From: TerryMoselat

Date: 23 March 2010 00:42:16 GMT

Subject: Lecture, IAA Open night at WWT, UK Rocket Challenge, ASGI, BCO, COSMOS 2010 

Hi all,


1. NEXT IAA LECTURE, 24 March:  The next of the Irish Astronomical Association's public lectures will be given by Dr Tom Mason, MBE, Director of  Armagh Planetarium. 

   His talk is entitled "Presenting Science at Armagh Planetarium: Mind-blowing Numbers and Controversies". Tom is well-known as an excellent science communicator, and this is sure to be a fascinating talk.  It's on WEDNESDAY 24 March, at 7.30 p.m., in the Bell Lecture Theatre, Physics Building, Queen's University, Belfast. ADMISSION IS FREE, as always, and includes light refreshments. Everyone is welcome! Full details of the rest of the programme are on the website:  


2. Moon, Stars and Planets at WWT, Castle Espie, Friday 26/3.

The Irish Astronomical Association (IAA) will offer the Moon, Stars and Planets to anyone who comes to the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT) near Comber on Friday evening, 26 March. Using a variety of powerful telescopes and binoculars, we will show the public the wonders of the night sky, as long as the sky is clear. On show will be a brilliant and spectacular Moon; the lovely ringed planet Saturn with several of its major moons; and the famous Red Planet, Mars. Early birds will also be able to see our nearest neighbour and twin planet Venus, and maybe the mysterious Mercury, closest planet to the Sun, and always very difficult to spot from Ireland.

    As well as our Solar System neighbours, we'll see coloured stars, lovely double stars, star clusters, beautiful nebulae and distant galaxies of thousands of millions of stars. And much closer to home, if it's clear, we'll see earth satellites and probably some meteors or shooting stars.

     And if it's cloudy, not to worry - we will also have a mobile planetarium, in which we will present star shows about our solar system and its place in the amazing universe, and an exhibition of stunning photos and meteorites. Time: 8 p.m.

Venue: WWT, Castle Espie, Ballydrain Road, Comber, Co Down.


3. UK ROCKET CHALLENGE: The UK Rocket Challenge awareness morning is being hosted by Victoria College, Cranmore Park, Belfast on 24th March, 10.00 - 12.00.  

    This is an excellent opportunity to learn about this exciting hands-on STEM activity that encourages team work and skills development for secondary school pupils whilst having fun. Super for NI pupils!

   Please note that this event is very much on a first come first served basis due to room limitations at Victoria so please reply to Andy Willis (andyat if you are interested as soon as possible. Deadline for reply: Thursday 11 March

  Details from: Robert Hill, Northern Ireland Space Office, Armagh Planetarium Tel: +44(0)7929278501. Fax: +44(0)2837526187


4. ASGI SPRING MEETING, BELFAST: The ASGI Spring Meeting will take place in Queens University, Belfast, on Monday 29th March 2010. There still exists an opportunity to present your research with some timeslots still available in the agenda. Again this is an ideal opportunity for graduate students to present their work and remember that if you do not wish to give a talk yourself, the ASGI meetings offer excellent opportunities to meet your colleagues working in the area of astronomy and astrophysics. More details can be found at Contact Chris Watson at QUB c.a.watsonat .


5. All Systems ‘Go’ at Blackrock Castle Observatory.

Staff at CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory (BCO) have confirmed that it's all systems ‘Go’ for its popular annual Spring Summer school tours programme. The specially designed School Tours Programme at BCO is tailored to be fun, educational and guaranteed to suit any age group.

 A unique feature of BCO’s school tours programme is that teachers can avail of a free planning visit to discuss with staff the education and outreach options at Blackrock Castle Observatory. BCO is home to the award winning ‘Cosmos at the Castle Exhibition’, Cork’s fun and exciting location to learn about the Universe.

Contact: Clair McSweeney, Facilities Manager, Blackrock Castle Observatory, Blackrock,


Tel: +353 21 4357917

Email: clairmcsweeneyat



6. COSMOS 2010, 9 - 11 April:

The annual COSMOS spring star party / astrofest will be held as usual at Annaharvey Farm, just outside Tullamore, Co Offaly. It's hosted by the Midlands Astronomy Club (formerly Tullamore A.S.) See:


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Clear skies,


Terry Moseley