From: TerryMoselat

Date: 25 June 2008 02:14:55 BST

Subject: IAA Summer BBQ, Armagh P, Lecturer position, 4th July.

Hi all,


1. IAA Summer BBQ & Rocket Launching, Sunday 29 June: The IAA's summer BBQ will again be held at Greencastle Planetarium at the Maritime Museum, Greencastle, Inishowen, Co Donegal, where we'll have a planetarium show, followed by real live rocket launching under the expert tutelage of the director, Ash McFadden, followed by our BBQ. 

    Normal admission prices to the Maritime Museum and Planetarium.

   Remember, Sunday 29 June, starting at 12 noon if you want to build your own rocket from a kit, or 2 p.m. if you just want to see the starshow & the rocket launching.

2. Armagh Planetarium Summer Blast off! Blast off into a fun filled family weekend at Armagh Planetarium on Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th June.  It will be packed full of free activities for all the family such as face painting, rocket building and competitions, as well as the chance to check out one of our spectacular new shows in Ireland’s only full dome digital theatre (you can get into one show per family for free but you must pre-book!) Our new shows for family groups and children up to 10 years old is the amazing ‘Zula Patrol: Under the weather’. This CG-animated show features a cast of loveable characters who take the audience on a rollercoaster ride across the Solar System teaching them about science and astronomy in a very entertaining comedic style.

The Zula Patrol are a crew of wacky alien space explorers who must stop the evil but bumbling villain Dark Truder (and Trixie, his talking hairpiece) before he steals weather systems from the planets. If Truder gets away with this, he will have the key to finding a magic ruby and become ruler of Planet Zula. The story is fun with some great catchy songs, engaging and cute characters and funny jokes. The show is superbly designed and animated in a colourful ‘retro’ style and the audience will pick up facts about Earth and its neighbouring planets without even realising that they are learning. ‘Zula Patrol’ covers the whole dome in exciting action so this is a great show for small people and their grown-ups. I am sure it will go down a storm!

Can you name the Seven Wonders of the World? What about the Seven Wonders of the Universe? In its thirty minutes running time ‘Seven Wonders’ (narrated by Sean ‘Sharpe’ Bean) will take our audiences on two separate voyages to ancient times on Earth and then out into the remote depths of Space. The show covers the ancient wonders of the world, depicting them as never before in their full glory. The audience will investigate the theories of how these wonders were created and the stories of their downfalls before moving out into space to get a glimpse of some of the Universe's great celestial natural wonders. There are spectacular views of globular clusters and nebulae; they look stunning in the full dome format.  Every astronomer has his or her own list of most wonderful sights in the Cosmos, how many of yours will be among the Seven Wonders?

‘Invaders of Mars’ is a very special show.  Made by Evans and Sutherland with assistance from Goto, ESA and ourselves at Armagh, it tells of how the planet Mars, that tantalising red beacon in our skies, has intrigued people on Earth for centuries. Could it be the home of alien life? Could we fly there to see its wonders with our own eyes? Nowadays robotic explorers from Earth are revealing the ancient secrets of Mars and showing us just how our neighbouring world is both alien yet so like our own planet.

This spectacular new show will let our visitors see Mars as the astronomers of the past did, before taking you on an unforgettable trip to the Red Planet with our space probes from the Mariners of the 1960s right up to today's Mars Express and Exploration Rovers.  They will see mighty volcanoes, the biggest canyon ever discovered and signs of water ice, before taking a peek at future times when humans voyage in person to this mysterious world. I hope the audience for this show will feel as though they too are invading Mars in person.

 We are also pleased to welcome Knights of the Empire, who will be attending this event in full Star Wars costume. Space, Fun, Astronomy, excitement… it's all at Armagh Planetarium.

Admission to one show and exhibition area is free!      (Maximum one show per family) Check our website for more details Pre-booking is Essential Call 02837523689.

(Colin Johnston and Alyson Kerr)

3. Lectureship, University of Dublin, Trinity College

Post Title:  Lecturer in Astrophysics
Status: Permanent
Dept/Faculty: School of Physics
Closing Date:  12 noon on Friday, 1st August, 2008
Salary: The appointment will be offered on the
Lecturer salary scale €37,343 - €75,365  /   €77,875 - €85,599 per annum.

The School of Physics wishes to appoint a Lecturer in Astrophysics with a proven research track record.
This permanent position is funded for the first three years by the Higher Education Authority (Ireland)
under its SIF Cycle II programme and thereafter by Trinity College.

Applicants must have a Ph.D. in astronomy or astrophysics and at least two years' postdoctoral experience in either solar or stellar physics. Ideally the successful candidate will develop a research activity which strengthens existing themes in the group. The candidate's publication and funding record must be
commensurate with experience.

Currently there are 2 lecturers, 4 postdoctoral staff, and 8 postgraduate students working in the astrophysics
group. Current research involves both ground- and space-based observations, and also utilises high
performance computing facilities available both locally and nationally. Information on these themes and the
group in general is available at:

The successful candidate will join the two existing academic staff members in handling an expanding
undergraduate astrophysics programme, as well as participate in postgraduate supervision within the
School. As a result, the candidates should have some previous experience in teaching to undergraduate and/or postgraduate students. Previous success in obtaining research funding will be advantageous. Background information on the astrophysics group can be obtained at:

Lecturers from other institutes currently assist in providing astrophysics courses and supervising final year projects. In particular close ties are maintained by the nearby Cosmic Physics School of the Dublin
Institute for Advanced Studies, and interaction with staff and students through attendance at their seminar
series is encouraged.

Candidates should submit a full curriculum vitae, list of publications, research plan,  summary of teaching experience and a statement of the approach to teaching and the names of three referees to:

Ms. Joanne Smith, Recruitment Executive, Staff Office, Trinity College, Dublin 2
Tel: +353 1 896 1749
Fax: +353 1 677 2694


 4. Fourth of July.  Are you ready to celebrate? No, not USA Independence Day. For everyone on Earth, it's Aphelion Day. That's the day when the Earth is furthest from the Sun in its annual circuit around its elliptical orbit. From that day on, we'll start gradually getting closer to the Sun again as we head for Perihelion, or our closest point to the Sun, early in the New Year. The difference is not huge: the variation is from 152m km to 147m km, and it's not enough to outweigh the seasonal effects of the tilt of the Earth's axis, which gives us our Northern and Southern summers and winters. But if you are observing the Sun USING ONLY PROPER SOLAR TELESCOPES OR FILTERS OF COURSE! - then that's the day when the Sun's image will be smallest.

Clear Skies,

Terry Moseley