Upcoming IAA Events:

IAA Lecture Programme begins on 23rd September. See here for details...

IAA Observing Programme begins on 25th September. See here for details...

Further details on IAA News


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August/Sept 2009

July/August 2009

The Irish Astronomical Association was formed in 1974 and draws its 200 members from both the UK and Ireland. The IAA membership ranges from complete beginners to accomplished observers and astro photographers.

Lecture Season starts Weds 23rd September

Prof Tom Ray

Image: Paul Evans

The opening lecture of the Irish Astronomical Association's new season will be given by Prof Tom Ray of the Dublin Institute of Advanced Studies and the Royal Irish Academy. It is entitled "Planning Hubble's Successor, the James Webb Space Telescope".

Prof Ray is eminently qualified to talk on this topic, as he is involved in the design of some of the instrumentation which will be going on the telescope! We have had several excellent lectures from Tom before, and we are delighted to welcome him back again. It's on WEDNESDAY 23 SEPTEMBER, at 7.30 p.m., in the Bell Lecture Theatre, Physics Building, Queen's University, Belfast. ADMISSION IS FREE, as always, and includes light refreshments. Everyone is welcome.

9th European Dark Skies Symposium a great success

The 9th European Symposium for the Protection of the Night Sky took place in Armagh from 17th-19th September - many members of the IAA were involved in the organisation of the event and were present in the audience along with may others from all over the world which included not just Astronomers but also those with interests in Energy Conservation and the Environment - Light Pollution is a subject which cuts across many disciplines. One particular emphasis was on the aspect of energy - the amount of light radiated upward not only spoils our view of the heavens, it also represents millions of watts of wasted energy which could be far better used. Fortunately those who matter do seem to be listening and there are improved designs of lights which both use less power and direct the light more effectively, but there is still a long way to go!

Here's the IAA's own Terry Moseley with Irish Broadcaster Leo Enright and Professor Mark Bailey of Armagh Observatory.

More information including links to video replays of the talks here...

Dark Skies - Terry Moseley

Image: Paul Evans

Run of ISS Passes coming to an end

  • The current run of evening ISS passes is coming to an end though there are a few more lower passes up until 26th September - see here...
  • IAA Webmaster Paul Evans took this shot of the Space Station as it passed to the South of Ireland on 16th September...


IAA/IYA 2009 -"Space and Aliens Competition"

There is still time to enter this competition - deadline now 30th November!

  • As part of International Year of Astronomy 2009, the Irish Astronomical Association (IAA) is running a major public competition, with substantial prizes, for all ages, and in various categories, so that anyone can enter.  Full details here...


Excellent M27 image

  • Is this the Hubble Space telescope? No, this image of the Dumbell Nebula in Vulpecula, or M27, was taken by Past President of the IAA, Dr Andy McCrea from Bangor, with the Moon only 20 degrees away in the sky. Not bad at all considering this was Andy's first outing with his Orion ODK12 telescope!

(C) IAA 2009