Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Lecture, Dunsink Day, ISS, Astrophotos, Science Festival, COSMOS

Hi all,
(First, apologies for being unable to send these bulletins for about 2 weeks, because of bulk email permission problems)
1. IAA Lecture Wed 17 February, 7.30 p.m. "What We Don't Know: Dark Matter and Dark Energy ", by Prof Andy Shearer, NIUG. We are delighted to welcome back Prof Shearer to talk to us on mystery of the 'missing mass' in the universe.
Synopsis -
We know a lot about the universe but what makes astronomy a continuously fascinating subject is what we don't know. This includes 96% of the energy of the universe which is in the form of either dark matter or dark energy. Apart from these major considerations there are many other aspects of the universe we don't understand including : Where do the highest energy cosmic rays come from? Is there life elsewhere in the universe? What are neutron stars made of?
This talk will address these issues but will concentrate upon the dark universe and the current and future attempts to understand both dark matter and dark energy. In the next decade a number of both terrestrial and space borne instruments will try and solve this question.
VENUE: Bell Lecture Theatre, Physics building, QUB. Free parking on Campus after 5.30 p.m. ALL WELCOME: Admission free, including light refreshments.

This was a great success, with an excellent turnout, and thanks to all who helped, in particular Dr Hillary O'Donnell of DIAS (Ms Dunsink!), John Flannery of the IAS who did a huge amount locally, particularly on the catering), and Prof Luke Drury, Director of DIAS, which operates Dunsink. Also of course to all the speakers: Emmet Mordaunt (MAC), John Flannery (IAS), Paul Evans (IAA), Ronan Newman (GAC), Samuel Bleyen (IFAS) and Seanie Morris (MAC).
Also to I'm delighted that Stephen Kershaw of Ktec Telescopes who exhibited some of his amazing selection of telescopes and equipment at the event. http://www.ktectelescopes.ie/
3. ISS visible evening skies to 20 Feb
The ISS continues its series of evening passes over Ireland until 20 February. Wave to Tim Peake as he flies over, or more realistically, take a photo of the ISS and tweet it to him. Full details for your own location on the excellent and free www.heavens-above .com.
4. Irish Astrophotographers Exhibition.
I was at the official launch of this IAS / IFAS special exhibition yesterday. It showcases the work of Irish backyard astronomers. And it really is superb! Admission is free: it's upstairs in the main lobby building of the Botanic Gardens, Dublin until February 21st.
We hope to bring this superb exhibition to Belfast in the summer - more details later.
More details here: http://www.irishastronomy.org/index.php
We are delighted once again to bring you the full programme of the second NI Science Festival, an annual celebration of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Thanks to the foresight and dedication of our sponsors and partners, we present you with an even bigger programme in 2016!
During the day the festival will present a range of workshops, talks and interactive activities for young people, parents and schools. In the evening the festival will come alive with an eclectic mix of scientific debates, talks, theatre, comedy, music and film for adults. As well as our core themes of science, technology, engineering and maths, we will be focusing on how science affects our everyday lives through exploring the science of food, music, art and sport.
With over 100 events across more than 25 venues, we invite you to discover the wonderful world of science in your lives.
6: COSMOS 2016: April 15 - 17, Shamrock Lodge Hotel, Athlone.
Speakers so far: Prof Mark Bailey, Director Armagh Observatory; Damien Peach (astrophotographer extraordinaire); Dr Linda Spilker (Programme Manager, Cassini Mission, JPL / NASA); Dr Tom Spilker (Rosetta Science Team Co-Investigator, JPL / NASA), and others to be confirmed.
7. IAA Telescopes for loan: The IAA has telescopes available to borrow, for any paid up member Enquiries to David Stewart david.stewart22@ntlworld.com or Andy McCrea s.mccrea980@btinternet.com

8. Interesting Weblinks
(arranged by subject matter):
(held over to next time)

9. TWITTER Follow the IAA on Twitter: @IaaAstro.
10. JOINING the IRISH ASTRONOMICAL ASSOCIATION is easy: This link downloads a Word document to join the IAA. http://documents.irishastro.org.uk/iaamembership.doc
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.
Clear skies,
Terry Moseley

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