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Upcoming Events

  • 19th Oct - Lecture - Seanie Morris - "What was it REALLY like on Apollo 11?"
  • 21st/22nd Oct (or 28th/29th) - Observing at Delamont
  • 2nd Nov - Lecture - Dr Phil Marshall (QUB) - "Cosmic Telescopes: Focussing and Observing with Gravitational Lenses
  • 2nd December - Evening Observing / Stardome at Castle Espie

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Front Page Archive

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Draconid Meteor Watch 8th October

An outburst of Draconid Meteors occurred as predicted on 8th October shortly after local sunset in Ireland.  For full details on this see the Armagh Observatory website here...

Some of our members attended the event at Armagh, though sadly the outburst itself was clouded out. However as always the staff of the observatory delivered an excellent evening's hospitality with a talk by Dr David Asher!


IAA Lecture 5th October

"Amateur Meteor Observing and a Possible Draconid Outburst on 8 October" by Dr Geert Barentsen (Armagh Observatory).

Geert is a very keen meteor observer, and very active in the International Meteor Organisation. His talk was aimed at the amateur astronomer, covering all aspects of meteors and meteor observing, and the outlining the prospects for a possible outburst of the Draconid meteors on the evening of 8 October - see above for more on this. Geert is pictured here with IAA President Philip Baxter.

The warm-up lecture was delivered by IAA Webmaster Paul Evans and featured the latest on Solar Cycle 24. It can be seen on YouTube in 720p HD.

Image and Video:Paul Evans

Lecture Programme Kicks Off!

The 2011/12 lecture programme got off to a blazing start on 21st September. Following a review of the Summer's activities by IAA President Philip Baxter, and of course Terry's Teaser, the warm-up talk was delivered in his usual inimitable style by Dr Andy McCrea. See it here on YouTube...

Video:Paul Evans

The main lecture was delivered by one of Northern Ireland's top professional astronomers, Professor Mark Bailey, Director of Armagh Observatory. Mark's talk, "The Origin of Comets", gave us a detailed insight into the history of the various theories surrounding the formation of Comets and the reasons why they enter into the Solar System and become either periodic or one-offs. This was an excellent talk and got the season off to a great start!

Here's Prof Bailey with IAA President Philip Baxter......

Image:Paul Evans

Observing Programme

The new Observing Programme is available here..

The IAA observing nights are planned with a degree of flexibility to accommodate our variable weather. The sessions are designed to cater for all levels of capability and beginners of all ages are most welcome.

We will usually have the IAA's 16" Meade Lightbridge telescope available for viewing of Deep Sky objects and members will bring a range of telescopes suited to viewing different objects. For early arrivers there's generally a Fry-Up in progress before the sky darkens - bring your own frying pan, bangers, bacon etc!


Image:Paul Evans

Hot News - Supernova in M101

Details here...

Comet P1 2009 Garradd

We have a new Comet for the Autumn! Comet P1 2009 Garradd is currently moving through the lower part of the Summer Triangle at mag 8 and is expected to peak at mag 6 early in January. Further information at Aerith.net Finder chart and pictures from Dr Andy McCrea in the gallery here...

This is the comet passing M71 in Saggita on the night of 26th August.

More on this Comet from Sky&Telescope here...

Image:Andy McCrea

QUB Astronomer of the Month

The QUB Astrophysics Research Centre have begun a series of video interviews with professional astronomers describing their work. These interviews can be found on the QUB ARC YouTube channel here...



Members are reminded that membership fees are now due for the 2011/12 year as of 1st September. Rates are of course the same as last year and are as follows:-

Single membership: £20 or €25

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

This includes an unmatched programme of lectures, observing nights, other events and a subscription to our highly regarded quarterly magazine, "Stardust", delivered to your door.

You can now join or renew your IAA Membership online by PayPal or Credit or Debit card online here...

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