IAA Lecture 3rd April 2013 - Prof Alan Fitzsimmons - “Data Mining The Asteroid Belt”

Prof Alan Fitzsimmons

The Pan-STARRS1 telescope is the largest telescope currently used to systematically survey the sky for comets and asteroids. Since starting in 2010, it has been used to make over 4 million detections of comets, asteroid and other Solar system bodies. This cornucopia of data is allowing us to study many different regions from Near-Earth space to the Kuiper Belt. In this talk Professor Alan Fitzsimmons will describe how Pan-STARRS1 works, how asteroids and comets are found, and what we have discovered so far.

Admission is free, including light refreshments, and all are welcome.

IAA Lecture - Andrew Dennis - Andor Technologies - "Andor & Cutting Edge Astronomy"

Andrew Dennis

Andor Technologies is a Belfast based company manufacturing a ranges of cameras including some which are capable of high-end astrophotography. The company grew out of the Physics Department of Queens University Belfast and now supplies cameras to the world market. Some of the topics covered by the lecture will include:-

·         Lucky Imaging

·         Hunting for Extra Solar Planets using various techniques

Comet C/2011 L4 Pan-Starrs

Comet Pan-Starrs

Comet C/2011 L4 Pan-Starrs is now visible in the Northern Hemisphere! Seeing this new comet is a very tricky observation though it should become easier during the week. Although the Comet is quite bright - current estimates put it as mag 2 or maybe even a bit brighter, it is close to the Sun so is only visible for a short time after sunset. The map above shows where to look, but more important is the choice of viewing location - a good western horizon is essential. Start looking after sunset, probably 30 mins after the actual sunset time. On 12th and 13th March the comet will be close to the crescent Moon making location easier. Because of the twilight it may be difficult to see naked eye, but binoculars will make it a lot easier.

IAA at St Patrick's Academy, Dungannon, 8th March

There will be another public astronomy evening on Friday 8th March, at the school from 7.30 p.m onwards.

As well as the school's own 14" Celestron, once again we'll have a selection of our own powerful telescopes and binoculars for viewing the night sky, an exhibition, short astronomy and space films, a selection of meteorites (rocks from space) which you can actually hold, and of course the Stardome mobile planetarium! 

You'll have a chance to meet our own 'Ulsternaut', Derek Heatly from Groomsport, who is booked to fly into space with Virgin Galactic.

20th February - Dr Chris Watson - "Mapping the surfaces of stars - giant spots and shadows"

The next Irish Astronomical Association public lecture will be given by Dr Chris Watson of Queens University, Belfast. 

His talk is entitled "Mapping the surfaces of stars - giant spots and shadows". 
Chris is well-known amongst our members through his involvement in the Jupiter Watches and Stargazing Live events of the last two years as well as his talk to us in April 2010.
This is certain to be a fascinating talk, on a fascinating subject! It's on WEDNESDAY 20th February, at 7.30 p.m., in the Bell Lecture Theatre, Physics Building, Queen's University, Belfast. ADMISSION IS FREE, as always, and includes light refreshments. Everyone is welcome!