From: TerryMoselat

Date: 14 September 2008 23:54:41 BST

Subject: IAA Fosbury Lecture, WSP, ASGI


Hi all,



    The next public lecture hosted by the Irish Astronomical Association will be by Dr Robert (Bob) Fosbury, on Wednesday 17 September, in the Bell Lecture Theatre, Physics Building, Queen's University, Belfast.

   Dr Fosbury is head of the section in the European Space Agency (ESA) as part of ESA's collaboration with NASA on the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) project at ST-ECF. Based at the European Southern Observatory (ESO) near Munich in Germany, Fosbury joined this initiative in 1985, more than 5 years before launch. During the latter part of this period, Bob served on NASA's Ad Hoc Science Working Group and ESA's Study Science Team as they developed the instrument concepts for the James Webb Space Telescope, the next generation space observatory.

    Bob has published over two hundred scientific papers on topics ranging from the outer atmospheres of stars, the nature of quasars and active galaxies to the physics of forming galaxies in the most distant reaches of the Universe. He started his career at the Royal Greenwich Observatory (RGO) in Herstmonceux, England in 1969 and was awarded his PhD by the nearby University of Sussex in 1973. He then became one of the very first Research Fellows at the newly constructed Anglo Australian Observatory 4 metre telescope in New South Wales, Australia before going to ESO while it was based at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland. He then had a spell of 7 years as a staff member at the RGO, working on instruments for the new observatory on La Palma in the Canary Islands and on the pioneering Starlink astronomical computer network.

    Bob is currently chairman of the ESO Astronomy Faculty, the largest group of professional astronomers in Europe (and Chile), and is active in the close liaison between the ESO and ESA science programmes.

 The lecture is entitled "Astronomy today and the role played by the Hubble Space Telescope".

Admission free, including light refreshments, and all are welcome.


2. WHIRLPOOL STAR PARTY: Ireland's favourite and longest running Star Party will be held on the W/E of 26-28 September, at Dooley's Hotel, in Birr, Co Offaly. Birr Castle is home to the famous Leviathan, which was for 70 years the largest telescope in the world, and the charge for the Star Party covers admission to the Castle Demesne to see the Science Centre and the restored telescope.

  The W/E starts with a reception in the hotel on Friday evening, followed by lectures on the Saturday and Sunday, dinner (optional) on Saturday night, and observing in the Castle Demesne on Friday and/or Saturday nights if it's clear.

   It's always good craic, with excellent talks, so book your accommodation if you haven't already done so.

Details on: 


3. ASGI MEETING, UCC, CORK. The Autumn meeting of the Astronomical Science Group of Ireland will take place in University College Cork, on Thursday afternoon 2nd and all day Friday 3rd of October.

   This is a meeting for professional astronomers, and the talks are therefore at an advanced level, but members of the Irish Astronomical Association (and other bodies affiliated to the ASGI) are free to attend if they wish.

   It will be held in the Brookfield Health Sciences Centre on College Road, close to the main campus. Admission is free. There may be a chance to see the beautifully restored telescopes in the Crawford Observatory on the main campus, and if you get a chance you should also see the award-winning Blackrock Castle Observatory at Blackrock a few miles from the city centre. See:  

   Details of the ASGI meeting are at:

If you intend to go, please contact Dr Paul Callanan paulcat or Dr Denise Gabuzda (gabuzdaat, or Prof Niall O'Murchadha (n.murchadhaat  to give them an idea of numbers.

Clear skies,


Terry Moseley