Upcoming Events

14th November -  I.A.A. at Armagh Planetarium.  IYA event starting 2 PM with solar and evening observing.

20th November  - I.A.A at Roe Valley Country Park nr Limvady.  IYA event with evening observing.

Q1 2010 TBC - I.A.A. at St. Patrick’s Academy Dungannon . IYA event solar and evening observing.

Further details on IAA News


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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.

IAA/Armagh Planetarium/IYA2009 event -‘A Telescope Demonstration Day’

A day of Astronomy for all the family - Saturday 14th November from 2pm to late at Armagh Planetarium

Programme of Events as follows:-

2.00pm Welcome IAA President, Mr. Philip Baxter & Dr. Tom Mason, Director Armagh Planetarium

2.05pm – Telescopes on display

2.20pm - Development of the amateur telescope

2.50pm – What can be seen in the November night sky

3.20pm – Telescope & Binocular workshop for beginners

4.00pm – Meteorites – Dr. Mike Simms (Ulster Museum)

4.30pm – Astro Imaging

5.00pm – Telescope Clinic for beginners

Evening Observing at 7.00pm (weather permitting)

Throughout the day – Planetarium shows in the Main Dome and Solar Observing

2010 Sky Guide now available

John Flannery from the South Dublin Astronomical Society has produced a top quality guide to the sky from Ireland in 2010. This 41 page guide includes features on different aspects of Irish Astronomy as well as a Calendar of Astronomical Events covering the whole year! We are most grateful to John for producing this guide which is hosted on our website under the "Activities" menu or here....


Astronomy exhibition in Armagh

An interdisciplinary exhibition bringing together science, education and art, named "Over us All is the SElfsame Sky" (OASES) will open at 11:00 on Monday 9 November in the Rotunda Gallery, St Patrick's Trian, Armagh. The exhibition is part of a series of Astro-Art events held to celebrate the UN International Year of Astronomy 2009 and it will be launched with a performance of music, poetry and dance by pupils from Mount St. Catherine's Primary School, Armagh and the Armagh Rhymers.

The astronomy-themed exhibition contains paintings by astronomer Miruna Popescu of Armagh Observatory and artist Dara Vallely of the Armagh Rhymers, as well as work done in Astro-Art Fun workshops by children from schools as far apart as Omagh, Armagh and Dublin. The launch is open to the public and everyone is welcome to attend.


IAA New Year Party 2nd January 2010 - Book Now!

The Irish Astronomical Association New Year Party will be held as usual in the Tudor Cinema, Drumhirk, Comber on Saturday 2nd of January 2010. A buffet meal will be available in Mc Brides the Square, Comber, starting at 6.00pm. After the buffet, members and guests will then make their way to the Tudor Cinema, Drumhirk for the feature film and quiz which will start at approx 8.00pm. Due to seating capacity at the Tudor Cinema numbers are limited to 60, so early booking is essential.

The booking form can be downloaded from here...

Brian Harvey  - "The Chinese Space Programme" - 4th Nov

This talk by Irish Space Historian and Author Brian Harvey covered the complete history of the Chinese Space Programme from the invention of the rocket in 1272 through the beginning of the programme in 1956 right up to the present day and then into the planned future including Lunar Rover missions. So will the next man on the Moon be a Chinaman? Certainly it appears that stories of a Chinese manned Moon landing by 2019 are a little wide of the mark, but it may happen in the decade thereafter! This was a fascinating talk and we thank Brian for coming up from Dublin to talk to us.

Pictured: Brian Harvey with IAA President Philip Baxter and renowned Irish Astronomer John C McConnell

Excellent talk by Dr Carla Gil - 21st Oct

Dr Gil is a visiting European Southern Observatory Research Fellow at Armagh Observatory and she eloquently described her work  using the Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile, specifically using it in Interferometer mode when it can function with an effective aperture of 100 metres. Yes, that's one hundred metres! This was a most informative and enjoyable lecture and we are very grateful to Dr Gil for coming to share her work with us.

Pictured is Dr Gil with IAA President Philip Baxter

Superb photograph of the Milky Way by IAA member

Regular contributor Martin Campbell has sent in one of his holiday snaps - this one from  from the Pic Du Midi Observatory in France - a stunning view of the centre of our own galaxy! See many more like this and chat with fellow amateur astronomers on the IAA Forum!


‘Stargazing for Pleasure’

Call for interest – it is intended that this lecture series  will be held in Bangor, subject to the level of interest;

Bangor, Hamilton House

Tuesday evenings 7pm to 9pm

November to December 2009

Lecturer: Dr Andy McCrea

Full details here...


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...


(C) IAA 2009