Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Lecture tonight, ISS, SAN, WSW, AroundNorth, Tim Peake in Belfast, Cancellation

Hi all,


1.  IAA Public Lecture Meeting, 5 October; Prof Jose Groh of TCD, will give our next public lecture, entitled "Live fast and die hard: the evolution and death of massive stars".

   This is a World Space Week Event
   Stars more massive than 8 Suns end their lives in dramatic supernova explosions. But before dying, these monster stars have tumultuous lives when they blow winds, suffer giant eruptions, and interact with companion stars. In this talk, Prof. Jose Groh (TCD) will give an overview on the fast lives of the most massive stars in the Universe and how they evolve. He will also discuss the roles of massive, monster stars as cosmic engines of the Universe.

   I had the pleasure of hearing Prof Groh give an excellent talk on this subject at the recent INAM conference in Dublin, so I know we're in for a superb lecture.

   7.30 p.m., Bell Lecture Theatre, Physics Building, QUB. Free admission, including light refreshments. Free parking on QUB campus after 5.30 p.m.


2. ISS. The International Space Station is visible during early evening passes over Ireland until Oct 19. Full details, and lots more, on the excellent free site


3. SKY AT NIGHT on Rosetta , BBC 4, OCT. 6. the Rosetta Landing on Comet 67P  will be showing 'Goodbye Rosetta:A Sky at Night Special ' on BBC FOUR on October 6 at 7:30pm.


4. Around North, Antrim Castle Gardens, Oct 13.

All members of the Irish Astronomical Association are invited to "aroundNorth" at Antrim Castle Gardens on Thursday 13th October 2016. This sound installation, by Robert Jarvis in conjunction with Armagh Observatory, will consist of - a Workshop: 10.30am-12pm, a Talk: 2-3pm, and the Sound installation: 6.30-10.30pm. IAA members will bring along telescopes, for sky viewing if it is clear.

   "aroundNorth" is a sound installation that takes its inspiration from the apparent rotation of stars around Celestial North Pole. As the Earth rotates and the stars appear to slowly move around Polaris, the North Star, the installation tracks the stars' movements and interprets them as an evocative musical score. Stars passing virtual lines in the sky trigger musical notes whose qualities are informed by their brightness, size, temperature and distance from Earth, creating a mesmerising sound map of the universe as viewed from our turning planet.
   Music & Astronomy workshop: 10.30am to 12.00pm - Age 16 and over. For musicians interested in using their musical skills in an astronomical setting. This workshop will explore the feasibility of using musical skills to interpret star catalogue data. It is suitable for those who already have expertise in playing an instrument and are interested in extending performance skills and new ways of composing. All musicians should have their own instruments and be willing to play in an ensemble setting.
   Science and Astronomy talk, 2-3pm - Age 16 and over; Robert will explain the process he used to create the work and track the movements of the stars.

   Bookings: Box Office: 028 9448 1338,


5. Astronauts Tim Peake and Tim Kopra.  The Ulster Hall in Belfast hosts an evening on October 18th with astronauts Tim Peake and Tim Kopra. See for more details. Book now if you want to go!


6. World Space Week Events

· Oct 4-10:  World Space Week. Ireland events listed at

In Cork: Space Week at BCO, Cork; "Our Planet  - Our Space - Our Time". Space Week is Ireland's newest national STEM week in parallel with World Space Week. It is YOUR week to focus on the wonders and realities of the Universe around us. Taking place from October 3 – 8, Space Week will enable all people to explore how, as 21st century citizens under one sky, we can use the power of critical thinking, science, technology, engineering and maths to shape our understanding of life on Earth and our place in Space. 

Plan an event: Organise an event in your school or community and register your details on All registered events will receive Space Week merchandise and promotional materials.  

Attend an event: Family-friendly events, stargazing, workshops and more will take place nationwide.  Or discover the Universe in your own home using the fun space activities on

Discover Your Universe! Find or register events on, #SpaceWeek16

CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory, Cork. Tel 021 4326120

PLUS: Various other activities throughout Ireland, including

· Oct 5:  "21st Century Astronomy", Dunsink Observatory at 7:30pm. Book at

· Oct. 5th LIT Millennium Theatre: Apollo 15 astronaut Col. Al Worden and Limerick space tourist to-be, Cyril Bennis, will talk at "Dream Big", an event hosted by Dr Niamh ShawTickets €5, See

· Oct 5:  "Heartbeat of Space", Fitzgerald Building, TCD at 7:30pm. See

· Oct 5-9:  Prints from the "Images of Starlight Exhibition" on display in the Fitzgerald Library, TCD. See

· Oct 6:  Miscellaneous talks for Space Week, DCU from 6:30pm. See

· Oct 7/8: Dublin Sidewalk Astronomers. See

· Oct 7:  Talk on "William Rowan Hamilton and Space Navigation", OPW Head Office (Dublin) at 4pm. See


7. IFAS Calendar 2017

The FREE edition of the IFAS Calendar for 2017 is now available as a 735Kb pdf for download. It does not include the photos taken by IFAS members but these will appear in a printed edition of the calendar which will be available for purchase (details to be announced during October on the IFAS site The pdf contains extra pages with various useful tables of data. Grab your copy of the 2017 calendar now at


8. Exomars: Joint ESA-Roscosmos mission ExoMars will arrive in orbit around Mars on October 13th and deploy the Schiaparelli lander which will touch down on the surface of Mars on October 19th. See

(Thanks to John Flannery for some of the above information)


9. AstroPhoto Exhibition. We're delighted to announce that all the local photographs in this exhibition will feature in a further series of exhibitions, at venues including the Island Arts Centre in Lisburn, and Clotworthy House in Antrim. More details later. Free admission. A MUST SEE!


10. Spot Chinese Space Station, Tianggong-2 It may be possible to spot China's latest space station during one of its passes over Ireland. Tiangong-2 was launched on September 15th, marking the next phase of China's project to develop a permanently manned orbiting lab. Two taikonauts are scheduled fly to the station on October 16th for what is planned to be a 30-day stay. See for more info.

   Tiangong-2 will make a series of morning passes over Ireland for a few days beginning on October 14th. It may be possible spot the manned Shenzhou 11 in orbit after launch on Oct 16th as it chases the station before docking. 


11. Mercury visible in morning sky from late Sep to Mid Oct - See Stardust for details


12. Stargazing at Silent Valley, Mourne Mountains, 8 October: This event has been canceled, due to circumstances outside our control. It may be re-arranged for some later date.


13. Armagh Observatory event at Beaghmore Stone Circles, Co Tyrone, 15 October. More details later.


14. Mayo Dark Sky Festival, 27-30 October, Update Mayo Dark Sky Festival website They now have an official IDA Gold Tier Dark Sky Park award for this site in Mayo see

TIME TO REGISTER NOW: Time to pre-register for the upcoming Mayo Dark Sky Festival in Newport County Mayo 28-30 October! By pre-registering (no payment necessary) your itinerary, programme and tickets will all be ready for you at the Fast Track Desk in Hotel Newport before the start of the festival and can be done at…/1FAIpQLSdi0O5j3U8VgQ7hDp…/viewform   

15. Science Week Ireland 13 - 20 November; see for more details.

16: Gravitational Waves; A New Astronomy, Monday, 21 November 2016 from 18:30 to 20:00 (GMT), Theatre D (ICON Theatre), UCD Science Hub, UCD, Belfield.

17. IAA Subscriptions now overdue: You can pay by Paypal via the IAA website 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.

18: IAA NEW YEAR PARTY - 7 January. More details later.

19. Galway Astrofest, 28 January. Another top programme of events is already lined up. More details later, but save the date now.

20. IAA Telescopes for loan: The IAA has telescopes available to borrow, for any paid up member Enquiries to David Stewart or Andy McCrea

21: Interesting weblinks:

ASTROPHYSICS: Our galaxy's oddest star is even odder! 




SOLAR SYSTEM: Amazing photo, but actually the rings aren't massive at all - their total mass is only around that of one of the small moons. Emmmm, Titan and Enceladus are moons of Saturn, not Jupiter!


SPACE: It couldn't be part of Tiang-gong 1, as it never comes this far North I'm sure that there will be no lack of volunteers. And as for 'remaining in close proximity' - a large bungee should do the trick.....

Huge Space Telescope could be assembled by robots

Looks very interesting. But this edited report may be misleading in 2 ways -- How can a 20m diameter shield keep the Sun off a 100m diameter mirror? And how can a space assembled telescope be 'heavier' than one on Earth?


22. TWITTER Follow the IAA on Twitter: @IaaAstro.


23. 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

Clear skies,

Terry Moseley

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