This talk, by Dr Heather Cegla, of the Astrophysics Research Centre at QUB, will give a brief overview of the first ever confirmation of planets outside our solar system, the two main exoplanet detection methods, some stumbling blocks on the pathway to confirming an extra-solar Earth-analogue (which is her area of expertise), and discuss some prospects for the future and the efforts we’re taking to discover habitable alien worlds.
Unfortunately due to circumstances beyond our control it was not possible to get the IFAS Astronomy Calendar printed in time for distribution this year, so rather than waste the effort already put in, the IFAS Committee have decided to distribute the calendar for download free of charge.
This is an excellent piece of work with time-critical astronomical information written from an Irish perspective and many thanks are due to John Flannery for the many hours he has spent pulling this together.
The Irish Astronomical Association’s New Year Party will be held as usual in the Tudor Cinema, Drumhirk, Comber on Saturday 2nd January 2016. A buffet meal will be available in McBrides the Square, Comber. Food will be served at 6.00pm, but it is advisable to be there at 5.30pm.
After the meal, members and guests will then make their way to the nearby Tudor Cinema for the feature film `STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS’ starting at 7.30pm and followed by a prize quiz.
Following on from the successful Soyuz mission delivering Tim Peake to the Interbational Space Station, you'll be able to see Tim passing over Northern Ireland once or twice an evening until Christmas Eve.
The station appears as a bright object, almost as bright as Venus rising in the South-West and moving slowly across the sky - at 17,500mph! It takes about five minutes to cross the sky completely. The graphic above shows the times for Belfast - for those in the West of the province it will be just a few seconds earlier - at 5 miles per second it doesn't make much difference!
Tony is a Past President of the Association from the 1977/78 season and we believe he is the youngest person ever to hold the post being in his early 20s at the time, though his successor, Brian Beesley runs him close on that record!
We are delighted to welcome back Tony as a speaker; he has given us some fascinating lectures over the years, with intriguing titles, and this one is no exception. To find out what it's all about you'll have to come along!