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Upcoming Events

16-19 Sept - International Meteor Conference - Armagh Observatory

18th Sept - International Observe the Moon night - Seapark Recreation Ground, Holywood, Co Down - 2030 onwards

22nd Sept - First meeting of the season at QUB - as usual a packed season of 14 lectures and the 10 minute talks with something for everyone. Meetings start at 7:30pm sharp - alternate Wednesdays until April.

29th October - Portballintrae Halloween Festival- Evening Observing with Mobile Planetarium

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


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IAA New Season

As is customary, the new season kicks off in September and we have an exciting lineup of lectures, events and observing sessions put in place for the season.

On 18th September we will taking part in International Observe the Moon night. This is a worldwide event following on from IYA2009 - there are a number of initiatives to keep the interest running along - this is one of them. We will convene around 2030 BST at Seapark Recreation Ground in Holywood, Co Down. This location has a clear view of the 10 day old Moon across water so is ideal for lunar observing. Beginners of all ages are of course very welcome!

Weds 22nd September sees the launch of our Lecture Programme. The season opener will be presented by QUB's very own Professor Alan Fitzsimmons with a talk entitled "Mysteries & Oddities among comets and asteroids in our Solar System" This promises to be an excellent start to the season - Prof Fitzsimmons is renowned for delivering the most entertaining and informative talks as those who have seen him in action will testify! A full list of the season's Lecture Programme can be found here...

Into October we are providing Star Shows on Friday 29th October as part of the Portballintrae Halloween Festival. We last visited Portballintrae when they opened their new Village Hall in July 2009 and we are very pleased to have been asked back. Being an evening event we are hoping to include some real sky observing as well as the planetarium.

On 13th November we will return to what has become a very regular venue for us - Castle Espie. Again, this will be an evening event so we will be providing telescopes for observing as well as Star Shows in the Mobile Planetarium.

Last but not least we have put together a programme of Observing Evenings. The vagaries of the Irish weather make these a little difficult to organise, so we have earmarked up to four days each month and ranked them in order of preference - first a Friday, then the following Saturday, and then a second weekend if both days are clouded out. The decision is made at 1800hrs on the day and is communicated via the IAA Forum


Image: Philip Baxter

Summer at the IAA

Just to show that Astronomy is not a hobby that is limited to Cold Winter nights, we have run a very successful programme of events over the Summer period.

These have included a visit to Ballynoe Stone Circle in County Down, marking the Summer Solstice. Two Solar Days were held at Castle Espie and Mount Stewart - these included not only Solar Observing in Red and White light, but also Star Shows in the Mobile Planetarium which were attended by over 70 people on each occasion.

We also provided a very successful Perseid Meteor Watch at Delamont Country Park with almost 100 people in attendance.

The highlight of the Summer had to be the joint IAA/QUB lecture evening at QUB where over 200 people packed out the Larmour Theatre for an evening of Cosmology presented by two of the world's leading experts on the subject, Prof Carlos Frenk from Durham Univ and Prof Chris Stubbs from Harvard Univ.

Photographic highlights of the Summer's Events can be seen in a gallery here.....


IAA ‘Snap the Logo’ Competition

There is still time to enter this simple competition!

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 at 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

Members are reminded that subscriptions for the 2010/11 Year are now due. 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.

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