Thursday, 12 April 2018

Lecture + AGM, Inspire Space's Yuri's Night, COSMOS 2018, Dark Sky Week in Mayo, Amazing tour of Moon, more...

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. Inspire Space Yuri's Night Event, Thursday April 12, 19:00, Russell Court Hotel, Dublin 2. Cost is €8 to cover venue hire, but any profits will go toward Irish students who wish to attend the International Space University . If you are brave enough to come dressed up in something "spacey" - there may be prizes for the best dressed!!
   If you know anyone who would be interested please do let them know. Unfortunately we have to charge in for this event - the info and tickets can be found here:
3. Yuri's Night,  Date: 12 April,  All around the world. More information:
4. COSMOS 2018, Shamrock Lodge Hotel, Athlone, 13-15 April. More details on  and
Friday April 13th from 17.30 - Registration
Mr Declan Molloy (MAC) 20:00 - Lecture "An Alien Ate my Lunch" (kids)
Saturday 14th from 09:30 - Registration
Opening address by MAC Chairperson 10:15 Mr Ivan Merick
Mr Jonathan Mackey 10:30 – "Shaping of bright gas nebulae by massive stars"
Mr Terry Moseley 12:00 – "OUR SUN: Friend or Foe"
LUNCH 13:15
Rocket Launch 13:45
Mr Kevin Nolan 14:45 – "Big Data, Big Universe"
Mr Emmet Mordaunt 16:15 – "Galileo: Hero or Heretic"
Sunday 15th from 10:30 - Registration
Mr Cormac O'Raifeartaigh 11:00 - Lecture "Einstein, Hawking and the Big Bang"
 Mr Michael Gibbons 13:00 – Lecture "The Astronomical Alignment of Newgrange"
5. 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
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. Global Astronomy Month, April 2018
Date: April 2018. Location: All around the world. More information: 
9. Earth Day: 21 April
10. Tallaght IT has now rescheduled their "The Citizen and Space" evening for April 25th.
11. STAR WARS DAY: 4 May.
12.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:
13. 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
14. 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
15. 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
16. 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:

17. Solarfest, Dunsink Observatory, Dublin, 15-17 June (main event on 16th)
18. IAA Midsummer BBQ, 23 June (tbc)
19. Asteroid Day: 30 June 2018: Around the world More Information:
20. International Planetarium Society,  1–6 July 2018, Toulouse, France. More Information:  
Advance Notice:
21. 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: 
22. Festival of Curiosity, Dublin: 19 – 22 July.
23. 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: <>.
24. 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!
25. 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
26.  Space Generation Congress (SGC): 27-29 September 2018: Bremen, Germany  
More Information: 

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

29.  International Observe the Moon Night: 20 October 2018:  
30: Mayo Dark Sky Festival, 2-4 November FACEBOOK:
31. 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]
32. 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: 
33. 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.
HST spots most distant star yet, via gravitational lensing:
Gravitational waves forged by BHs in centre of most galaxies:
'Dead' Neutron star is circled by ring of light:
Cosmic magnetic fields are amazingly ordered
HST makes precise measurement of distance to ancient globular cluster An amazing feat of measurement. But I wonder just how true it is to say that all the stars in a GC have the same age? Even if all the original stars in a GC formed at approximately the same time, the most massive early stars must have gone supernova a long time ago, and spewed their material out into the cluster. When that had happened enough times, that material must have condensed to form later generations of stars. Maybe MOST of the stars in a GC are the same age, but surely not all?
COSMOLOGY I can say with absolute certainty that this will not happen, and I know I'll never be proved wrong….
Who needs Stephen King? If you like scary stories, read this!
X-rays could sterilise exoplanets in otherwise habitable zones:
Are we looking/listening for ET the wrong way?
Outback radio telescope listened to 'Oumuamua
Just how thin are Saturn's rings!  The main rings have a diameter of 280,360km, so that's a diameter to thickness ratio of 28,036,000 to 1! And apart from the very minor 'propellor' disturbances near some of the tiny embedded moons, they are essentially absolutely flat. Amazing Nature!
SPACE it seems NASA has forgotten how to do acronyms: It should be "InSIGHT" not "Insight"! The rule is that the initial letter of each significant word (i.e. optionally omitting prepositions, conjunctions etc) has a capital letter; thus National Aeronautics (and) Space Administration = NASA. If using 2 or more letters from a single word to form a better acronym, the 2nd & 3rd letters are in lower case, thus "High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment  = HiRISE (on the MRO). And ColOSSOS = Colours of the Outer Solar Systems Origins Survey
   As the full name of this mission is "Interior (exploration using) Seismic Investigations, Geodesy (and) Heat Transport), the SIGH and T should all be in Caps. The E of exploration should really be included too, but that would spoil the acronym.   Here endeth the lesson!
If this space hotel orbits at an altitude of 200m / 322 km, it will gradually decay due to atmospheric drag, and they will need to keep boosting its orbit to a higher altitude: why not put it in a higher stabler orbit from the outset?, and
Telescopes, Instruments, Outreach etc.
UFOs, Aliens, Raptures, etc
Planet NIBIRU is coming – again! But wait! The world has already ended 32 times in my lifetime alone! Obviously I just haven't noticed, or else this is all just a cosmic Virtual Reality…
35. 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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