Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Lectures, Photo exhib, SAN, Obs nights, ISS, Venus, SWI events, Space events

Hi all,


1. IAA Public Lecture Meeting, Wed 16 November;  "Beginners Astrophotography", by IAA President Paul Evans; and "The Space Academy" by IAA Council Member/schools Officer learn Edwards. This meeting is aimed at newcomers/beginners. Eleanor will then describe her involvement with the UK's Space Academy, and how it relates to teaching astronomy and space science in schools.

Paul's talk will cover everything you need to know about getting started in astrophotography, using just your camera, and leading on to simple imaging through a telescope.    TIME: 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. Heavens Above: AstroPhoto Exhibition, Antrim. We're delighted to announce that local photographs feature in a further series of exhibitions, at venues including Clotworthy Arts Centre 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!

You can get directions here 


3. "SuperMoon": Did you see it?

The Full Moon on 14 Nov, at 11.21, was the closest perigee during the period 1990 to 2034, and the closest 'SuperMoon' since 1948. In spite of pessimistic weather forecasts, many members saw and imaged it. Send in your best photos to the website

4. The Sky At Night: The SAN will be showing 'Life on Mars' on BBC FOUR on Thur Nov.17 at 7:30pm.


5. IAA Observing Evenings, Delamont Country Park, Killyleagh, Co Down:

Next sessions: 18-19 Nov . Check IAA website, for details.


6. ISS The International Space Station continues its series of morning passes over Ireland until Nov 20. Details for your location, along with lots of other useful information on space and astronomy on the excellent free site This new link may also help 


7. Venus is now becoming more readily visible in the early evening twilight as it moves out from the Sun, and the angle of the ecliptic gradually improves for us in these latitudes. The crescent moon will lie 10 deg above right of Venus on the evening of 2 Dec, and 5 deg 21' above it on the next evening.


8. 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


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

10: MAC Event, Athlone, 19 Nov: MAC will be holding a free outreach event in conduction with science week in the Athlone Castle on Nov 19th at 8pm until 11pm, with this we will have some off the clubs scopes set up on the courtyard and there will be an open air lecture. Stephen from K-Tec Telescopes will be there so anyone that is intending or purchasing a scope for Xmas etc. He will answer any questions and point you in the right direction. This is a free event and open to all ages so if you are going to attend please wrap up warm especially if you are bringing kids. The coffee shop in the Castle will be open if you require some warm drinks. Hope to see you there and if you have any question please feel free to get in touch.
Thanks and clear skies, Jason Fallon; Midlands Astronomy Club. T. +353 (0)87 1220723

11. 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.

12. Lecture, 23 Nov: Is there Life in Outer Space?  A talk given by Dr. John Butler (formerly of Armagh Observatory) of the County Armagh Wildlife Society  is entitled "Is there life in Outer Space?" and is being held at 8.00 pm on Wednesday 23rd November in Armagh County Museum, The Mall East, Armagh. All are welcome and the event is free of charge.

13. Newport Astronomy Society: Next talk is Tuesday 29th November, upstairs in the Grainne Uaile Pub, Newport at 8pm. Topic: 'The Drake Equation and the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence' by Derek Dempsey - admission FREE - everyone welcome! #mayodarkskies

14. 13th JL Synge Public Lecture, 1 December: "The Birth of the Universe" by Professor George Efstathiou, FRS. (Professor of Astrophysics at the University of Cambridge and the first Director of the Kavli Institute of Cosmology at Cambridge). The School of Mathematics of Trinity College Dublin cordially invite you to the above lecture and to the wine reception after the lecture.
  Venue: MacNeill Lecture Theatre 3, Hamilton Building, Trinity College Dublin, Date: Thursday 1st December, Time: 7.30pm. 
RSVP to Emma Clancy ( or 01 896 1949)
not later than Friday 25th of November

15. IAA Public Astronomy Outreach Event, Cullyhanna, Co Armagh, 4 December, at 5 p.m. More details later, but mark your diaries now.

16. 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:!_programme

17. ESO Astronomy Camp Date: 26 December 2016 to 1 January 2017; Location: Aosta Valley, Italy. More information:

18. IAA Subscriptions now overdue:  Your Last chance to pay! Any members who have not renewed their subscriptions by the time the next issue of STARDUST is being sent out will be deemed to have lapsed, and will not receive that or any further issues. 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.

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

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

21. FUTURE EVENTS ALERT: Note the dates:

N.I. Science Festival: 16 - 26 February

COSMOS 2017: 31/3 to 02/04. Athlone.

SSP: Major Event: The International Space Studies Programme (SSP) will be coming to Ireland next year. It will be based at Cork Institute of Technology, running from 26 June to 25 August.

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

23: Interesting Weblinks:

ASTROPHYSICS: Now, what colour is the Dark Matter????

Sculpting new solar systems: and 


COSMOLOGY: and (worth reading for some other ideas) and 

New theory of gravity, and Comments by others -

It's premature to compare Verlinde to Einstein. This paper is critiqued as being vague and for a lack of proposed experimental validation. See the fourth paragraph of this physics blog post for a contrary view:  The responses in this blog post by practicing physicists indicate a mix of vague interest and skepticism. 


EARTH & MOON I'm not sure just what he means, but if he's right, the great majority of mankind is doomed, because we couldn't terraform Mars inside 1,000 years, and without that you could only have a population of a few hundred thousand, or a million at most, living on Mars in artificial biomes.


SETI Benign intelligent robots would be preferable to many humans!



Meteorites reveal longlasting drought on Mars and 

Equatorial jet-stream in Saturn's atmosphere 

Funnel on Mars good place to look for life  and 

Comet C-G is much younger than thought: 



TELESCOPES, equipment, etc: Sometimes they have left out the 1 in 13.5 billion, so it reads '3.5 billion'. Small but very significant mistake!
UFO's Aliens, Conspiracy Theories, etc: They are only disturbing if you believe them, and for that you have to suspend all your critical faculties!
24. TWITTER Follow the IAA on Twitter: @IaaAstro.


25. 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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