Upcoming Events

13th January 2010 - Dr Jorick Vink (AO) - "The Most Massive Stars in the Universe - at QUB as usual

15th (or 16th) January 2010 - Observing at Delamont Country Park

Q1 2010 TBC - I.A.A. at St. Patrick‚Äôs 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.

13th January 2010 - Dr Jorick Vink (AO) - "The Most Massive Stars in the Universe

The second half of the IAA's season kicks off on 13th Jan with Dr Jorick Vink, a Profressional Astronomer at Armagh Observatory. Dr Vink's Research interests include mass loss from massive stars as a function of metallicity, line polarimetry to probe circumstellar geometries in massive evolved as well as young stars (as to study star formation), and in Horizontal Branch morphologies. This talk promises to provide a fascinating introduction to this huge subject.

IAA Webmaster Paul Evans will provide a short warm-up describing the Night Sky in January 2010. Venue as usual - The Bell Theatre, QUB - 7:30 sharp.

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....

 

Evening ISS passes from 8th January onwards

A series of evening passes of the ISS is now in progress - see Heavens Above for timings. The best passes will be from 13th to 18th Jan when the Space Station will peak at mag -2.6, brighter than any star in the sky. The Space Station will appear in the West, dim at first as the view then is of the "dark", non-sunlit side, but it brightens quickly as we get the "side-on" view. Depending on the pass it may then fade out as it passes into the Earth's shadow.

Some Recent IAA Talks....

Peter Paice (IAA) - "Imaging our Nearest Star"  - 16th December

As the IAA's solar imaging expert, Peter's images are familiar to readers of "Stardust" magazine as well as regulars on spaceweather.com. In this talk Peter not only explained the considerable ingenuity that goes into his imaging, but also gave us a fascinating insight into what it all means. A most enjoyable talk from which I learned a great deal!

Image: Paul Evans

Dr Pedro Lacerda (QUB) -"The Small Bodies of the Outer Solar System" - 2nd December

Dr Lacerda gave an invigorating account of the smaller bodies of the solar system starting with cometes and asteroids, then working out towards the Plutinos and Edgeworth/Kuiper Belt Objects including some insight into the astrophysics involved, but delivered in an easily understandable format. This was a top quality lecture and brought many questions at the end.

Image: Peter Paice

Dr Simon Jeffrey, Armagh Observatory - "Smoking Stars" -  18th November

This was an excellent lecture which covered a very unusual category of star in which the fusion has progressed through Hydrogen and Helium to the point where the star is burning Carbon at its centre which occasioanlly explodes outward thus covering the star in a type of smoke.

A very enjoyable lecture made the more so by Dr Jeffrey's entertaining delivery and a lively Q&A session at the end!

Pictured: Dr Simon Jeffrey and IAA President Philip Baxter

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

(C) IAA 2009