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19th June - IAA / UAS / NIEA Solstice Event

15th August - WWT Castle Espie - Solar Day

22nd AugustNT Mount Stewart - Solar Day TBC

16-19 Sept - International Meteor Conference - Armagh Observatory

13th October - WWT Castle Espie – Evening Observing with Mobile Planetarium


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Summer with the IAA

Just because observing, at least Deep Sky objects, has become a little difficult due to the twilight lasting all night, it doesn't mean there's nothing to see or do!

During the Summer the IAA will hold a joint Solstice Event with the Ulster Archaeological Society and the Northern Ireland Environment Agency on Saturday 19th June - details to follow, as well as two Solar Days at Castle Espie (Sun 15th August) and Mount Stewart (Sun 22nd August) - the former being a new venue for this event previously held at Carnfunnock.

Ballynoe Event - Sat 19th June

This was an excellent day out - Picture gallery here...

Image: Paul Evans

A binocular comet visible June/July

COMET McNAUGHT (C/2009 R1). This comet should gradually brighten as it moves closer to both Earth and Sun over the next few days, with minimum comet-Earth distance on 15/16 June. It then moves slightly further away from Earth, but continues to get closer to the Sun until perihelion on July 2. However it will always be low down in the Northern twilight for observers in Ireland, so I doubt if it's ever going to be easily visible to the unaided eye.

Terry Moseley and Paul Evans have seen this comet in binoculars however.

But with comets you never can tell, so we can only hope!

Here's a finder chart....

Chart: Jodrell Bank


IAA ‘Snap the Logo’ Competition

This is a simple competition anyone can enter over the holiday period!

Simply download an image of the I.A.A. LOGO and take an unusual or quirky snap incorporating the logo. It could be with a personality, up in a hot air balloon, underwater - the choice is yours. The photograph that raises awareness of the Association and produces some publicity may get extra points! The winning entry will be chosen by the I.A.A. President and the prize will be a £25.00 book token. The winner will be announced the October meeting.

How to enter.

Take your photograph and either ‘post’ it on the I.A.A. forum at www.irishastro.org, or e-mail it to iaaphil@googlemail.com


Entries to be received by 30/09/10.

No Photoshop, Paintshop Pro, etc. to be used.

Only one entry per person, so pick your best!

All entries, including the winning one, are free for use by the I.A.A. for display in our magazine ‘Stardust’, as well as on our web page or in any other I.A.A. publication.

Good Luck!

Revised Membership Rates

Regrettably due to rising costs we have had to increase the subscriptions for IAA membership. For the 2010/2011 season these will be as follows:-

Single membership: £20 or €25

Family Membership (all members of a family at one address): £25 or €30

Note that this is the first rate increase in five years and still includes an unmatched programme of lectures, observing nights, other events and a subscription to our highly regarded quarterly magazine, "Stardust", delivered to your door.

Noctilucent Cloud (NLC) Season begins

Eyes to the North! From the beginning of June until the end of July it is possible to see Noctilucent Clouds (NLCs) from Northern Ireland - indeed we are ideally placed being between 50 and 60 degrees North.

It should be an interesting season. Many believe that NLCs are tied into the Solar Cycle in some as yet not understood way, and that increased solar activity may bring a reduction in the number and intensity of NLC displays - though some evidence suggests there is a lag of a year or two, on which basis given last year's lack of Solar activity, we should be in for a treat!

Here's one from last year.

Image: Paul Evans

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