From: TerryMoselat

Subject: Lecture, IAA Events, end of SAN? More events, Tom wins, WSW, Re-Entry + 18 more!

Date: 25 September 2013 23:39:12 BST

Hi all,


1. IAA LECTURE, 2 October. Dr Paul Dawson, TCD. "Star Chef: Cooking with the Stars ".

   TV schedules are full of cookery programmes. But of course, all the ultimate cooking, of the elements in food and everything else, was done either in the Big Bang or in the nuclear furnaces in the stars. And if you use an iron frying pan, the iron in it originated in a supernova explosion.

  In this entertaining and easily accessible talk, Paul will explain just how to create a star, and how the stars create all the elements other than Hydrogen and Helium (and a wee bit of Lithium). He won't actually create a star in the lecture theatre (at least, I hope not!), so it will be a case of 'Here's one I made earlier'.

    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. IAA Astronomy Day at Carrickfergus Civic Centre, 5 October.

Yet another new venue: This time we have been invited to the lovely new Civic Centre in Carrickfergus.

Time: 1.30 p.m. - 5 p.m.

It will follow our usual very successful formula for an afternoon event: Talks in the Stardome, Exhibition, telescope display, hands on meteorites, space memorabilia, DVDs etc, with Solar observing in the courtyard. The facility has an excellent cafe, so come along and help, or enjoy, this great new location. Car parking (pay & display) is available at the car parks just off the Marine Highway (the main A2 Shore Road, just past the Castle, going towards Whitehead), so maybe arrange to car share, or use public transport? Or there may be other free parking nearby, e.g. at the Victoria Road Shopping Centre, a bit further out along the Marine Highway towards Whitehead (does anyone know if that's free or not?).

Address: Carrickfergus Borough Council, Museum & Civic Centre, 11 Antrim Street, Carrickfergus BT38 8DG, SatNav: 54 deg 42' 58"N; 5 deg 48' 21.6" W.


3. IAA Display at Belfast Central Library: Saturday 12 October. More details on this in next bulletin.


4. IAA Telescope night: Sep 27 or 28, at Delamont Country Park, near Killyleagh. Weather dependant. Check IAA website,, at 18.00 each night to see if event is going ahead. If cloudy on the 27th, we will try again on the 28th.


5. End of the Sky At Night? Many reports indicate that the last programme will be broadcast in December.

This story has been in the papers and social media recently. Many many hundreds of complaints have been sent to the BBC via its online forum. 

   A Facebook group has been formed to petition the BBC not to axe the show. Objections have come from both active observers, armchair astronomers, and ordinary members of the public without a big interest in astronomy. There is a lot of debate about retaining the show but making it more modern, with many opinions on all aspects.

   Facebook Group

   For press reports, see:

   This article gives a good sensible analysis of the subject with an online survey at the end. 

   There is also the Petition.

You can pass it on via: 


6. Armagh Planetarium

  (1) Math 'a' Magic; Saturday 12 October 2013

Who says that maths is boring?  Join us as we discover the magic and mystery of maths.  Capturing the imagination of children and adults alike, the math ‘a’ magicians from Cahoots will demonstrate the power of mathematics through illusion, misdirection and even mind reading on Saturday 12 October!

This is an unforgettable learning experience that will blow your mind!

Ages: 7 – 13, Duration: 1 hour, Times: 12.30pm and 2.30pm.

Tickets are free but spaces are limited so please pre-book on 028 37523689.

   (2) Planetarium Open Night, Tuesday 15 October

Armagh Planetarium will be hosting a public telescope viewing session as part of our programme of FREE Open Nights starting on Tuesday 15 October 2013.  On this evening night sky observation is hoped to take place (weather permitting) from 7pm-9pm.

   At 7.30pm there is also an opportunity to see the stars whatever the weather in our Digital Theatre show ‘Beyond the Blue’.  If you already have a telescope or binoculars you are welcome to bring them with you for your own use.  Dressing warmly is essential for outdoor stargazing!

 Times: Open 7pm -9pm, Digital Theatre Show: 7.30pm

TEL: 028 37523689. Pre-booking essential


7.  IAS Meeting, Dublin. IAS Opening lecture by Evelyn Cusack (Mét Eireann). A talk that is sure to interest all astronomers (because it affects us so much!).

Ireland’s Weather: A Journey through Time. by Dr Evelyn Cusack. Monday 30th Sep 2013 at 8pm

Admission: free, all welcome. Venue: Ely House, 8 Ely Place, off St Stephen's Green, Dublin 2.

(near the Shelbourne Hotel. Convenient to buses, Luas & trains. Best bet for car parking is on Merrion Sq.).


8. Galway Star Party. Advance notice of the next Galway Star Party: 1 February 2014. More details later, but mark your diaries now.


9. Congratulations to Tom O'Donoghue: Tom got the runner up prize in the Deep Space Category of the  Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition, which is being exhibited at the Royal Observatory’s Astronomy Centre in Greenwich. Tom's shot was a magnificent portrait of the Rho Ophiuchii and Antares region, with the beautiful coloured nebulosity. Well done Tom.

See details at:


10. Satellite Re-Entry soon: A medium sized satellite, GOCE, is due to re-enter the Earth's atmosphere in the next month or so. Some bits may survive and fall to Earth. Ireland is within the possible target zone, but the chances of a fall here are VERY remote. See^headlines


11. 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.

   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.


12. COMET ISON - LATEST: Still fainter than originally predicted. We may get a better idea of how it is developing when the Curiosity Rover attempts to image it as it passes close to Mars. 

See also: 


13. Cork: Lecture at BCO:  On Saturday 28 Sep  BCO will present a free talk from 7-8.30pm on The Dunhuang Star Chart, the world's oldest star chart - a spectacular document relating to the history of astronomy. This will be given by French astrophysicist, Dr. Jean-Marc Bonnet-Bidaud. They are also showing two films from CNRS – the French national agency for scientific research  'The Dunhuang Star Chart' - a documentary on the work carried out by Jean-Marc and his team, and ' The Draconids Encounter 2011' - a documentary on one of the most famous meteor showers, the Draconids, from the comet Giacobini-Zinner.


14. ISS: the ISS is currently making a series or morning passes over Ireland.

The Cygnus supply craft may also be visible, For details for your location, see:


15. 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.


16. LARGEST METEORITE BICENTENARY: An Irish meteorite's anniversary. The Limerick meteorite fall occurred on 10th September 1813. The largest piece, weighing more than 27kg (about 64lb) is on display in the Ulster Museum (in the meteorite gallery) until 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)


17. 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.


18. 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



19. 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. 


20. 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.


21. New Brian Cox TV series on British Scientists. See:


22. Calling all Irish Geoscientists to the GEO-Gathering 2013! (I know that many astronomers are also interested in geology, so this may be of interest.T.M.) 

   Ireland is hosting a national initiative, The Gathering 2013, to invite the international Irish community or anybody who has ever lived, visited, studied or worked here, to return home in 2013. The initiative has captured the public imagination and an exciting range of community, heritage and specialist events have been organised all over the country – see

  To celebrate the concept, a group of active Irish geological organisations (IAEG, IGI, IMQS and Geological Survey of Ireland) has come together to organise a geologically-focused gathering in October 2013, namedThe GEO-Gathering’. The thrust is to invite the Irish geological community from Ireland, UK, Canada, the Americas, Africa and Australasia to attend an informal event over the weekend of 19-20 October 2013 at the Menlo Park Hotel in Galway, with speakers/ conversations/ music and ‘craic’ among our colleagues.

  Why not join us on Saturday 19th October to hear geoscientists of excellence, working across all sectors. If you have ever lived, worked, studied or visited Ireland, YOU are invited to ‘come home’ to catch up with your geo-colleagues from Ireland and all over the world in October - there is a long tradition of geologists returning for such flagship events and you can be guaranteed that the welcome will be as warm as ever!

  Why not join us for dinner on the evening of Saturday 19th October, to meet old friends and colleagues and enjoy chats over traditional Irish music and drinks. There will be a field trip to the world-famous UNESCO recognised Burren and Cliffs of Moher GeoPark on Sunday 20th October, led by the GeoPark’s Dr Eamon Doyle see

  To book your place at Geo-Gathering speakers, dinner and field trip, please visit our website:

For information on 4* accommodation at Menlo Park:

   (BTW, in May 2012, I suggested something very similar to this for the Irish astronomical community to the ASGI, and to the Astronomy & Space Committee of the RIA, and to various other professional astronopmers in Ireland but nothing seems to have happened? TM)


23. INTERESTING WEBLINKS: (I wonder will they be able to get insurance?)^headlines^headlines^headlines (typical headline. NASA does not say there is no life on Mars, just that they haven't found methane evidence yet!) (well, it would seem a bit tame after the Enterprise!)^headlines (Is it on 'roaming' charges now?)^headlines^headlines



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


25. 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 (occasionally - I don't have enough time!), after some temporary hiccups: at signterrymoseley2