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Upcoming Events


1-4 Apr - COSMOS 2011, Annaharvey, Tullamore

6th Apr - IAA Lecture at QUB - Dr Gavin Ramsay (Armagh Observatory) - "Binary stars as intense gravitational sources"

12th Apr - 50th anniversary of manned spaceflight, 30th anniversary of first Shuttle launch

20th Apr - IAA AGM at QUB

15th Jun - Total Lunar Eclipse - event TBA

18th Jun - Fun Day at Glenavy - Stardome and Solar Observing

25th Jun - IAA Summer Barbeque - TBA

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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 astrophotographers.

Dr Gavin Ramsay - Lecture at QUB 6th April

Dr Gavin Ramsay is an Astronomer at Armagh Observatory where he specialises in research into ultra-compact binary stars. These are very close binary stars where the proximity is such that gravity results in material being transferred between the stars with the consequent emission of high energy radiation. At present only 18 of these stars are known, but it is believed that many more - thousands - should be easliy detectable.

Dr Ramsay's talk, "Binary stars as intense gravitational sources" promises to bring us right up to date with this research.

Dr Ramsay is originally from Edinburgh and has worked at the Mullard Space Science Laboratory and the University of Utrecht. Outside of astronomy, Dr Ramsay is a big fan of opera.

The meeting starts at 7:30pm sharp in the Bell Theatre, QUB

Image: Armagh Obervatory

Annual General Meeting - 20th April

The IAA will be holding its Anuual General Meeting at QUB on 20th April - 7:30pm sharp. The meeting will include a review of the year, the election of the new Council and a talk on "Astro Tours" by Past President of the IAA, Mr Terence Murtagh.

All are welcome, though of course only paid-up members of the IAA may take part in the business matters.

15mm Milky Way 2010

Pyrennean Milky Way 2010

New Fisheye Milky Way 2010

Martin Campbell's Lecture on 23rd March - follow-up

This lecture was exceptionally popular with almost 100 people present, all of whom were very well informed about the history of astrophotography and entertained by Martin's account of his trips to France to obtain the best possible widefield images of the sky.

Martin has asked that we post his latest timelapse videos  and these are now available on our YouTube channel - click on the images to the left to see the individual videos. For best results, expand these to Full Screen.

Martin has been busy photographing the night sky from nearer home too! The shot below, featuring Messier objects M81 and M82 was taken from the rather more modest location of Dungannon and is particularly notable for capturing the red star-forming areas within the galaxies.

The smaller galaxy to the bottom right is NGC3077.

IAA Winter Events Gallery

We have held a number of events over the Winter season, all with great success. There's been a visit to Dalriada School in Ballymoney, a Stardome night at Castle Espie and of course the excellent Cosmic Cuilcagh event at the marble Arch Geopark in Fermanagh where we worked with the staff from Armagh Planetarium and Dr Mike Simms from the Ulster Museum to provide a weekend of education and entertainment for the general public.

Have a look at a collection of snaps taken by our members here...


STS-134 - Endeavour's Last Flight - latest news

The STS-134 Endeavour mission is now scheduled for launch on 19th April.

Additionally, the STS-135 Atlantis mission has been approved - this will carry a four man crew since there will be no backup shuttle available - in the event of Atlantis being unfit to return to Earth the crew will return from the ISS on a Soyuz capsule.

The remaining mission schedule is thus as follows:-

April 29th

Space Shuttle Endeavour STS-134/ISS AMS

Launch Time: 3:47 p.m EST - (note, shuttle may be visible from Ireland!)

June 28th

Space Shuttle Atlantis STS-135

Launch Time: 3:48 p.m.

Image: NASA

Membership renewals and New Joiners

Members are reminded that subscriptions for the 2011/12 Year are due from September 1st.

New Joiners can download an application form here...

Anyone joining the Association from now onwards will get membership through 'til August 2012

Membership fees are as follows:-

Single membership: £20 or €25

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

The benefits of membership include 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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