Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Lecture & AGM, DarkSky Mayo, Lyrids, ISS, High-ResMoon, EarthDay, ITT 25th Anniv Event, Star Wars Day

Hi all,
1. IAA LECTURE & AGM,  Wed 18 April, 7.30 p.m.
The AGM will comprise the usual reports, presentation of accounts, and election of President, officers, and other Council members. This year we are lucky in that the AGM coincides with a major solar conference being held by the Astrophysics Research Centre at QUB, and thanks to Prof Mihalis Mathioudakis of QUB, we have a bonus feature – a lecture by a visiting top European Solar Physicist!
   For various time and logistical reasons that will be the first event of the evening, starting at 7.30 sharp. That will then be followed by the AGM itself, commencing at about 8.15
LECTURE: "The Eye of the Giant: Solving the Sun's mysteries with the European Solar Telescope" by Dr Ada Ortiz Carbonell.   ABSTRACT: Let's be honest: the Sun, when compared to other stars, is a pretty mediocre star. It is not very big, it is not very small. It is not very hot, it is not very cold. And it is in the middle of its life. But it is our own star, the one that gives us light and warmth, the star that gives us life. Life in planet Earth would not be possible without our Sun. In this talk we will travel through the wonders of our very own nuclear reactor. I will talk about how Earth — and indeed all of us — interacts with the Sun, about the so-called Space Weather, about the internal workings of the star and about what we still do not know about it. After one hundred years since the discovery of magnetic field in the Sun by George Ellery Hale, still many questions remain unanswered. In this context, the European Solar Telescope mega-project will help scientists to extract the smallest details of the Sun's atmosphere and, hopefully, to give an answer to some of the long standing mysteries that surround the Sun. I will end the talk by giving a first hand insight on this 4-meter class European solar telescope that will use tomorrow's technology to bring the Sun a little bit closer to us.
     Doors open about 7.10 pm. 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 18 April, 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.
(Thanks to the Astrophysics Research Centre, QUB, for facilitating this lecture)
2. International Dark Sky Week, 15 – 20 April – Free Events in Mayor Centre)
* Sunday 15th April, 7.30 p.m., Ballycroy National Park (Visitors centre)
"Dark Skies in Mayo; an Asset worth protecting"
* Monday 16th April 8pm - HOTEL NEWPORT
LYNDA HUXLEY Swift Conservation Ireland - Amazing Swifts!
* Tuesday 17th April 8pm - HOTEL NEWPORT
DEREK DEMPSEY of Newport Astronomy Club
"Longitude - Astronomers vs Clockmakers"
* Wednesday 18th April (Lunchtime)- GMIT Mayo, Castlebar
AND Wednesday 18th 8pm - MULRANNY
Natalie Marr, Artist & PhD Student University of Glasgow
* Thursday 19th April 7.30pm - CÉIDE FIELDS Visitor Centre
Dr. Frank Prendergast; 'A Tale of 3 Circles'— Ceremonial Space
and Dark Sky in Prehistoric Ireland
* Friday 20th April 8pm - BELMULLET OLD CHURCH
Brian Wilson - Astrophotography in Mayo
Dan O'Donoghue - Stories & Magic by Candlelight
3. LYRIDS: The Lyrid meteors will peak on the evening of 22-23 April, with little interference from Moonlight. The radiant is not far from Vega, and in good conditions you might see 15-20 meteors per hour with the radiant high up.
4. ISS The ISS will commence a new series of morning passes over Ireland on 6 May, and this will later transition into evening passes which will continue until 6 June.
5. HIGH – RES TOUR of LUNAR HIGHLIGHTS: This is so good it gets a special place here: Among other views, it zooms in to show not just the Apollo 17 Lunar Module base, but the Rover, and all the vehicle tracks. So will the Moon-Landing Deniers concede they're wrong? Not a chance – facts are irrelevant when you've already made up your mind.
6. HEAVENS ABOVE PHOTO EXHIBITION. The IAA's highly rated astrophoto exhibition "Heavens Above" has finished its final and very popular run at Belfast City Hospital. Thanks again to Bernie Brown for arranging all the venues, and setting them up. Some of the photos will soon be on permanent display in the Astrophysics Research Centre in QUB, and we hope to find suitable permanent locations for the others. More information when available.
7. Global Astronomy Month, April 2018
Date: April 2018. Location: All around the world. More information: 
8. Earth Day: 21 April
9. IT Tallaght IT, Wed 25 April, 19.00 – 20.30  25th Anniversary Event titled "The Citizen and Space".  Format: Four short inspirational talks: (light refreshments after the talks)
   1) Ian Boran, Science Teacher on how Tallaght Community School connected live with The International Space Station in October 2017
   2) Darren O'Sullivan, Teacher in Templeogue College on his students running software on The International Space Station in 2018 as part of Astro-Pi 
   3) Lána Salmon, PhD student at UCD regarding her team developing Ireland's first satellite called EIRSAT-1 with an anticipated launch in 2020
   4) Kevin Nolan, Lecturer at IT Tallaght will talk about what Ireland's imminent membership of the European Southern Observatory (ESO) will mean for the next generation of scientists and engineers.
  Venue: Theatre 025, Main Building, IT Tallaght, Belgard Rd, Tallaght, Dublin 24.
   Free, family friendly event, no booking required - just turn up on the evening
Details (from 18th April) also posted on Contacts for outstanding queries (no contact necessary to attend):, and
10. STAR WARS DAY: 4 May.
11.Dark Skies project: deadline 11 May
Dark Skies Rangers Contest: Creating awareness about the importance of the protection of our dark skies is the main goal of the Dark Skies Rangers project, a joint effort from the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (USA) and NUCLIO (Portugal). The project runs two contests annually where students (ranging from 5 to 10 years old) around the world are invited to think creatively about light pollution and submit drawings to raise awareness. The submissions must be sent by 11 May 2018. Find out more about the project here:
12. International Day of Light – Call for astronomy programs
UNESCO will inaugurate the first International Day of Light at their headquarters in Paris, France, on 16 May 2018. The many events taking place worldwide on this day aim to raise awareness of both the many ways that light impacts modern society, and of how advances in light-based science and technology can help us achieve educational and sustainable development goals. In addition to encouraging you to take part in these events, we're calling out to all organisers of astronomy-related events around the world so we can highlight your activities through our channels. If you're planning any International Day of Light activities related to astronomy, please let us know via
13. National Schools' Observatory  Inquiry-Based Science Projects for Astronomy Students
Launched in 2004, the National Schools' Observatory (NSO) provides free access to the two-metre Liverpool Telescope for school students and teachers throughout the UK and Ireland, and reduced access to anyone worldwide. It currently has over 4,000 users regularly engaging with the website resources and over 125,000 telescope observations requested since inception. As part of these resources, the NSO has developed an extended research activity on open clusters providing students with background material, research-grade data and instructions allowing them to produce their own Colour-Magnitude (or Hertzsprung-Russell) diagrams. Students are then encouraged to upload and discuss their results within a forum.  Find the start page of the activity here
14. Globe at Night Campaigns
Globe at Night is an international citizen-science campaign to raise public awareness of the impact of light pollution by inviting citizen-scientists to measure night-sky brightness and submit their observations. It's easy to get involved—all you need is a computer or smartphone. Don't miss any of the ongoing Globe at Night 2018 campaigns at
15. International Day of Light: 16 May 2018. Around the world. More Information: A good opportunity to highlight (!) light-pollution! And promote Earth Hour as well.
Register your event by filling out the form:

16. Solarfest, Dunsink Observatory, Dublin, 15-17 June (main event on 16th)
17. IAA Midsummer BBQ, 23 June (tbc)
18. Asteroid Day: 30 June 2018: Around the world More Information:
19. International Planetarium Society,  1–6 July 2018, Toulouse, France. More Information:  
Advance Notice:
20. 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: 
21. Festival of Curiosity, Dublin: 19 – 22 July.
22. SOLAR ECLIPSE CONFERENCE, 2018. We are happy to announce that it's now possible to register for the
Solar Eclipse Conference 2018 which will take place from August 2nd to August 5th in Genk (Belgium)!
Those who decide now can enjoy an early bird discount (€ 190,- instead of € 220,- for the full congress). Day tickets are also available (€ 75,00 per day).
   We've also got 5 partner hotels. Book your stay by clicking on the link on our website and receive the special SEC2018 rate.
   To view the lecture schedule or to purchase tickets, please visit our web site: <>.
23. 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!
24. The professional astronomy conference European Planetary Science Congress 2018 (EPSC) will be held from September 16 to September 21, 2018 in Berlin, Germany. This yearly conference gives an inspiring insight of the latest discoveries and the current status of Solar System astronomy and planetary science and welcomes the participation of amateur astronomers.
In particular the AM1 session "Professional-amateur collaborations in small bodies, terrestrial, giant and exo planets studies" and the AM2 session "Juno Ground-Based Support from Amateurs" are organized by amateur astronomers together with professionals and are open to presentations by amateurs. We invite you to actively participate to these sessions by contributing a paper (fill in the abstract submission form in the  "Amateur Astronomy" program group, deadline May 16th, 2018) and/or to exchange views and ideas with other amateur and professional astronomers. Contributions will be oral talks and poster contributions. The language at the meeting will be English for all presentations.
Please note that this year EUROPLANET-2020 will provide budget to support amateurs from European countries. This budget will be allocated to in priority to active contributors (with oral or poster contributions, selected considering their scientific value and promoting diversity of participants from different countries). Depending on the budget left, amateurs only attending to the conference could also be (partially) funded (if you are interested, please let me know).
Please feel free to circulate this message to all those who might be interested in the event. Looking forward your contribution or participation, Marc Delcroix and Ricardo Hueso, SOC members of EPSC2018 AM program
25.  Space Generation Congress (SGC): 27-29 September 2018: Bremen, Germany  
More Information: 

26. International Astronautical Congress. 1 – 5 October 2018.  Bremen, Germany 
More Information:
27. World Space Week 2018: 4-10 October 2018: 

28.  International Observe the Moon Night: 20 October 2018:  
29: Mayo Dark Sky Festival, 2-4 November FACEBOOK:
30. 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]
31. Starmus V — Star-studded Lineup for 2019  
Created by Garik Israelian, a researcher at the Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands (IAC), the Starmus Festival is a combination of science, art and music that has featured presentations from astronauts, cosmonauts, Nobel Prize winners and other prominent figures from science, culture, the arts and music. Now celebrating its fifth year, and timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Moon landings, Starmus V will take place in Bern, Switzerland, from 24 to 29 June 2019. The IAU is a partner organisation of Starmus and among the confirmed speakers will be IAU Secretary General, Piero Benvenuti, and IAU President-elect, Ewine van Dishoeck.  IAU announcement: 
32. 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.
Sterile neutrino found? May be direct evidence for Dark Matter?
Searching for the background 'hum' of Gravitational Waves
50th anniversary of "2001 A Space Odyssey": I'll never forget seeing the premier in the Odeon in Leicester Sq in London, with Patrick Moore – it had just had Quad Dolby Surround Sound installed, and it was a brand new print, and the sound and visual effects were mind-blowing! Still one of the best SF films ever made!
The Southern Milky Way spirals across the sky in an amazing montage! Look for the Large and Small Magellanic clouds at the top right, the latter disappearing behind trees in later images.
HST images giant (and massive) galaxy cluster
Space Billionaires battle heats up – Bezos' Blue Origins to launch human next year
Telescopes, Instruments, Outreach etc.
UFOs, Aliens, Raptures, etc There is about as much evidence for Nibiru as there is evidence that these conspiracy theorists, Rapturists etc have brains. And
33. TWITTER Follow the IAA on Twitter: @IaaAstro.
34. 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 .
The Irish Astronomical Association is registered with The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland NIC 105858
DISCLAIMER: Any views expressed herein are mine, and do not necessarily represent those of the IAA.
Clear skies,
Terry Moseley


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