IAA Lecture; 2nd April : Dr Steve Myers (CERN) - "The LHC and the Discovery of the Higgs Boson"

Dr Steve Myers

The IAA is delighted to announce that the lecture on 2nd April will be given by Dr Steve Myers, Director of Accelerators at CERN. Dr Myers is a graduate of QUB where he studied Engineering, and went on to be Head of the section of CERN dealing with all the big particle accelerators, including the Large Hadron Collider. In other words, without him, they wouldn't have discovered the Higgs Boson!

IAA Lecture - Dr Stefano Bagnulo, Armagh Observatory “Remote Sensing by Polarimetry”

Dr Stefano Bagnulo

Dr Stefano Bagnulo is an astronomer working at Armagh Observatory. He and his team are carrying out pioneering work that makes it easier to detect signs of life on other planets by filtering out the overwhelming light form the parent star. In this lecture Dr Bagnulo will explain how it's done and what it means for the future of exoplanet expoloration.

IAA Lecture - 5th March, Dave Grennan- "Making Your Own Telescope"

Dave Grennan
Dave Grennan has been an amateur astronomer for over 35 years. In 2006 Dave built his own private observatory in his backyard in Raheny, North Dublin, for the purpose of conducting astronomical science. In recent years Dave's research has resulted in a number of new discoveries including two main belt asteroids and two supernovae.

Aurora Borealis 27th February - Pictures

Aurora Borealis

Sunspot AR1944 caused something of a stir in early January as it unleashed the most promising Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) of the current season toward Earth just in time for our Stargazing Live evening! Sadly, it missed and we didn't get the Northern lights that evening. The sunspot lived on however and reappeared as AR1967 and incredibly returned again as AR1990. Just as it appeared around the limb it let go with an X4.2 flare - huge but not Earth directed, we were only expecting a glancing blow. But the Earth's magnetic field was very favourable, and we got a good display - even the weather was good!

IAA Lecture, 19th February, Dr Ken Smith QUB, - "Sifting the Sky with Pan-STARRS 1; Crunching the Data from the World's Largest Operational Digital Camera”

Dr Ken Smith
Pan-STARRS -- the Panoramic Survey Telescope & Rapid Response System -- is an innovative design for a wide-field imaging facility developed at the University of Hawaii's Institute for Astronomy.
The combination of relatively small mirrors with very large digital cameras results in an economical observing system that can observe the entire available sky several times each month.
These cameras produce a literally astronomical amount of data and among those tasked with sorting it all out is QUB's very own Dr Ken Smith who will explain how he does it!