On March 16 from 18:00 – 20:00 we're hosting a Telescope Clinic and Planet Watch with the Cork Astronomy Club. Bring us your telescope and tell us your astronomy problems – no question will be too basic! Cost for the Telescope Clinic is €10 per person and includes admission to Cosmos at the Castle for a virtual night sky tour in the planetarium.
7. Armagh Planetarium: "Rainbows and Rockets" St. Patrick's Day , Monday 16th & Tuesday 17th March. See www.armaghplanet.com for details.
DO NOT attempt to observe it with any type of Sunglasses, 3-D glasses, photographic filters, coloured plastic or a CD, or anything like that.
SAFE WAYS TO OBSERVE THE ECLIPSE:
Unless you have proper CE certified eclipse viewers, or a No 14 Welder's glass, or a proper solar telescope or solar filter, there are only 4 ways to observe safely.
1. PROJECTION Use one half of a pair of binoculars (cap one front lens, and use the other one), or a small telescope with your widest angle eyepiece, to project the image of the Sun through the instrument onto a white card about A4 size, held about 20-30 cm behind the eyepiece. Adjust the focus until the image is sharp. Do NOT attempt to look through the eyepiece, or even through any small finder telescope! And don't let bare skin on your hands get behind the eyepiece or you may get a sore skin burn.
To aim the telescope at the Sun, point it towards it without looking through it, and then adjust it so that its shadow on the card appears smallest – it should then be pointing at the Sun. This will give you the most detailed image You'll have to adjust the instrument periodically as the Sun moves across the sky. You can photo this projected image.
2. MULTIPLE PINHOLES: You can get a lovely artistic effect using a vegetable colander or cook's spoon with multiple small round holes: Let the Sun shine through the holes onto a piece of white card about a foot or two behind it, and you'll see multiple images of the eclipse - a particularly beautiful effect near the maximum stages of the eclipse
3. CEREAL BOX VIEWER: Make your own solar eclipse viewer, using a large sound empty cereal box. Cut a piece of white card or white paper which will just fit neatly into the bottom of the box. Dab glue on the back of it to hold it on the bottom of the box. Cut a 2 to 4 cm square hole in the top flaps near a narrow side of the box. Tape a piece of aluminium kitchen foil completely over this hole. Using a thick needle or a small nail, punch a neat hole through the middle of the foil. Then cut another hole in the other side of the top of the box so you can look down into the bottom of the box.
Then stand with your back to the Sun and allow it to shine through the pinhole onto the bottom of the box, as you look through the other opening, and you'll see a nice small but clear image of the eclipse taking place! If the image is too faint, enlarge the hole slightly.
Get someone to hold the box and try to photograph the image of the eclipse.
4. REFLECTION IN WATER: Fill a dark bucket 4/5 full with water, shelter it from wind so there are no ripples, and look at the reflection of the Sun
PUBLIC ECLIPSE VIEWING: the Irish Astronomical Association will run public viewing events using special safe solar telescopes and filters at the following locations, from about 8.20 a.m. (weather permitting!)
Belfast: Queen's University, in front of the Whitla Hall, University Road (in association with the ARC, Dept of Physics)
Larne: Chaine Memorial Park, seafront.
Newtownards: Scrabo Hill Car Park
Portballintrae: Seafront car park
Full details of the eclipse for 62 towns and cities in Ireland, together with the islands and headlands where the greatest possible eclipse in Ireland can be seen, are given in the attached document
More details about the eclipse, including any last minute updates, will be on the IAA website www.irishastro.org.DON'T BELIEVE ALL YOU READ IN THE PAPERS: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2994195/Next-Friday-morning-Britain-turn-day-night-time-century-great-eclipse.html How can they get it so wrong!?
opportunities that evening (if clear) to complement the aroundNorth event. We could provide some financial assistance through the provision of a small mileage payment at the usual rate of 45p per mile.
If there are any IAA members in that area who would be prepared to help out with this event, please contact Prof Bailey directly at email@example.com
20 March BBC1 9am. - 10 am. 'Eclipse Live' a stargazing Special. Coverage of the Solar Eclipse in Britain and Faroe Islands with Brian Cox and Dara O'Briain
NB: The BBC team in the Faroes will be based with the group led by Kate Russo and myself. So look out for us!
. Do you know how to safely view this? Make and take away a pinhole camera and a spectroscope. Explore how lenses are used to make telescopes, experiment with prisms and use solar telescopes (weather permitting). For ages 8+. February 19. 11:00 - 12:30. €10 each. Booking and prepayment essential Details at www.BCO.ie
15. Spring Equinox: The Earth will cross the celestial equator Northwards on 20 March at 22.45, marking the start of Northern spring.
16. Open Night at Armagh Planetarium, Tuesday 24 March
Times: open 7pm – 9pm. Beyond the Blue Digital Theatre Show 7.30pm
Booking: Phone on 028 3752 3689
Pre-Booking is essential as there is a limited number of tickets
And from Peter Paice: See also: Information re ND filters. There is a good site to visit http://srb-photographic.co.uk/ . There are ND 1000 filters shown; prices £20 - £35 depending on diameter. These filters look like the polyester type. (I think that you would need several of these filters stacked to give safe imaging of the Sun, but I haven't tried them, and you try them at your own risk! TM)
Times: 10am-5pm. Digital Theatre Shows playing at 11, 12, 1, 2, 3 & 4pm
Cost: Workshops are free* *Normal Admission applies to Digital Theatre shows
For more information call us on 02837 523689 or www.armaghplanet.com
Pre-booking essential for Digital Theatre shows
These very popular weekend observing sessions have recommenced, with the nights of April 10 - 11 as next option. Delamont is well signposted off the A22 just South of Killyleagh, (North of Downpatrick) Co Down. They are suitable for anyone, but are aimed especially at beginners. We bring our own large telescopes; bring your own if you have a portable one. The events work like this: If it's clear on the Friday night, the event goes ahead. If not, we try again on the Saturday night. If both are cloudy, we try again on the following weekend, same procedure. To check if it's going ahead, check the IAA website: www.irishastro.org up to 6.0 p.m. on each day, and for dates for next session: If cloudy, we'll try again on the next date on the list.…
23. COSMOS: April 17th to 19th 2015, Shamrock Lodge Hotel, Athlone.
Speakers include - Professor John Zarnecki, Director, International Space Science Institute, Switzerland.
- Mr. Brian Harvey, Spaceflight Writer and Broadcaster.
- Mr. Nick Howes, Astronomer and Freelance Science Writer.
- Ms. Kate Russo, Author, Psychologist and Eclipse Chaser.
- Mr. Keith Geary, Astronomer and Astrophotographer.
- Mr. Steve Richards, Author, Astronomer and Astrophotographer.
- Ms. Deirdre Kelleghan, St. Cronan's Stargazers and Irish Federation of Astronomical Societies.
- Mr. Emmett Mordaunt, Midlands Astronomy Club.
The programme also includes an all-inclusive trip on Sunday morning to Birr Castle and stand in the shadow of the Leviathan, once the world's largest telescope.
24. ARCHAEOASTRONOMY TRIP TO NEWGRANGE and KNOWTH, 9 May 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.
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.