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Upcoming Events

  • 17th or 18th February - Observing at Delamont Country Park
  • 22nd February - Lecture - Professor Bill Napier (Univ of Buckingham) - "Spiral Arms, Giant Comets and Mass Extinctions of Life"
  • 25th and 26th February - Cosmic Cuilcagh Event at Marble Arch Caves Visitor Centre, Co Fermanagh
  • 7th March - Lecture - Dave McDonald (IFAS) - "Discovering Asteroids ad Other Achievements
  • 16th or 17th March (or 23rd or 24th) - Messier Marathon - Delamont Country Park
  • 21st March - Lecture - Derek Heatley (IAA) - "Stop the World and Let Me Off"
  • 30th March - Observing and Event at Lough Neagh Discovery Centre, Oxford Island - details TBA

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BBC Stargazing Live!

Pictures of the events the IAA were involved in on 16th, 17th and 18th January appear in the Stargazing Live 2012 Gallery

Photos of the 2 hour Radio Programme event on 27th January are available in the Starry, Starry Night Gallery

Miscellaneous photos of IAA events and Astrophotography are now in the IAA Events and Astrophotography Gallery

Many Thanks to all who took part - the response was phenomenal with over 600 attending the Jupiter Watch at QUB on Monday 16th, then 1200+ at Lough Neagh Discovery Centre on Tuesday 17th and 50+ at Beaghmore Stone Circles on the Wednesday afternoon with many more at the An Creagan Centre before and after.

The following week over 500 turned out to Delamont Country Park where the Night Sky was perfect!

This wonderful video of the QUB Jupiter Watch event was made by Ting-Wan (Janet) Chen of the QUB ARC


IAA Lecture 22nd February

The second lecture in February marks a return to the IAA of one of our previous visitors. Last with us in 2004, Professor Bill Napier is a leading figure in the dynamics and physics of comets, and a pioneer of the modern versions of catastrophism. He also works on the origin and evolution of interplanetary dust, the effects of dust and small-body impacts on the Earth, and the analysis of extragalactic redshifts.

This lecture, entitled 'Spiral arms, giant comets and mass extinctions of life" will look at various factors affecting both the development of, and the possible space hazard risks to, life on Earth and elsewhere in the galaxy.

The lecture  is on Wednesday 22nd February in the Bell Lecture Theatre, Physics Building, Queens University Belfast and starts at 7:30pm sharp. Admission, as always, is free and all are welcome.

Image:Armagh Observatory

Cosmic Cuilcagh 25th and 26th February

This event returns for a second year at Marble Arch Caves Geopark on 25th and 26th February

This is one of the darkest sites in Ulster, lying about 10 miles SW of Enniskillen. It's near Florencecourt NT property, and can be accessed from the A32 Enniskillen to Swanlinbar / Ballinamore Road. It will be on Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 February. AP staff will be providing the Stardome mobile planetarium, a selection of meteorites, and other hands-on activities.

"Cosmic Cuilcagh" aims to bring the universe down to earth in Fermanagh, and is named after the mountain which dominates the area.

The IAA will be providing a selection of powerful telescopes for observing if clear, or on display if cloudy, together with the usual selection of the best astronomical photos and posters from all the world's leading earth-based and space-based telescopes, some of our own meteorites, and other items and information.

It will start at 11.00 on Saturday morning, running on until late that evening if the sky is clear, and then again on Sunday from 11.00 to 17.00. Celestial highlights will include a lovely crescent moon with Earthshine, brilliant Venus ('the evening star'), giant planet Jupiter with its belts and four large moons, and Mars rising later in the evening. And of course all the usual deep sky wonders from one of our nearest neighbour stars, through double stars, clusters and nebulae, or nearest big neighbour galaxy in Andromeda, out to members of the Leo/Virgo cluster of galaxies.

 See http://www.marblearchcavesgeopark.com/ for location and other details.

 The Visitors Centre has a cafe, and refreshments will be available.

IAA Lecture 8th February

February's first lecture featured Dr Mike Simms who is the Curator of Palaeontology at the Ulster Museum. Those who have attended our outreach events will be familiar with Mike - he's the guy with the meteorite collection! He talked to us about "Giant Impacts: Evidence from Britain".

This was an excellent talk from an acknowledged expert in the field and came to the conclusion, from analysis of rock samples, that although it had been thought that Britain was free of evidence of major impacts from space, there was in fact a fairly major one in Eastern Scotland approximately 1.2 billion years ago!


Image:Paul Evans

IAA Lecture 25th January

The second lecture of 2012 was presented by IAA Webmaster Paul Evans.

Paul has held a keen interest in spaceflight since Apollo 7 in 1968 when, as a schoolboy he followed the moon landing programme from start to finish. This also kicked off his interest in astronomy. In this talk entitled "Manned Spaceflight, the First 50 years", Paul gave us a potted history of how the Space Race got started, how the US won the race to the Moon, and what has happened since.

This was supported by many photos from Paul's visits to the NASA centres in the US.

The warm-up talk was delivered by Andy McCrea - both talks are available on our YouTube Channel.

Image:Andy McCrea



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...

(c) Irish Astronomical Association 2012 - All Rights Reserved