From: TerryMoselat

Subject: Free lecture, Rosetta, IAA Solar day, IAA @ Newgrange, Archaeo-ast trip, more

Date: 13 August 2014 01:08:18 BST

Hi all,


1.  Free Public Lecture in TCD, 14 August: Prof Paul Roche

Attendance is free, but you must register to attend.

ASGI is pleased to announce that Professor Paul Roche (University of South Wales) will give a public lecture at 7.30pm on Thursday August 14th in the Joly Lecture Theatre in the Hamilton Building of Trinity College Dublin: "Seeing stars: Science and Education with big telescopes"

    Prof. Paul Roche has spent over 20 years researching massive stars, neutron stars and black holes, as well as working in astronomy education, outreach and science communication. He has presented a number of TV programs including BBC2's 'Final Frontier' and 'All Night Star Party'. Professor Roche is the Director of the Faulkes Telescope Project that provides school access to astronomical telescopes. He is space ambassador for Wales and the 'UK National Schools' Astronomer. His talk will address discoveries at the European Southern Observatory (ESO).

  The event is free and open to the public and doors open at 7:00 pm

 The venue has limited seating so if you are planning to attend the public lecture we ask you to please register online using the following form: 



2.  ROSETTA NOW AT Comet C-G. The Rosetta spacecraft has now rendezvoused with Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko. After studying the 'binary' surface in more detail, it will land a probe on the surface. Watch out for some amazing photos. 

  For the latest up-to-date news as it is released, see 

  See also recent stories: It's the headline writer who's insane, not the pics! They call that a face?



3. IAA Solar Day, WWT, Castle Espie. We will be holding another one of these very popular events on Sunday afternoon, 17 August, from 2.00 to 5.00. We will have solar observing (if clear), telescope displays, exhibition, meteorites, and of course the ever-popular starshows in the mobile stardome, courtesy of Armagh Planetarium. Book your attendance at the starshows at the WWT website.


4. Special IAA Event at Newgrange for Heritage Week, 31 August: The IAA is privileged to have been invited to run a unique observing event at Newgrange World Heritage Site to mark the end of Heritage Week in Ireland. We will have telescopes at the actual Newgrange Mound to observe the sky, which as far as is known has never been done before. In the event of bad weather, visitors will be given a special tour inside the Newgrange Mound. Details and booking must be made direct with Bru Na Boinne, at  See also

 More details on times, access etc, in next bulletin.


5. ASTROARCHAEOLOGY TRIP TO NEWGRANGE and KNOWTH: Following the success of last years' trip, Stranmillis University College Institute of LifeLong Learning have asked to run another one, on 11 October, but this time including a visit to the Knowth Tomb as well. It has the largest collection of Megalithic art anywhere in Europe in one single site, some of which is reckoned to be astronomical. Booking for thus very popular, non-technical trip, is via the Stranmillis website, or go direct to,456138,en.pdf and scroll down to p. 23, or pick up a brochure from Reception.


6. The Skelligs Star Party 2014, Taking place from Skelligs Lodge, Ballinskelligs Co Kerry on Aug 22nd to Aug 24th. Chosen as it is within the Kerry Dark Sky site.  Meeting Friday 22nd Aug at Skelligs Lodge from 7pm.… Here is the link to Skellig Lodge:

We will have a few speakers and workshops on Saturday 23rd Aug from 1pm.…

Stephen Kershaw of Ktec Telescopes plus Carl O'Beirnes of Scopes and Space

Will be bringing a few astronomy goodies for us all to drool over.

I have set up a few events pages here are the links:

Kind Regards, Roy Stewart


7. EXCLUSIVE: Visit to Andor Technology Camera Facility, 13 September: The IAA has arranged a special visit to the Andor Technology Camera manufacturing facility in Belfast. As many of you will know, Andor make some of the best - in many cases the best - high-end digital cameras in the world. They are used in every scientific application imaginable, including of course astronomy, and they can be found in many of the world's top observatories, and in spacecraft. They are also moving into the range of amateur astronomers, having recently acquired Apogee Instruments. Thanks to Dr Andy McCrea we have arranged a free special visit for IAA members, and friends, to this facility, on Saturday 13 September.

Provisional Programme:

1200 Meet in Andor Reception

Introductory welcome and short talk

Lunch (Free, provided by Andor) in their canteen

Tour of the Clean Room and factory assembly floor

Talks on the range of cameras and their applications

Talk on solar astronomy imaging using Andor cameras by Prof Mihalis Mathioudakis of the Astrophysics Research Centre in QUB (link from QUB/ Professor Smart)

Q&A Discussion

Finish - say 1530

  This is an exceptional opportunity to see and learn all about the latest developments and future plans for top class astronomical imaging equipment. Andor will also be interested in feedback from expert amateur users of digital imagers, so this is your opportunity to let them know what YOU would like to see available.

   Spaces are limited, so you must register your intention to attend. Please send your name and contact details to Dr Andy McCrea (of North Down Telescopes: email s.mccrea980at to ensure that you get a place, and mark your diaries now!



8. IAA ASTRONOMY VISITS - PLANS: As part of our 40th Anniversary celebrations, we are planning at least one astronomical trip to either GB or Paris. This is a preliminary enquiry to assess where the main interest would be. The options are broadly as follows: They would be in the form of a long weekend trip (Friday - Sunday, or Saturday to a BH Monday, or possible Friday to Monday)

1. GB Trip A: Visit to Jodrell Bank, The National Space Centre at Leicester, and possibly either the Spaceguard Centre in Wales or the astronomy centre at Cambridge.

2. GB Trip B: Visit to the historic Greenwich Observatory, Science Centre and Planetarium in London + a visit to the Royal Greenwich Observatory site and Science Centre at Herstmonceux in Sussex, + a visit to the South Downs Planetarium in Chichester (headed by Dr John Mason)

3. Trip to Paris: Visit to Paris to see the historic and still functioning Paris Observatory (made famous by Flammarion & others), and the Meudon Observatory near Versailles, just outside Paris: this hosts the famous 33" 'Grand Lunette' Refractor, the 3rd largest refractor in the world, and the largest outside the USA.

   If you are interested in any of these trips, please let me know by return, indicating them in order of preference.


9. INTERNATIONAL METEOR CONFERENCE, 2014  Thursday September 18 till Sunday 21 September 2014, Giron, France. Giron is a small village located in the south of the Jura Mountains close to Geneva. The region is easily reachable by air (Geneva or Lyon airport), by train (TGV high speed train from Paris and InterCity trains from Geneva railway station) and by car (highway A40 Lyon-Chamonix). Part of the attraction for this event is that a free visit to CERN is included in the price! See

 After 30 June you will not be able to book extra nights before or after the IMC via the LOC. After 30 June extra nights should be booked on your own behalf.




Galway Astrofest: Feb 21, 2015, Theme: "New Worlds - New Horizons" Excellent speaker line-up already!  See

 COSMOS: April 17th to 19th 2015, Shamrock Lodge Hotel, Athlone.


11. INTERESTING WEBLINKS: Please, no jokes about winds erupting from Uranus.... This makes me think of an interesting question: do astronauts experience the Moon Illusion from space, i.e. does it look bigger when close to the horizon than when high up?

   And another - did the Apollo astronauts notice an 'Earth Illusion', i.e. did it appear larger when seen close to the lunar horizon than when high up? Does anyone know?  But surely once the BH mass exceeded about 100 solar masses, it would not have been 'thrown around by other stars'; instead they would have been flung around by it, and the more massive it got, the less it would have moved around.



12. TWITTER: Follow the IAA on Twitter: The account is now operational again as before: at signIaaAstro.


13. 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


Finally, in tribute to the late great John Dobson, a quote from him which is typical of the man, and very appropriate:  "If you figure something out for yourself, it doesn't make no never-mind who figured it out first, it's yours."


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