1. IAA Public Lecture Meeting, 2 November; "How We Tell The Time", by Dr David Malone, NUIM. The connection between astronomy and time is as old as astronomy itself, since the day and the year are determined astronomically, and the month has an obvious astronomical connection. But do you know that there are 5 different times for the length of a month, and of a year? And at least 20 different ways of measuring time itself? (AST, ET, DST, GMAT, GMT, GST, JD, LST, LST(2), MJD, MST, ST, TAI, TCB, TDB, TDT, TT, UT, UT1 and UTC. And you also have to allow for Delta T! And measurements must be made with respect to ICRF2 And, of course, it's all relative!
But don't worry - the talk won't be addressing all those, and it will be at a simple ad popular level.
Why are there so many different 'types' of time, what are they used for (some are now obsolete, BTW), and how do we measure time anyway?
This lecture will throw some light on something we take for granted, but is in fact far from simple
TIME (BST or DST!): 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. http://irishastro.org.uk/
2. Lecture: "Babylonian Astronomy and Modern Science", 27 October, 7.30 p.m. in the Armagh County Museum, The Mall East, Armagh.
The Armagh Natural History and Philosophical Society (ANHPS) is hosting a free event at 7.30pm on Thursday 27th October in the Armagh County Museum, in memory of Dr Denis Gerard McCartan (1944–2014), a distinguished former pupil of St Patrick's College (now St. Patrick's Grammar School), Armagh. The event will begin with a short introduction to Gerard McCartan by family members, followed by an illustrated talk on "Babylonian Astronomy and Modern Science" by Professor Richard Stephenson, Emeritus Professor in the Department of Physics, Durham University. Professor Stephenson's main research interests are in Applied Historical Astronomy.
3. Intergenerational Astronomy Talk, Friday 28th October 2016, 11.00am, Millennium Court Arts Centre, Portadown, .
"Earth's Place in Space: Discovering Humanity's Shared Celestial Heritage", by
Professor Mark E. Bailey, Emeritus Director of Armagh Observatory
Summary: Astronomy is the oldest science, stretching back more than 5,000 years to the erection of monuments such as Stonehenge and Newgrange, many of which contain remarkably precise astronomical alignments. This illustrated talk, which is linked to Dr Aisling O'Beirn's exhibition "Another Day in Futile
Battle Against the 2nd Law" (October 8 to November 23) and to Armagh Observatory's set of "From Earth To The Universe" (FETTU) posters is intended for a general audience. It takes you on a journey from Earth,
through the Solar System, past nearby stars and our own Milky Way Galaxy, to the most distant parts of the known Universe until we reach the "Big Bang", the accepted start of our known Universe some 14 billion years ago. The talk will also cover the work and recent discoveries of the Armagh Astronomers; the principal parts of our Solar System; and the sizes and relative distances of the planets and nearby stars.
4. IAA Honour for Yours Truly: In a moment of madness at the last IAA Council Meeting they voted (in my temporary absence) to make me an 'Honorary Life Member'. I can't really put into words how much I appreciate the honour, and it's quite humbling in a way, in that I'm only doing what I enjoy doing - promoting astronomy to as many people as possible. Thank you all very much, and I'll try to keep on doing what I'm doing for as long as possible.
5. Mayo Dark Sky Festival, 27-30 October. Mayo Dark Sky Festival website https://mayodarkskyfestival.
Additional Item: Lorraine Hanlon of UCD Physics and Elaine O Boyle of UCD Parity Studios are planning a wonderful presentation to end the Mayo Dark Sky Festival - DON'T MISS IT (3:30pm Sunday 30 Oct in Hotel Newport)!... "Dancing with the Stars - A Voyage Through the Galaxy":
Synopsis: Planet Earth orbits a star that is one of many stars in the Milky Way galaxy. We know from observations that the Milky Way is also home to planets around other stars, black holes (including a giant one at the centre of the galaxy) and lots of gas and dust. But most of our galaxy's mass is in the form of 'dark matter' that is invisible to us.
An amazing European satellite called 'Gaia' is making the best ever map of the Milky Way to help us understand how the galaxy formed and what it is made of.
In this presentation we will go on an illustrated journey through the Milky Way, exploring its shape, size and evolution and finding out why Gaia's survey of the stars is revolutionising astronomy."
Those of you with a smartphone may wish to download our festival app to get the latest updates on events, speaker biographies etc. This app (from Zwoor.com) will also send out alerts if there are any last minute changes to scheduled events (I'm thinking particularly of the Friday and Saturday observing sessions, which are of course weather dependent). The link to the app is - http://e.zwoor.com/MDSF2016 and it's available for Android and iPhone (the app is free and has no ads, you'll be glad to hear!)
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 https://docs.google.com/forms/
6. Causeway U3A Astro Interest Group Lecture: "Our Sun: friend or Foe?" by Terry Moseley. Agherton Parish Centre, Portstewart, 2 p.m., Monday 7 November. Open to non AIG members for £3.00 - payable at the door. Non members only - please email (firstname.lastname@example.org) by Thursday 3rd November if you plan to attend.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 www.irishastronomy.org). The pdf contains extra pages with various useful tables of data. Grab your copy of the 2017 calendar now at https://www.dropbox.com/s/
8. AstroPhoto Exhibition, Antrim, 9 December. We're delighted to announce that all the local photographs in this exhibition will feature in a further series of exhibitions, at venues including Clotworthy House in Antrim, and the Island Arts Centre in Lisburn.
The Clotworthy Arts Centre will be hosting the event from 9 November until 3 December. Free admission. A MUST SEE! http://www.
10: 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.
11. Fly A Rocket: The European Space Agency is looking for students for its new "Fly a Rocket!" programme. ESA's Education Office is looking for twenty students to participate in an online course about rocketry. Following completion of the course, the students will have the opportunity to take part in a full launch campaign at the Andoya Space Center in Northern Norway, and to launch a rocket. The course is aimed at younger university students, and it is accepting applications from education, media, and management students, showing that careers in the space sector do not necessarily require a detailed technical or mathematical background. Learn more about the program here: http://www.esa.int/Education/
12. ESO Astronomy Camp Date: 26 December 2016 to 1 January 2017; Location: Aosta Valley, Italy. More information: http://www.eso.org/public/
13. IAA Subscriptions now overdue: You can pay by Paypal via the IAA website www.irishastro.org. 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.
14: IAA NEW YEAR PARTY - 7 January. More details later.
15. Galway Astrofest, 28 January. Another top programme of events is already lined up. More details later, but save the date now.
16. The 2017 TSE in USA: Online course about 2017 Eclipse. On August 21, 2017, the United States of America (USA) will experience the first total eclipse of the Sun visible in the continental territory in almost 40 years. The total eclipse will only be visible within a narrow band, and everyone in North America located outside this band will see a partial solar eclipse. On 15 October 2016 the US National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) is promoting the virtual conference "The Total Solar Eclipse of 2017 — Are You and Your Students Ready for the Sky Event of the Decade?". This course is open to international participants for a fee. There is a free booklet (in PDF format) about the eclipse and safe viewing, from NSTA's recently published book Solar Science, and it can be found here: http://bit.ly/2bkGSvA . Find out more about this online course here: http://learningcenter.
18: Interesting Weblinks
Largest image ever taken of Andromeda Galaxy: https://www.facebook.com/
Eta Carina's raging winds https://www.sciencedaily.com/
Unexplained activity in distant stars https://www.sciencedaily.com/
Oldest known planet-forming disc discovered https://www.sciencedaily.com/
Did LIGO detect Black Holes or Gravastars? https://www.sciencedaily.com/
EARTH - MOON
Preferentially Earth-sized planets with lots of water: https://www.sciencedaily.com/
Possible clouds on Pluto? https://www.sciencedaily.com/
How water escapes or stays on Mars: https://www.sciencedaily.com/
Microbial life on Mars? https://www.
Curious tilt of the Sun? https://www.sciencedaily.com/
19. TWITTER Follow the IAA on Twitter: @IaaAstro.
20. JOINING the IRISH ASTRONOMICAL ASSOCIATION is easy: This link downloads a Word document to join the IAA. http://documents.irishastro.
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.