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
IAA on the Web
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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
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
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
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.
Martin Campbell's Lecture on 23rd March - follow-up
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.
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
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.
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:-
Space Shuttle Endeavour STS-134/ISS AMS
Launch Time: 3:47 p.m EST - (note, shuttle may be visible from Ireland!)
Space Shuttle Atlantis STS-135
Launch Time: 3:48 p.m.
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
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.