports, see:
This article gives a good sensible analysis of the subject with an
online survey at the end.
There is also the Petition.
You can pass it on via:
6. Armagh Planetarium
(1) Math 'a' Magic; Saturday 12 October 2013
Who says that maths is boring? Join us as we discover the magic and
mystery of maths. Capturing the imagination of children and adults
alike, the math 'a' magicians from Cahoots will demonstrate the power
of mathematics through illusion, misdirection and even mind reading on
Saturday 12 October!
This is an unforgettable learning experience that will blow your mind!
Ages: 7 – 13, Duration: 1 hour, Times: 12.30pm and 2.30pm.
Tickets are free but spaces are limited so please pre-book on 028 37523689.
(2) Planetarium Open Night, Tuesday 15 October
Armagh Planetarium will be hosting a public telescope viewing session
as part of our programme of FREE Open Nights starting on Tuesday 15
October 2013. On this evening night sky observation is hoped to take
place (weather permitting) from 7pm-9pm.
At 7.30pm there is also an opportunity to see the stars whatever
the weather in our Digital Theatre show 'Beyond the Blue'. If you
already have a telescope or binoculars you are welcome to bring them
with you for your own use. Dressing warmly is essential for outdoor
Times: Open 7pm -9pm, Digital Theatre Show: 7.30pm
TEL: 028 37523689. Pre-booking essential
7. IAS Meeting, Dublin. IAS Opening lecture by Evelyn Cusack (Mét
Eireann). A talk that is sure to interest all astronomers (because it
affects us so much!).
Ireland's Weather: A Journey through Time. by Dr Evelyn Cusack. Monday
30th Sep 2013 at 8pm
Admission: free, all welcome. Venue: Ely House, 8 Ely Place, off St
Stephen's Green, Dublin 2.
(near the Shelbourne Hotel. Convenient to buses, Luas & trains. Best
bet for car parking is on Merrion Sq.).
8. Galway Star Party. Advance notice of the next Galway Star Party: 1
February 2014. More details later, but mark your diaries now.
9. Congratulations to Tom O'Donoghue: Tom got the runner up prize in
the Deep Space Category of the Astronomy Photographer of the Year
competition, which is being exhibited at the Royal Observatory's
Astronomy Centre in Greenwich. Tom's shot was a magnificent portrait
of the Rho Ophiuchii and Antares region, with the beautiful coloured
nebulosity. Well done Tom.
See details at:
10. Satellite Re-Entry soon: A medium sized satellite, GOCE, is due to
re-enter the Earth's atmosphere in the next month or so. Some bits may
survive and fall to Earth. Ireland is within the possible target zone,
but the chances of a fall here are VERY remote. See
11. NEW ASTRONOMY PROJECT ON LA PALMA: Dr Ana Garcia Suarez, formerly
at Armagh Observatory, has launched a new project in La Palma, Canary
Islands, and asked me to circulate the following details (slightly
edited). 'AstroLaPalma.com' is an astrotourism project for tourists
and also for amateur astronomers. We take astronomy tours,
astroparties, organise workshops and rent telescopes for astronomers
that do not wish to travel with heavy equipment.
If you are particularly keen on landscape astrophotography or
timelapse check out the website. AstroLaPalma.com. E:
Tel: +34 922 410 431, Mob: +34 622 805 618
BTW, Ana's husband David is an astronomer at GTC: Gran Telescopio de Canarias.
12. COMET ISON - LATEST: Still fainter than originally predicted. We
may get a better idea of how it is developing when the Curiosity Rover
attempts to image it as it passes close to Mars.
See also: http://www.space.com/22873-comet-ison-breakup-earth-threat.html?cmpid=545394
13. Cork: Lecture at BCO: On Saturday 28 Sep BCO will present a free
talk from 7-8.30pm on The Dunhuang Star Chart, the world's oldest star
chart - a spectacular document relating to the history of astronomy.
This will be given by French astrophysicist, Dr. Jean-Marc
Bonnet-Bidaud. They are also showing two films from CNRS – the French
national agency for scientific research: 'The Dunhuang Star Chart' -
a documentary on the work carried out by Jean-Marc and his team, and '
The Draconids Encounter 2011' - a documentary on one of the most
famous meteor showers, the Draconids, from the comet Giacobini-Zinner.
14. ISS: the ISS is currently making a series or morning passes over Ireland.
The Cygnus supply craft may also be visible, For details for your
location, see: www.heavens-above.com
15. WORLD SPACE WEEK: World Space Week 2013 'Exploring Mars,
Discovering Earth' Global Analogue Campaign. From 4-10 October, more
than twenty organizations spread across four continents will be
exploring Mars - and discovering more about Earth in the process. A
campaign of networked Mars analogue demonstrations is being launched
to celebrate World Space Week (WSW) 2013. See previous bulletin for
16. LARGEST METEORITE BICENTENARY: An Irish meteorite's anniversary.
The Limerick meteorite fall occurred on 10th September 1813. The
largest piece, weighing more than 27kg (about 64lb) is on display in
the Ulster Museum (in the meteorite gallery) until early November, on
loan from National Museum in Dublin.
It is by far the biggest meteorite to fall anywhere in Ireland / UK
in historic times. There were several rather florid eyewitness
accounts in newspapers of the time, and these show that it was a
spectacular event with bright lights, loud bangs, a smoke trail (a bit
like the Russian meteor earlier this year) and some substantial dents
in the ground. (from Mike Simms, NMNI)
17. ASTROPHOTOGRAPHY COMPETITION: (Via Prof Brian Espey, TCD). I found
out a short while ago about this competition for Deep Sky
astrophotographers - perhaps you know someone who might wish to enter
for a cash prize.
Interested parties should email Romano Corradi at the IAC in La
Palma (email@example.com ) to register and to receive further
18. FRONTIERS OF PHYSICS: (From Paul Nugent) Although designed for
teachers of Physics, interested adults are welcome to attend:
IoP Frontiers of Physics 2013, School of Physics, UCC, Sat Sept 28th;
Annual Conference for Teachers of Physics including Junior Science
This years Institute of Physics teachers Conference takes place in
UCC, Sat Sept 28th We have an interesting programme for the day.
Prof Malcolm Longair Cambridge University
Tour of Crawford Observatory
Science on Stage Workshop
ESA Space Science Workshop
See http://tinyurl.com/FoP2013Booking for full details
19. PICS FOR NEW IAA WEBSITE PHOTO GALLERY. President and webmaster
Paul Evans has produced an excellent new photo gallery on the updated
IAA website. See www.irishastro.org. We would love to have any photos
from members showing past IAA events and activities for a "Pics from
the Archive" section. Credits will be given to respective owners of
20. STARGAZING LIVE returns on 7 - 9 January 2014. The IAA has once
again been asked to be principal partner with the BBC for this
prestigious event. More details later, but mark your diaries now.
21. New Brian Cox TV series on British Scientists. See:
22. Calling all Irish Geoscientists to the GEO-Gathering 2013! (I know
that many astronomers are also interested in geology, so this may be
Ireland is hosting a national initiative, The Gathering 2013, to
invite the international Irish community or anybody who has ever
lived, visited, studied or worked here, to return home in 2013. The
initiative has captured the public imagination and an exciting range
of community, heritage and specialist events have been organised all
over the country – see www.thegatheringireland.com
To celebrate the concept, a group of active Irish geological
organisations (IAEG, IGI, IMQS and Geological Survey of Ireland) has
come together to organise a geologically-focused gathering in October
2013, named 'The GEO-Gathering'. The thrust is to invite the Irish
geological community from Ireland, UK, Canada, the Americas, Africa
and Australasia to attend an informal event over the weekend of 19-20
October 2013 at the Menlo Park Hotel in Galway, with speakers/
conversations/ music and 'craic' among our colleagues.
Why not join us on Saturday 19th October to hear geoscientists of
excellence, working across all sectors. If you have ever lived,
worked, studied or visited Ireland, YOU are invited to 'come home' to
catch up with your geo-colleagues from Ireland and all over the world
in October - there is a long tradition of geologists returning for
such flagship events and you can be guaranteed that the welcome will
be as warm as ever!
Why not join us for dinner on the evening of Saturday 19th October,
to meet old friends and colleagues and enjoy chats over traditional
Irish music and drinks. There will be a field trip to the world-famous
UNESCO recognised Burren and Cliffs of Moher GeoPark on Sunday 20th
October, led by the GeoPark's Dr Eamon Doyle – see
To book your place at Geo-Gathering speakers, dinner and field trip,
please visit our website:
For information on 4* accommodation at Menlo Park: http://www.menloparkhotel.com
(BTW, in May 2012, I suggested something very similar to this for
the Irish astronomical community to the ASGI, and to the Astronomy &
Space Committee of the RIA, and to various other professional
astronopmers in Ireland but nothing seems to have happened? TM)
23. INTERESTING WEBLINKS:
(I wonder will they be able to get insurance?)
(typical headline. NASA does not say there is no life on Mars, just
that they haven't found methane evidence yet!)
(well, it would seem a bit tame after the Enterprise!)
(Is it on 'roaming' charges now?)
24. TWITTER: Follow the IAA on Twitter: @IaaAstro
25. NEW LINK! JOINING the IRISH ASTRONOMICAL ASSOCIATION is easy: This
link downloads a Word document to join the IAA.
If you are a UK taxpayer, please tick the 'gift-aid' box, as that
enables us to reclaim the standard rate of tax on your subscription,
at no cost to you. You can also make a donation via Paypal if you
wish: just click on the 'Donate' button. See also www.irishastro.org.
I'm now back on Twitter (occasionally - I don't have enough time!),
after some temporary hiccups: @terrymoseley2