From: TerryMoselat

Subject: Lecture, SPA, Course update, Loughcrew, LaPalma, Jay Tate, WSW, Meteorite, More!

Date: 14 September 2013 15:27:19 BST

Hi all,


1. IAA OPENING LECTURE, 18 September. Prof Colin Cunningham. "Mega Telescopes: how and why?" The European Southern Observatory will soon blast off the top of a mountain in the Atacama desert, to start construction of a telescope five times bigger than any existing today. This telescope is known as the European Extremely Large Telescope, or E-ELT. The primary mirror will be made from 798 mirrors and will be 39m in diameter, and be controlled to nanometre accuracy. He will describe the engineering challenges of this giant telescope, and give a preview of some of the exciting astronomy discoveries that may result, from the first galaxies to Earthlike planets. See:

Prof Cunningham is Director, UK E-ELT Programme, and is also involved in projects with ESA and the UK Space Agency. 

   The lecture is free and open to all, including free refreshments. It will be held in the Bell Lecture Theatre, Physics Building, Queen's University, Belfast, at 7.30 p.m. 

   Thanks to the Astrophysics Research Centre, QUB, for help in hosting these lectures.


2. SPA MEETING: On behalf of Queen's University Belfast, Armagh Observatory and the Society for Popular Astronomy, we would like to invite all amateur astronomers to an all-day meeting held in honour of the SPA's 60th anniversary.

   The meeting will take place in the Department of Physics and Astronomy from 9:30am until 5:30pm on

Saturday 21st September, and will consist of a series of popular-level talks given by professional

astronomers on their research here in Northern Ireland.

   Additionally, on Sunday 22nd September there will be an organised visit to Armagh Observatory. 

Visitors will be given a guided tour of the observatory and astropark, followed by a lunch reception

hosted by the Lord Mayor of Armagh. Please note that this visit is restricted to 45 people due to venue

and transport limitations.

   More details and bookings can be made at the following website:

   Attendance at the meeting is free,  but we ask that people register so that we can estimate numbers

for tea/coffee.

  Best Wishes, Prof. Alan Fitzsimmons, Astrophysics Research Centre, Queen's University Belfast

3. ASTRONOMY COURSES STRANMILLIS, ANOTHER  DATE CHANGE. Stranmillis College have asked me to delay the start of this lecture series by one week, so it will run for 10 weeks on Tuesday evenings, starting on 24 September, and finishing on 26 November, i.e. without a break at the end of October. Other details as before:

   Due to popular demand (yes, really!), my astronomy courses at Stranmillis are to be continued this autumn. The new series will build on what the last course covered, but with a more practical content, including on-site observing where possible. It's not necessary for anyone to have attended the first course, as no (or very little) prior knowledge will be assumed.

 For details see the Stranmillis Lifelong Learning section website,396223,en.pdf, go to p 23 for my course.

You can download an enrolment form at,231524,en.pdf

Please pass this on to anyone you know who might be interested. 


4. Loughcrew Equinox Dawn September 2013:  

The Office of Public Works will have staff in attendance at Cairn T, Loughcrew on the mornings of September, 20th, September 21st and September 22nd

From 7.15am until 8.30am


Admission to the Chamber of Cairn T is free of charge.


As the chamber is quite small, only 5 or 6 people can be inside at a time. Visitors are requested to stay inside for only a few minutes so that everyone can get a chance to visit.


Please note that it is very important that visitors dress warmly and are wearing stout shoes. The climb to the top of Carnbane East is very steep and can be slippery after rain or on frosty mornings.     


5. NEW ASTRONOMY PROJECT ON LA PALMA:  Dr Ana Garcia Suarez, formerly at Armagh Observatory, has launched a new project in La Palma, Canary Islands, and asked me to circulate the following details (slightly edited). '' is an astrotourism project for tourists and also for amateur astronomers. We take astronomy tours, astroparties, organise workshops and rent telescopes for astronomers that do not wish to travel with heavy equipment.

   Next week I´ll have with me 7 amateur astronomers from Ireland. Also at the end of September I´m organising the first AstroMaster La Palma with Babak Tafreshi (TWAN, editor of Sky & Telescope....with 50 APODs to date) and Christoph Malin (TWAN, National Geographic and very experienced timelapser: ). If you are particularly keen on landscape astrophotography or timelapse check out the website. E: anaat

Tel: +34 922 410 431, Mob: +34 622 805 618

  BTW, Ana's husband David is an astronomer at GTC: Gran Telescopio de Canarias.…


6. COMET ISON - LATEST: Still fainter than originally predicted. 



Europlanet honours NEO hazard champion and Spaceguard Centre founder Jay Tate with Prize for Excellence in Public Engagement with Planetary Science.

   The 2013 Europlanet Prize for Public Engagement with Planetary Science has been awarded to Mr Jonathan (Jay) Tate for his outstanding efforts in furthering public understanding of Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) and the asteroid and comet impact hazard.  Jay gave an excellent lecture on this topic to the IAA some years ago.

8. Talk By Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell,  NUIG Astronomy SocietyTuesday, 24 September, 19:00.

 "A lightweight introduction to gravitational radiation". Einstein predicted the existence of gravitational waves - sometimes called ripples in space-time. Was he right? What are these ripples? How would we 'see' them? What could produce them? And are they any use anyway? This talk introduces these waves and shows that we are on the threshold of detecting a whole new spectrum of radiation. All welcome.

9. WORLD SPACE WEEK: World Space Week 2013 'Exploring Mars, Discovering Earth' Global Analogue Campaign. From 4-10 October, more than twenty organizations spread across four continents will be exploring Mars - and discovering more about Earth in the process.  A campaign of networked Mars analogue demonstrations is being launched to celebrate World Space Week (WSW) 2013. See previous bulletin for details.


10. LARGEST METEORITE BICENTENARY: Another Irish meteorite has an impending anniversary. This time it’s the Limerick meteorite fall of 10th September 1813. The largest piece, weighing more than 27kg (about 64lb) will be on display in the Ulster Museum (in the meteorite gallery) between 10th September (next Tuesday) and early November, on loan from National Museum in Dublin.

   It is by far the biggest meteorite to fall anywhere in Ireland / UK in historic times. There were several rather florid eyewitness accounts in newspapers of the time, and these show that it was a spectacular event with bright lights, loud bangs, a smoke trail (a bit like the Russian meteor earlier this year) and some substantial dents in the ground. (from Mike Simms, NMNI)


11. ASTROPHOTOGRAPHY COMPETITION: (Via Prof Brian Espey, TCD). I found out a short while ago about this competition for Deep Sky astrophotographers - perhaps you know someone who might wish to enter for a cash prize.

   Interested parties should email Romano Corradi at the IAC in La Palma (rcorradiat ) to register and to receive further details.


12. FRONTIERS OF PHYSICS: (From Paul Nugent) Although designed for teachers of Physics, interested adults are welcome to attend: 

IoP Frontiers of Physics 2013, School of Physics, UCC, Sat Sept 28th; Annual Conference for Teachers of Physics  including Junior Science

This years Institute of Physics teachers Conference takes place in UCC, Sat Sept 28th  We have an interesting programme for the day. highlights include:

Prof Malcolm Longair Cambridge University

Tour of Crawford Observatory

Science on Stage Workshop

ESA Space Science Workshop

See for  full details



13. PICS FOR NEW IAA WEBSITE PHOTO GALLERY. President and webmaster Paul Evans has produced an excellent new photo gallery on the updated IAA website. See  We would love to have any photos from members showing past IAA events and activities for a "Pics from the Archive" section. Credits will be given to respective owners of course. 


14. STARGAZING LIVE returns on 7 - 9 January 2014. The IAA has once again been asked to be principal partner with the BBC for this prestigious event. More details later, but mark your diaries now.


15. INTERESTING WEBLINKS:^headlines,^headlines (Chandra again....) (Terry does it again! Congrats!)^headlines



16. TWITTER: Follow the IAA on Twitter:  at signIaaAstro


17. NEW LINK! JOINING the IRISH ASTRONOMICAL ASSOCIATION is easy: This link downloads a Word document to join the IAA.

    If you are a UK taxpayer, please tick the 'gift-aid' box, as that enables us to reclaim the standard rate of tax on your subscription, at no cost to youYou can also make a donation via Paypal if you wish: just click on the 'Donate' button.  See also


Clear skies,

Terry Moseley

mob: (0044) (0) 7979 300842

I'm now back on Twitter, after some temporary hiccups: at signterrymoseley2