From: TerryMoselat

Date: 4 June 2008 23:09:45 BST

Subject: Michael Foale, Painting Prize, Names in Space, BA/Dublin, PhD Post.

Hi all,


1. Michael Foale at Armagh Planetarium on Thursday 5 June:  A final reminder about this event: This is from Naomi Francey." Please find attached an invitation to Armagh Planetarium's latest event.  We are having astronaut Michael Foale coming to visit and are holding a presentation and question and answer evening on the 5th June from 6.30 to 8.00 at the Planetarium.  We would like to invite the members of the IAA if any would like to attend.  There are limited places so it's a first-come, first-served basis. If they contact me by email I can put their names on the list. If you have any questions or queries don't hesitate to contact me. naomiat

Regards,  Naomi"

   Naomi Francey, Armagh Planetarium, College Hill, Armagh, Co. Armagh, BT61 9DB. Tel 028 3852 4725.

2. Dublin girl wins painting prize: This excellent painting of a nebula has won a prize in ESO's 'Catch a Star 2008'. The artist is a young female pupil in Saint Andrews Junior College in Blackrock. Congratulations to Ashley!


3. Names in Space. If you like the idea of sending your name into space, free, here are links to

    Send your name to the Moon on LRO (Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter): the deadline is June 27.

You can also send your name in search of a habitable planet on the Terrestrial Planet Finder mission, KEPLER. 1st Nov. is the deadline for this one. On the KEPLER mission you can write some words as well.  You can also download a starmap showing its field of search plus the location of those exoplanets already discovered. KEPLER is linked to International Year of Astronomy 2009. 

4. BAA out of London Meeting.  The British Astronomical Association will be holding its 2008 "Out of London Meeting" in Dublin on the first weekend of September, hosted by the Irish Astronomical Society.

   The weekend starts on Friday 5th with a visit to Birr Castle and concludes on Sunday 7th with a trip to Newgrange. The main meeting on the Saturday includes a wide range of speakers. The weekend coincides with a major sporting event in Dublin so it is advisable to book your accommodation and travel as soon as possible. Full details of the venue and suggestions for accommodation are on the BAA website at: 

   Details are also in the link below. Note your diary now & book soon, as the trips have limited places. Book through the BAA only!

 5. PhD position, Centre for Astronomy, NUI Galway: Candidates should submit a letter outlining their suitability for the position, plus full curriculum vitae (PDF format), to include the names, addresses and emails of 3 referees (at least 2 of which are academic referees), by email to Ray Butler (ray.butlerat

   Details: Applications are invited for a research position (Ph.D. fellowship), funded by a Science Foundation Ireland Research Frontiers Programme award to the “Star Clusters & Variability” group.

  The PhD project is “Probing the existence of Black Holes in Globular Star Clusters – by identifying and tracking their high-velocity stars”. This is a collaboration between the project P.I. in the Centre for Astronomy at the National University of Ireland, Galway (Dr. Ray Butler) and researchers in the University of California at Santa Cruz (Prof. Jean Brodie), the Institute for Astronomy at the University of Edinburgh (Dr. Dougal Mackey), and Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Massachusetts (Dr. Jay Strader).

  The research focuses on the development, validation and deployment of advanced image enhancement methods for Hubble Space Telescope (HST) imagery of the centres of Globular Clusters. These are believed to harbour intermediate-mass Black Holes – the “missing link” between stellar black holes and galactic supermassive black holes. Near-miss encounters with a massive black hole would greatly speed up passing stars. The project will identify such anomalous stars, by tracking their motion across the cluster, in images taken over baselines of a few years (1990s to the present) by HST and by the Keck Telescope with adaptive optics. 

   This project offers the opportunity to gain experience and develop practical expertise in the technologies which are driving the future of astronomical research: image processing and simulation, space telescopes, adaptive optics, precision astrometry, crowded-field photometry, N-body dynamical simulations, data-archive mining, and project co-ordination via Web3.0 instruments.

   Travel for training and research exchange to the collaborating institutes in California and Edinburgh, and to the Keck Observatory (Hawaii), is anticipated. Funding is available for 3 years. The student will receive a monthly tax-free stipend, worth €16k-17k annually. In addition, University registration fees and all other research costs will be covered.

  Requirements: Candidates should have, or expect to obtain, a minimum of a 2.1 (Second Class Honours Grade 1) honours degree in Physics, Astronomy, Astrophysics, or a related discipline. This position is available from September 1st 2008.

  Contact: Dr. Ray Butler, Centre for Astronomy, School of Physics, National University of Ireland, Galway. Phone: 091 493788. Email: ray.butlerat Web:
Closing date: Friday 18 July 2008.

Clear Skies,


Terry Moseley