Lecture - Weds 20th Sept - Prof Mark Bailey, Emeritus Director of Armagh Observatory. "Ancient Stones and Comets: Developing the Giant-Comet Hypothesis"

Prof Mark Bailey
A bright comet can become the most prominent object in the sky other than the Sun and Moon and a source of wonderment and awe for those lucky enough to see one. This talk begins with an introduction to comets, their origin and proximate source in the Oort cloud; and then discusses evidence for exceptionally large, so-called "giant" comets with diameters 50km to 100km or more.  

IAA Members' Eclipse Success

Diamond Ring Eclipse

We're very pleased to report that a number of IAA members on holiday in the USA have had excellent viewing conditions for the Total Solar Eclipse - the featured image comes from Andy McCrea in Idaho with excellent conditions also being reported from Terry Moseley and Kate Russo in Wyoming and a number of members of the Irish Astronomical Community in Oregon.

Congratulations all, well done!

More to follow.

IAA Perseid Meteor Shower Barbeque - Sat 12th August - Delamont Country Park

Perseid Meteor

The Perseid Meteor shower is caused by the Earth passing through the debris trail of Comet 109P Swift-Tuttle which orbits the Sun with a 130 year period. The meteors hit the Earth's atmosphere comparitively fast, aprroximately 35 miles/sec or 120,000 mph and burn up at a height of around 50 miles. 

IAA Solar Day at WWT Castle Espie - Sun 6th Aug

The Sun in Hydrogen Alpha Light
The next popular IAA solar outreach day will be on Sunday 6th August from 2:00 to 5:00. All the usual attractions - solar observing if clear, telescope display, meteorites to handle, exhibition of space & astronomy items and of course the ever popular starshows in the Stardome, courtesy of Armagh Planetarium. Shows will run at 2:00, 2:45, 3:30 and 4:15 and tickets are bookable at the reception desk at Castle Espie

Annual General Meeting, Weds 12th April

Yuri Gagarin
Wednesday 12th April marks the date of the 43rd Annual General Meeting of the Association. The purposes of the meeting are to review the activities of the past year, elect a new Council for the coming year and for the Council to receive feedback from the membership on how they - that's you - would like to see the Association develop.
We have also had a sub-committee sitting to decide whether or not the prestigious Aidan P Fitzgerald Award should be awarded this year, and if so, who the recipient should be. 

Lecture - Weds 29th March - Henry Joy McCracken - Institut d’Astrophysique de Paris - "The Euclid Mission: finding out what dark matter and dark energy really are"

Henry Joy McCracken
The nature of dark matter and dark energy remains one of astronomy’s most profound mysteries. Scheduled for launch in 2020,  ESA’s Euclid satellite will map precisely the distribution of dark matter in the Universe and provide the most accurate measurement yet of the cosmic acceleration.
Taken together, these two observations will provide a stringent test of our cosmological model. In addition, Euclid will provide an unprecedented legacy of high-resolution imaging over tens of thousands of square degrees of sky.