Friday, 19 January 2018

Top-rate Cassini lecture, job opening, Galway astrofest, ISS, NI Science festival, QUB honoured, UFOs not, ESO, Weblinks

Hi all,
1. IAA LECTURE,  Wed 24 January, 7.30 p.m. "The Cassini Mission: The End of an Era ." By Prof Carl Murray, UCL.
    Prof Carl Murray (Queen Mary, Univ of London) is originally from Belfast, and in fact he credits the IAA with fostering his interest in astronomy, which led to him reaching the position of one of the top planetary scientists in the UK! See
   Professor  Murray was the sole UK member of the Cassini imaging team.
We are delighted to welcome him back again to give us another one of his superb lectures
   Synopsis: "The Cassini-Huygens mission to the Saturn system ended on 15th September 2017 when, the Cassini spacecraft was deliberately sent into the atmosphere of the planet and destroyed.  It was one of the most successful planetary missions ever launched.
   As a member of the Cassini Imaging Team, Prof Carl Murray has been directly involved in the mission from its inception and has been using Cassini images to study Saturn's rings and their interaction with small moons.
   In this lecture Prof Murray will give an insider's view of the mission's incredible successes and talk about his experiences exploring Saturn with Cassini.
   As a member of the Cassini Imaging Team, Prof Carl Murray has been directly involved in the mission from its inception and has been using Cassini images to study Saturn's rings and their interaction with small moons.
   In this lecture Prof Murray will give an insider's view of the mission's incredible successes and talk about his experiences exploring Saturn with Cassini."

See for some latest news and images

    Doors open about 7.15pm. There is free parking available on the campus in the evenings. Admission Free, including light refreshments. We are located in the Bell Theatre, Department of Mathematics and Physics, QUB
Wed 24 January, 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. JOB OPPORTUNITY: Education Development & Outreach Officer for immediate start at CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory, Cork. The successful candidate will work with the Cork Institute of Technology Head of Research, BCO Centre Head, members of the CIT Faculty of Engineering and with the BCO Science Education Officer to deliver and develop space themed materials for learners of all ages.The ideal candidate will have a keen interest in science communication, education and astronomy and a relevant scientific background. A key part of the role is to encourage schools and the public to get involved in and interact with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths). The candidate will coordinate, organise and participate in a wide range of activities locally, nationally and internationally, working together with BCO Education & Management Teams, BCO Labs researchers and external partners.The Education Development & Outreach Officer role will require engagement with a variety of stakeholders (researchers, science communicators, policy makers, schools, media and the public) using a variety of initiatives. The role will also involve developing a plan for engagement and participating in funding bids to sustain the activity into the future. Read the full job description here: Education Development & Outreach OfficerThe closing date for applications is Friday February 2, 2018 at 5pm. To apply: Send your CV and a cover letter to Clair McSweeney at

3. Galway Astrofest: Friday - Saturday 26 - 27 January 2018.  
An excellent programme as usual. Note the change of venue to the harbour Hotel in the city centre. Click here for the festival brochure:…/festival%20flyer%202018.pdf…

4. ISS.  A new series of evening passes will begin on 27 January.  Details for your own location, along with lots more information such as Iridium Flares, at
5. NI Science festival, 15 – 25 February
Highlights from our point of view is the appearance by astronaut, Chris Hadfield. See the full programme at

6. QUB Astronomers honoured by Royal Astronomical Society
The Fowler Award (G) is awarded to: Dr David Jess, and George Darwin Lecturer (A) will be: Professor Stephen Smartt, both of the Astrophysics Research Centre, Queen's University Belfast

7. Excellent Expose of UFO documentary claims

8. Ireland's bid to join ESO is underway.
Please see below the update on the ESO negotiations from the ESO contact group.
    "We are very pleased to announce that formal negotiations began last Thursday (January 11 2018) between ESO and the Ireland, with the aim of Ireland becoming the 16th ESO member state on October 1, 2018.
The meeting included delegates from the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, delegates from ESO lead by the Director General Prof Xavier Barcons, and representatives from the Irish astronomical community (Prof Paul Callanan UCC and Prof Tom Ray DIAS). Everyone is very hopeful for a timely and positive conclusion of the negotiations over the next few months."

*IAU C1 Exobiology WS - Astrobiology Introductory Course'18, 4-10 March. The third session of the Astrobiology Introductory Course will be held from 4 to 10 March 2018 at the Ornithological Reserve of le Teich (33, France). Courses are designed for students preparing their PhD thesis in Astronomy, Geology, Chemistry, Biology, or History/Philosophy of science and any students wishing to acquire interdisciplinary training in astrobiology to complete their initial training and to be able to address questions about the origins of life, its terrestrial evolution, and its distribution in the Universe. The deadline for applications is January 15th, 2018. For program and registration, please see the website: 
*European Week of Astronomy and Space Sciences (EWASS2018).  This will be in Liverpool, from 3 to 8 April 2018. See and
* International Day of Light, 16 May 2018.    Plan ahead and register your event in the official International Day of Light 2018 calendar! Following the highly successful International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies in 2015, May 16th, the International Day of Light, will provide an annual focal point for the continued appreciation of the central role that light plays in the lives of the citizens of the world. The broad theme of light allows many different sectors of society to participate in activities to raise awareness of science and technology, art and culture, and their importance in achieving the goals of UNESCO — education, equality and peace. 
   A good opportunity to highlight (!) light-pollution! And promote Earth Hour as well.
Register your event by filling out the form:
* International Planetarium Society,  1–6 July 2018, Toulouse, France. More Information:  
* Robotic Telescopes, Student Research and Education (RTSRE) & InterNational Astronomy Teaching Summit Conferences, 23-27 July 2018. The 2nd annual Conference on Robotic Telescopes, Student Research and Education (RTSRE) will be held in Hilo, Hawai'i from July 23-25, 2018. This conference series focuses on building a sustainable community around the educational, technical, and student research uses of robotic telescopes. The conference will be co-located with the interNational Astronomy Teaching Summit (iNATS) from July 25-27, 2018 providing worldwide networking opportunities and hands-on workshops designed to expand educators' teaching strategy toolkit designed for innovative astronomy professors, teachers, and outreach professionals.  Find more information here: 
Inspiring Stars—the IAU Inclusive World Exhibition, 20-31 August 2018
"Inspiring Stars" will be an itinerant international exhibition promoted by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) to disseminate world efforts on inclusive research and outreach activities in astronomy. This inclusive world exhibition by showcasing assistive research tools and best inclusive outreach practices intends to broaden the horizons of children, parents, teachers and astronomers—everybody can become a scientist (astronomer)—inspiring the love for science in young people's minds. 
The exhibition will premiere during the IAU General Assembly 2018 in Vienna, from 20–31 August and will be shown around the world. Stay tuned as we keep you posted on all the progress of this IAU not-to-be-missed project for 2018! 
Centenary of IAU in 2019:  IAU100: Uniting our World to Explore the Universe
In 2019, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) will celebrate its 100th anniversary. To commemorate this milestone, the IAU will organize a year-long celebration to expand awareness of a century of astronomical discoveries as well as to support and improve the use of astronomy as a tool for education, development, and diplomacy under the central theme "Uniting our World to Explore the Universe". The celebrations will stimulate worldwide interest in astronomy and science and will reach out to the global astronomical community, national science organizations and societies, policy-makers, students and families, and the general public.
   For any inquiries, please contact Jorge Rivero González, the IAU100 Coordinator at: rivero[at]
 10. Interesting Weblinks (Disclaimer - Use of material herein from various sources does not imply approval or otherwise of the opinions, political or otherwise, of those sources).  NB: If the title in the weblink does not indicate the subject matter, I give a brief simple intro before the link. I may also comment about the link afterwards.
Fly to and through the Orion Nebula
Swarm of hydrogen clouds fleeing the MW bulge -
HST spots very ancient galaxy through gravitational lens
HST and the 3 million billion solar mass galaxy cluster!
Whirlpool rotation found in earliest galaxies
Earth & Moon NB, it did not 'cause' an earthquake, but the shockwave it produced was equivalent to a mag 2.0 earthquake.
Solar System

The storms of Jupiter

Turbulent winds explain Martian mountain mystery

Swift Space Mission spies extreme comet spin change



Telescopes, Instruments, Techniques etc
New space telescope to study nearby stars

UFO's, Conspiracy Theories etc I say that there's no such thing as Conspiracy Theorists. They are just made up by the media to give them something to talk about. After all, if we just accepted all the science that has been proved beyond any reasonable shadow of doubt, then they wouldn't be able to 'stir it up' by proposing alternative views. Thus the existence of Conspiracy Theorists is itself a Conspiracy Theory. If only…../
10. TWITTER Follow the IAA on Twitter: @IaaAstro.
11. JOINING the IRISH ASTRONOMICAL ASSOCIATION. 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