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Astro-Archaeology Days 2009

To celebrate International Year of Astronomy, the Armagh Observatory is this year taking part in the programme of Archaeology Days events organized by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA). The summer-long series of fascinating archaeological and historical activities will celebrate National Archaeology Days with hands-on events taking place at various historical sites and monuments throughout Northern Ireland.

Many activities will take place during the weekend of the summer solstice (Sunday, June 21st). There will be guided tours, demonstrations and excavations, with special events for school children.

The Armagh Observatory's contributions to these events take place on Saturday June 20th, and will include a guided walk conducted by Edith Gowdy (NIEA archaeologist) and Mark Bailey (Director of Armagh Observatory) to the Knockmany Passage Tomb, near Clogher, Co. Tyrone. They will describe the archaeology of the tomb and offer possible astronomical explanations of the historical rock art at the site. The tour must be pre-booked (Tel.: 028-9054-3030) and participants should meet at the Upper car park, Knockmany, at 2:30 p.m.

2009 has been designated by the United Nations as the International Year of Astronomy (IYA2009), it being the 400th anniversary of the first use of a telescope by Galileo to make astronomical observations. To celebrate IYA2009, Professor Mark Bailey will also give a conducted tour earlier that day (Saturday June 20th) from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. of the Armagh Observatory Grounds, Human Orrery and Astropark. Features of the Armagh Observatory, the Solar System and the wider Universe will be explained by Professor Bailey. Participants should assemble outside the main Observatory building at 10:30 a.m.

For more information and essential booking for these two tours, please telephone the NIEA on 028-9054-3030. To see details of all the events taking place this summer, please visit the website: here.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT: John McFarland or Mark Bailey at the Armagh Observatory, College Hill, Armagh, BT61 9DG. Tel.: 028-3752-2928; FAX: 028-3752-7174; jmfat signarm.ac.uk; mebat signarm.ac.uk.

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Last Revised: 2009 June 5th
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