The lecture is free and open to all, including free refreshments. Venue: the Bell Lecture Theatre, Physics Building, Queen's University, Belfast, at 7.30 p.m.
The Star of Bethlehem is an iconic astronomical event whose true origin remains unknown even today, in spite of years of speculation and research. The show will guide the viewer through some of these investigations and the most likely causes of this interesting cosmological object which was remarkable enough to make the wise men travel across the desert from Babylon to Bethlehem to see the new born baby.
You will also explore possible dates for the birth of Christ and look at the historical records of significant astronomical events which occurred at this time.
The show opens on Monday 1 until Tuesday 23 December 2014.
Monday – Friday (1-19 Dec) at 2pm
Saturday/School Holidays at 1pm and 4pm
Evening shows every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 2-18 December at 7:30pm
Booking is essential
7. Cosmic stocking fillers & Christmas nights out at BCO Xmas events include Cosmic Christmas Workshop, BuildSkills Workshop, Christmas Stocking Fillers, A Christmas night with a difference, Moon Observing, We wish you a very Cosmic Christmas
8. ROSETTA/PHILAE LATEST
9. GEMINIDS Reports: Partially cloudy skies didn't prevent members seeing quite a few meteors. Check the IAA website for details. But I doubt if they were quite as good as this seems to indicate: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2873244/Spectacular-Geminid-meteor-shower-lights-skies-100-shooting-stars-hour.html.
11. IAA Observing Nights at Delamont Country Park
12. Major Science Event, 23 February (+ 24th or 26th in Dublin) Advance Notice: Another major science event as part of the 'Origins Project" will be taking place on the 23rd of February at UU Jordanstown (and one planned for Dublin on the 24th or 26th.) See http://youtu.be/2uvQoiPjF6s
Lawrence Krauss and Richard Dawkins are confirmed as attending. Tickets are £35 each. More details on how to book will be announced soon - but remember they will sell out quickly so be prepared to book online as soon as the booking website opens!
13. FAEROES ECLIPSE TRIP: The next Total Solar Eclipse visible on Earth will be on 20 March, 2015. This total eclipse track will only cross land on Earth in two places: the Faeroes, and Svalbard in the far North Atlantic. IAA member and eclipse author Dr Kate Russo will be leading a tour to observe this eclipse in the Faeroes. I have the honour to be the 'eclipse/astronomy/aurora expert' on the trip, on which we hope to be able to get good views of the aurora as well as the eclipse itself. See http://www.independenttraveller.com/experiences/photography/astronomy/total-solar-eclipse-2015-faroe-islands. You can also find out more details on the eclipse blog site: http://independenttraveller.com/blog/
14. ARCHAEOASTRONOMY TRIP TO NEWGRANGE and KNOWTH, 2015, These trips have proved so popular that as soon as I got back from the last one, Stranmillis University College Institute of LifeLong Learning asked me to lead another one next spring! Like the last one, the next trip will include a visit to the Knowth Tomb as well. It has the largest collection of Megalithic art anywhere in Europe in one single site, some of which is reckoned to be astronomical. Booking for thus very popular, non-technical trip will open later, but if you want to go, note the date in your diary: Sat 9 May. More details when the new brochure comes out.
COSMOS: April 17th to 19th 2015, Shamrock Lodge Hotel, Athlone.
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.