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From: TerryMoselat signaol.com
Date: 24 January 2007 00:52:10 GMT
Subject: Galway Astrofest / Connaught Star Party

Hi all,

Connaught Star Party: On SATURDAY January 27th the Galway Astronomy Club
will be hosting the now renamed Galway AstroFest at the Westwood House
Hotel on the on the outskirts of Galway City. This year our talks are
aimed primarily at the cutting edge of science with some of the best
astronomers from NUI Galway and the University of London.  Admission €20.

The Westwood Hotel is near the outskirts of Galway, on the main road to

Speakers and Talk titles:

Dr Lucie Green: "Living in the Sun's Atmosphere" Dr Lucie Green is a
Research Fellow for Solar Physics based at the Mullard Space Science
Laboratory, which is the Space & Climate Physics Department of
University College London. Her research area is the study of Coronal
Mass Ejections and activity in the atmosphere of our nearest star, the
Sun. In the media she also works in TV and radio and co-presents the
BBC2/Open University astronomy programme Stardate, which has covered
some of the major events in astronomy and space physics over the last 2
years. Lucie has also contributed to discussions on space and astronomy
on the radio and in the news on BBC 1, BBC News 24, GMTV, carried out
science demonstrations on the CBBC programme the Xchange, discussed
solar physics and solar observing on the Sky at Night and written
popular science articles for astronomy magazines as well as publishing
16 scientific papers.

Professor Chris Dainty: "Adaptive Optics for ELT" Chris Dainty is a
Science Foundation Ireland Professor of Experimental Physics at The
National University of Ireland, Galway. Very few people can speak as
enthusiastically on the subject of adaptive optics as he can, as he is a
leading authority on the subject who has come to Ireland to continue his
research in this fascinating area. Adaptive Optics (AO) enables
astronomers to sharpen the normally blurred images that the world's
largest telescopes produce due to the distorting effect of the Earth's
atmosphere. The ELT is the "Extremely Large Telescope" - aperture
probably between 30 and 50 meters (yes, meters!) - currently being
planned by ESO.  

Dr Aaron Golden: "Observing in the Twilight Zone at the Sub Stellar
Boundary; are Brown Dwarfs Stars, Pulsars or Planets?" Dr Aaron Golden
is a lecturer in the IT dept. of NUI Galway. He has degrees in
Experimental Physics, Computational Science and Astrophysics, and has
been involved in the Scientific Computing Group there since its
foundation. He has worked previously at the Max Planck Institute for
Gravitational Physics and at the Space Sciences Laboratory at UC
Berkeley. His scientific interests include various topics in
Astrophysics. With colleagues at NUI, Galway and in collaboration with
the Space Telescope Science Co-ordinating Facility & the European
Southern Observatory he have been leading a project on the long term
study of optical variability of a number of recently discovered brown
dwarfs. This project's objective is to find variations in brown dwarf
luminosity - a consequence of episodic dust formation events in their
atmospheres or starspot cycles

Professor R.N Butler: "Clues to the Origins of Life on Earth from
Meteorites and from Titan" Professor Dick Butler is Director of the
Chemistry Dept at the National University of Ireland Galway. He has had
over 200 papers published in refereed international journals and has
previously been awarded the Boyle Higgins Gold medal from the Institute
of Chemistry in Ireland for recognition of his outstanding work in
Chemistry. Professor Butler is a well-known speaker around Galway and
has enlightened us on many occasions with his wonderful talks. This
up-coming lecture will focus on aspects of the Origins of Life and how
studies of meteorites and particularly Titan will play a role in our
understanding of how life came to Earth. He will also focus on the
dramatic discoveries of the type of world that Titan is.

Dave Grennan and Jed Glover     Most people on the irishastronomy.org
website have seen their amazing colourful images of celestial objects;
during the lunch break they will host an imaging workshop on aspects of
Digital Astrophotography using Cameras and web cams. See their work at

List of invited Exhibitors

AOP (Advanced Observing Programme) Saturn Observing Campaign, Galway
Branch Variable Stars Observers Group NUI Galway Astrosoc IAA Terry
Moseley Books Andromeda Optics North Down Telescopes

The NUI Galway Observatory will again be open to the attendees by
Professor Mike Redfern. The observatory consists of a 'state of the art'
Semi-automated Cassegrain with high quality instrumentation. There is
also a 3 meter radio telescope on the observatory grounds.    The
telescope is a 40cm (16") from Astroptik, in a proper dome. The
optics are by Lomo (St Petersburg). It is a classical Cassegrain with
3-element field flattener. The mount is a huge German equatorial, also
from Astroptik. It has an Apogee 1024 x 1024 CCD camera with an E2V
thinned, back illuminated chip. The finder / solar viewing scope
custom-mounted on the main telescope is a LIDL 70mm Skylux refractor!
For anyone new to the Astrofest it is a "must see". As with last year if
the skies are clear we intend to do some viewing. So bring your big
telescopes along again.    There will be an After Dinner talk later in
the evening presented to us by John Flannery of the South Dublin
Astronomical Society that will focus on his visit to the giant Riverside
Star Party in California that he attended earlier in the year. To finish
off the day there will be a table Quiz for anyone with any energy left.
See www.galwayastronomyclub.ie ACCOMMODATION: I attach a list of
accommodation in the area: unfortunately I have not had a chance to
update the prices from last year, but they should be a rough guide. In
any case, always check before booking.

Clear skies,

Terry Moseley


Last Revised: 2007 January 24th
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