Lecture 7th January 2015 - John Flannery (IAS) - "The Sky by Eye – How to Rediscover the Soul of Astronomy"

John Flannery at Solarfest

Arthur C. Clarke once described the Universe as a device contrived for the perpetual astonishment of astronomers. Anyone can discover that sense of wonder. You just have to look up. It’s a common belief you need some form of optical equipment to witness those astonishing sights but that is not the case.

Naked Eye Comet C/2014 Q2 Lovejoy visible from Ireland!

A new comet discovered by Terry Lovejoy (his 5th!), official name C/2014 Q2, is heading North and has gradually brightened. Currently it shines at magnitude 5.5, barely visible with the unaided eye even in a very dark sky, but relatively easy in binoculars.

IAA member John C McConnell has imaged the comet - shown here, taken with a 50mm lens at f2.2 for 10 seconds.


IAA Lecture 17th December: Dr Ernst de Mooij (QUB) - "Characterising the atmospheres of exoplanets"

Artist's conception of an exoplanet. Art by Karen Teramura. (c) NASA

Over the past two decades more than one thousand planets have been discovered outside our Solar System. What is even more interesting is that we have started to investigate atmospheres of these planets using telescopes both on the ground and in space. In this talk I will show how we can study the atmospheres of these alien worlds, and what we have learned from these observations.

Lecture 3rd December: Prof Tom Ray, of the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies. Title: "The Einstein Lens and a Tale of Two Eclipses.”

This lecture will present some exclusive new findings about the trips that were made to various parts of the world to observe the Total Solar Eclipse in 1919: the first attempt to check the predictions of General Relativity. see http://www.earthmagazine.org/article/benchmarks-solar-eclipse-proves-rel...
There are two important local connections –

Public Astronomy Night at Slieve Gullion, Sunday 30th November

NGC 7000
The IAA will be holding another public astronomy outreach event, this time at a new dark sky venue, the visitor's centre at Slieve Gullion Forest Park, near the village of Meigh, SW of Newry. 
VENUE: Visitors Centre, Slieve Gullion Forest Park. •Signposted off B113 from Newry to Forkhill, past the village of Meigh. It has nice dark skies. The entrance is at N 54 deg 6' 36.5"; W: 6 deg 24' 19"

IAA 40th Anniversary Dinner - Friday 28th November

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the formation of the IAA (formerly the Belfast Centre of the Irish Astronomical Society) in 1974, we are having a Celebratory / Seasonal Dinner on Friday 28 November, in a private suite in the Maynard Sinclair Pavilion, Upper Newtownards Road, Stormont, Belfast. We have got an excellent deal on this so it's not to be missed!
There is free parking at the venue. Directions to venue will be given later