Upcoming Events

24th March - Dr Tom Mason (AP) - "Presenting Science at Armagh Planetarium: Mind-blowing Numbers and Controversies" - 7.30pm at QUB

26th March (Friday) - Evening Observing at  Castle Espie - further details to follow.

27th March (Saturday) - 2030 - 2130hrs local - Earth Hour - please turn off your lights!

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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 lecture, 24th March 2010 - Dr Tom Mason

"Presenting Science at Armagh Planetarium: Mind-blowing Numbers and Controversies"

The Planetarium is a multifaceted organisation dedicated to astronomy education for all levels, from nursery through to retirement age. It is the Planetarium's unique ability to adapt to changing audience needs that have enabled it to stay at the forefront of science education since its formation. Dr Tom Mason is its Director and he will be telling us all about how the brief is delivered.

Image: Armagh Planetarium

26th March 2010 - A Night under the Stars at Castle Espie

The Irish Astronomical Association (IAA) will offer the Moon, Stars and Planets to anyone who comes to the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT) near Comber on Friday evening, 26 March. Using a variety of powerful telescopes and binoculars, we will show the public the wonders of the night sky, as long as the sky is clear. On show will be a brilliant and spectacular Moon; the lovely ringed planet Saturn with several of its major moons; and the famous Red Planet, Mars. Early birds will also be able to see our nearest neighbour and twin planet Venus, and maybe the mysterious Mercury, closest planet to the Sun, and always very difficult to spot from Ireland.


As well as our Solar System neighbours, we'll see coloured stars, lovely double stars, star clusters, beautiful nebulae and distant galaxies of thousands of millions of stars. And much closer to home, if it's clear, we'll see earth satellites and probably some meteors or shooting stars.
And if it's cloudy, not to worry - we will also have a mobile planetarium, in which we will present star shows about our solar system and its place in the amazing universe, and an exhibition of stunning photos and meteorites.
Date: Friday 26 March
Time: 8 p.m.
Venue: WWT, Castle Espie, Ballydrain Road, Comber, Co Down.


Image: Paul Evans

IAA/IYA 2009 "Space and Aliens Competition" - Results!

The judges deliberations are over! The results are out!

Congratulations go to Overall Grand Winner, Martin Campbell from Dungannon. Congratulations also to all those winners and placed in the specific categories.

There was a very large number of entries in the art category, particularly in the junior and intermediate sections. The standard was very high, and judging was very difficult! And the standard in the photographic section was exceptional!

The full results in all the categories are here...


April 2010 - Global Astronomy Month

Global Astronomy Month (GAM 2010) is Astronomers Without Border’s response to the desire to continue IYA2009 into the future. New ideas, new opportunities and more participation. Connecting people around the world in these events will create an even greater sense of sharing, just as in AWB’s motto and the slogan for GAM – One People, One Sky.

The IAA will be taking part in this event with a Public Observing night at Delamont Country Park on the night of either Fri 16th or Sat 17th April - the weather will decide the night nearer the time - watch the Forum!

IAA member Adam Jeffers sent in this fabulous image of M51, The Whirlpool Galaxy, taken from urban Belfast (!) using a 10" Newtonian 'scope and modified Canon D300 DSLR. Cracking image Adam!

New! Observing Information page and Search Engine

http://irishastro.org.uk/observinginfo.html This new addition to the website gives live and up to date information on Weather, Moon phase, ISS, Sunspots, Corona and Aurora conditions as well as a monthly Sky map. Well worth a look before planning an observing session! Also, entering any search term into the search box above will bring up a Google results page listing occurences of the term on this site, in IAA news or on the IAA forum!

(C) IAA 2010