Subject: IAA Lecture, Events at WWT and Dungannon, RIA lecture, Galway A.F., ISS
Date: 29 November 2011 21:45:03 GMT
1. IAA LECTURE, 30 November: The Astronomical Association's next public lecture will be given by Tom Boles, founder and owner of Coddenham Observatory in Suffolk.
Tom is the world's greatest supernova discoverer, with about 140 discoveries to his credit. Supernovae come in various forms, with different causes, but in general terms they represent either the explosive death of a giant star, or a very violent episode in the life of a binary star pair. Visually, they are the greatest explosions we see in the universe, with the exploding star sometimes becoming as bright as the combined light of all the other hundreds of millions of stars in its parent galaxy!
And they are an extremely important tool in our efforts to measure accurately the distances to the remotest and oldest objects in the universe.
And it's through the latest observations of distant supernovae that astronomers have concluded that the expansion of the universe is speeding up - the so-called 'Accelerating Universe'.
Come along and learn all about these amazing phenomena, how one man has beaten the rest of the world in making these discoveries at his own observatory, and how you might even be able to discover one yourself!
Tom's talk is entitled "Discovering Supernova: Motivation and rewards”.
(This lecture is being arranged with assistance from the Astrophysics Department at QUB, for which we are very grateful.)
The lecture is on WEDNESDAY 30 November, 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: www.irishastro.org
NB: Because of the public servants' strike, public transport will not be available that day. If anyone needs a lift to and/or from QUB that evening, let me know your address, or general area, and I'll see if any members can offer a lift. T.M.
2. IAA Public Astronomy Evening, at WWT, Castle Espie, Friday 2 December, 7.30 p.m.
Everyone is invited to another of the very successful and popular public astronomy evenings run by the Irish Astronomical Association at WWT, Castle Espie, near Comber, Co Down.
Using powerful telescopes and binoculars, if it's clear we will be able to see a spectacular First Quarter Moon with giant craters and huge mountain ranges, and Jupiter, the Giant planet of the Solar System with its four large Galilean Moons. Looking beyond the Solar System we'll have on view the Pleiades or Seven Sisters, which is the brightest and most spectacular star cluster in the whole sky, the magnificent constellation of Orion the Hunter, with its famous trio of stars forming the belt, and the amazing Orion Nebula, where dozens of stars are currently being born. Later we'll be able to see brilliant Sirius, the brightest star in the sky.
And looking way beyond our own Milky Way Galaxy, you can spot the most distant object visible to the naked eye: our 'big sister' galaxy, the Andromeda Galaxy, which contains 200,000,000,000 stars, and lies an incredible 25 million million miles away.
We will also be giving the ever popular star shows in the portable planetarium, and we'll have an exhibition of fantastic photos taken by the Hubble Space Telescope and other powerful telescopes from all around the world, meteorites from space, and many other interesting items.
So it will be an astronomical treat, even if it's cloudy.
For more information see. www.irishastro.org and www.wwt.org.uk
3. IAA Public Astronomy Evening, at St Patrick's Academy, Dungannon, Saturday 3 December, 7.30 p.m.
Then we'll be doing it all again the next night at St Patrick's Academy, Killymeal Rd, Dungannon! They have one of the best school observatories in these islands, with a Celestron 14-inch reflector in a lovely big purpose-built dome. This event is planned to coincide with a 're-launch' of the refurbished telescope and dome.
As well as that telescope, we will be providing all the same options as at WWT above, including the shows in the Stardome, and we'll be able to see all the same objects in the sky too, if it's clear.
This will be our first event in the Dungannon area, so all members and friends in that area, and indeed from anywhere, will be very welcome.
For more details, and to book a starshow, see: http://www.stpatricksacademy.org.uk/
4. Biennial Royal Irish Academy McCrea Lecture: "The 100-year mystery of the Cosmic Ray", by Prof Luke Drury. Schroedinger Lecture Theatre, School of Physics, TCD, 6 p.m., Friday 9 December 2011. Hosted by the School of Physics, Trinity College.
Professor Drury, who has honoured the IAA with a lecture in the past, is Director of the School of Cosmic Physics in the Dublin Institute of Advanced Studies, and is currently President of the Royal Irish Academy.
Synopsis: "The strange discovery of Viktor Hess - one hundred years of cosmic ray studies. It will very soon be the centenary of the discovery of cosmic rays by Viktor Hess which is conventionally dated to 1912. It is hard to think of another topic in physics which has remained an active field of research for so long, and which still awaits a definitive solution. Recent progress has been dramatic however and there is good reason to hope that the end is in sight even if there remains much to be done. In this talk I will outline the history of the field and then focus on recent developments as well as the future projects that are being discussed at the moment."
Admission is free, but seats MUST be reserved by booking at: http://www.ria.ie/events/events-listing/royal-irish-academy-biennial-mccrea-lecture-2011.aspx
5. Galway Astronomy Festival - January 21st 2012 is on "New Frontiers of the Universe".
Oscar Wilde reminds us that although we are all in the gutter, some of us are looking at the stars. This years Galway Astronomy Festival addresses the theme "New Frontiers of the Universe" from a professional as well as an amateur astronomer's perspective. The event, now in its 9th year, has become one of the most popular events in Ireland, where amateurs and professionals meet in friendship. This is essential for exchanging information, successful stargazing and mutual progress. We look forward to seeing you, hopefully under clear skies. For more details see: http://galwayastronomyclub.ie/
6: ISS: the International Space Station is currently making morning passes over Ireland. See www.heavens-above.com for details for your own location.
7. TWITTER: the IAA now has a twitter account. twitterIaaAstro
8. JOINING the IRISH ASTRONOMICAL ASSOCIATION is now even easier: This link downloads a Word document to join the IAA. http://irishastro.org.uk/iaamembership.doc. See also www.irishastro.org.
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