A list of current astronomy events happening across Ireland during the International Year of Astronomy 2009. These local news are taken from astronomy bulletins and emails we receive. If you would like to advertise other local events here, please contact us.

Astronomy Festival: 12/13 February 2010, Galway

The Galway Astronomy Club are pleased to announce details of their upcoming Astronomy Festival to take place at the 4* Westwood House Hotel from Friday February 12th to Saturday February 13th 2010. The event will be styled in the same manner as this year (which worked very well) and will have ten different speakers.


Friday Feb 12th 7.30pm, two talks (free admission)

Philip Walsh: “The Drake Equation”

Proffessor Paul Mohr: “Cassini, Meridani nodding Ecliptic” 

Will be an extensive…

ESO and the EELT: Tue 15 December, DCU, Dublin

From Dublin City University, School of Physical Sciences:

We are pleased to announce a talk by  Prof. Tim de Zeeuw, Director General European Southern Observatory:

 ESO and the E ELT*

The talk will take place on Tuesday, December 15, 2009 at 9:30 am in room HG19 of the DCU School of Nursing 

(campus map at 

* (European Extremely Large Telescope) 


The European Southern Observatory is an intergovernmental organization  for astronomy. Its mission is to…

Astronomy Ireland's Christmas talk: Mon 14 Dec, TCD, Dublin

For a very special Christmas Lecture, Astronomy Ireland have  enlisted the Director-General of the European Space Observatory (ESO), Professor Tim de Zeeuw, to enthral and excite guests with details of some of the world's largest telescopes, over which he has control. The ESO is clearly the world leader in astronomy and telescope facilities and it is astonishing and overwhelming that Astronomy Ireland have a man of his calibre giving our most exciting talk of the year.

Although ESO has 14…

SETI: Monday 7 December Ballyclare

The next meeting of the NIAAS takes place on Monday 7th December, starting at 8pm in Ballyclare High School lecture theatre. Directions can be found here.

We are extremely pleased to welcome Howard Parkin from the Isle Of Man as our guest speaker on the night.


Howard Parkin was a founder member of the Isle of Man Astronomical Society (IOMAS) and has been chairman since 2004. The IMOAS celebrate their 20th anniversary this year.
Howard has been an astronomer since a child and has been teaching…

Cosmic Christmas to be launched on Friday 4 December at Blackrock Castle Observatory

Blackrock Castle Observatory: Cosmic Christmas Launch & Flood Relief Benefit: First Fridays at the Castle, December 4th.
Blackrock Castle Observatory is launching Cosmic Christmas in association with RSVP Red Sandstone Varied Productions at the popular First Fridays at the Castle event on Friday December 4th at 6pm. All proceeds on the night are donated to the Cork St.Vincent de Paul flood relief efforts.
Come and enjoy Cosmic Christmas activities for visitors of all ages!
  • Star crafting workshops…

The Small Bodies of the outer Solar System: Wed 2 December, Belfast

From Terry Moseley: 

The next lecture of the Irish Astronomical Association's season will be given by Dr Pedro Lacerda of QUB.

His talk is entitled "The Small Bodies of the Outer Solar System" and will describe some of the intruguing objects and mysteries of that region, such as the comets, the Edgeworth-Kuiper Belt Objects, TNOs, Plutinos, etc. It's on WEDNESDAY 2 DECEMBER, at 7.30 p.m., in the Bell Lecture Theatre, Physics Building, Queen's University, Belfast.

ADMISSION IS FREE, as always, and…

Portraits of Astronomers: Opening in Armagh on Thur 19 November

sir-patrick-moore373From Mark Bailey, Armagh Observatory, and Greer Ramsey, Armagh County Museum 

The National Museums Northern Ireland and the Armagh Observatory announce the launch of the exhibition "Portraits of Astronomers", at 8.00pm on Thursday 19th November at Armagh County Museum.

   This stunning exhibition consists of 38 black and white photographic portraits featuring some of the UK's leading astronomers including household names like Sir Patrick Moore, the first Director of the Armagh Planetarium. Other…

Over us All is the SElfsame Sky

NEW: photos from the opening day: click here

Ulster Names, a poem by John Hewitt

IAS Public Star Party: Fri 30 Oct, Martello Tower car park

On October 30th the Irish Astronomical Society will hold a public star party at the Martello Tower car park in Sandymount at 8pm, someone will be there regardless of the weather.  

From 8.00pm till 10.00pm,
at the Martello Tower Car Park (south side), Strand Rd, Sandymount, Dublin 4.
See Location Map
No Charge.

Exploring the Universe: 9 - 13 Nov, Cork


The French Embassy in Ireland, in partnership with University College Cork and Astronomy Ireland is glad to present the exhibition: "Exploring the Universe".

From ancient times until now, man has observed the sky, first with the naked eye, and then with ever more powerful instruments. The information gathered was used to build an increasingly accurate and complex representation of our Universe. The classification of stars paved the way for the study of their…

The Big Bang: Mon 9 Nov Dublin

Astronomy Ireland Major Public Lecture - DUBLIN

"The Big Bang"

By Dr. Cormac O'Raifeartaigh, Physics Department, Waterford Institute of Technology.

Monday November 09 2009 at 8:00pm

Astronomy Ireland's November Public Lecture will be one of the biggest of the year when Dr Cormac O'Raifeartaigh delves into the exciting topic of 'The Big Bang'.

Originally proposed by Georges Lemaitre, The Big Bang is the cosmological model of the initial conditions and subsequent development of the universe that is…

Archaeo-Astronomy talk by Betty Jo Harper in Navan Sun 8 Nov

Archaeo-Astronomy talk by Betty Jo Harper in Navan Sun 8 Nov

From Nora Judge: 

chaco'Archaeo-astronomy', a presentation by Betty Jo Harper at St.Mary's (Church of Ireland), Navan on Sunday 8 November 8pm  

The Winter Solstice rising sun alignment into the chamber of Newgrange is now one of the best known archeo-astronomical phenomena in Ireland.  But this event is one of many that take place across the world.  Places also seem linked together with mythologies and names.

Betty Jo will draw together threads that connect America, Europe and beyond through our…

The Cosmology of Distant and Dusty Galaxies: 3 Nov, Belfast

Professor Michael Rowan Robinson, recently retired President of the Royal Astronomical Society and Winner of the Hoyle Medal (2008) will give the Royal Irish Academy’s McCrea Astronomy lecture (2009) in the Connor Lecture Theatre, University of Ulster, Belfast Campus, York Street at 6pm on 3rd November 2009.

Professor Robinson is one of Europe’s leading figures in observational cosmology but as well as providing new insights into the cosmological evolution of distant and dusty galaxies,…

Cosmology lectures in Dublin and Belfast: 2nd and 3rd November

Cosmology lectures in Dublin and Belfast: 2nd and 3rd November

sombrero_spitzerFrom Aoife Mc Monagle:
The Royal Irish Academy is hosting the biennial Sir William McCrea Astronomy Lecture in both Dublin and Belfast this November.

Title: The Cosmology of Distant and Dusty Galaxies

Speaker: Professor Michael Rowan-Robinson, Imperial College London
Winner of the 2008 Hoyle Medal and former President of the Royal Astronomical Society

Dates and Venues: 
2nd November, 6pm Royal Irish Academy, 19 Dawson Street, Dublin 2 
3rd November, 6pm Conor Lecture Theatre, University of…

Galilean Nights: 22 and 23 October

Astronomy Ireland Celebrates Galilean Nights
October 22nd & 23rd

On 22-24 October 2009, the International Year of Astronomy 2009 Cornerstone Project, Galilean Nights, will see amateur and professional astronomers, enthusiasts and the public taking to the streets all around the globe, pointing their telescopes to the wonders that Italian astronomer Galileo observed 400 years ago.

After the success of the Jupiter Watches in September, Astronomy Ireland are encouraging everyone to take part in this…

Why are we here? Thur 22 October 2009, Armagh

Why are we here? Thur 22 October 2009, Armagh


The Armagh Observatory and the Armagh Natural History and Philosophical Society are co-hosting a free public lecture on Thursday 22 October 2009 in the Rotunda Lecture Theatre, St. Patrick's Trian, Armagh.  The Lecture will be delivered by Dr  Martin Hendry of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Glasgow.  The lecture will begin at 8.00 pm and is scheduled to end at 9.00 pm with questions, followed by tea and coffee.

The title of the lecture is: "Why Are We Here?"


Observing with a 100-metre telescope - Wed 21 October, Belfast

Observing with a 100-metre telescope - Wed 21 October, Belfast

vltThe next lecture of the Irish Astronomical Association's new season will be given by Dr Carla Gil. 

Carla has done some pioneering research work with the world's most powerful telescope, the European Southern Observatory's VLT in Chile, specifically using it in Interferometer mode, when it can function with an effective aperture of 100 metres. Yes, that's one hundred metres! She is now a visiting ESO Research Fellow at Armagh Observatory.   

Her talk is entitled "Observing with a 100-metre…

October events at Blackrock Castle Observatory

October events at Blackrock Castle Observatory

October is a busy month at CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory! 

Our first live transmission with the Chabot Space & Science Centre, MidTerm workshops, Maths Week Math a Magicians, Space at the Mall, Galilean Nights observing with the StarGazers Live! and don't miss our Vampire Ball following the first of our Movies by Moonlight screenings- Nosferatu. 

Hope to see you here for some of these great events. 
Clear Skies from all at BCO.

The Hershel Space Observatory - the golden age of space-based IR astronomy continues: Monday 19 October

The Hershel Space Observatory - the golden age of space-based IR astronomy continues: Monday 19 October

IAS Oct 2009 Brian O H
Irish Astronomical Society's October Talk (Monday 19th, 8 pm, Dunsink Observatory) is presented by Dr. Brian O'Halloran and is Entitled "The Herschel Space Observatory - The golden age of space-based IR astronomy continues". Brian is a member of the Herschel SPIRE Instrument Control Centre team, and a member of the Herschel Specialist Astronomy Group 2 consortium. He is also a member of the Spitzer Legacy SAGE team. He promises to show us some of the latest images from this amazing new…

Astronomy Evening Classes for Beginners

Astronomy Evening Classes for Beginners

Astronomy Ireland have designed and developed astronomy Evening Classes for the general public. Aimed at beginners, the classes are running in 10 locations nationwide.
Still to commence are:
  • Athlone                15th October               BOOK HERE
  • Letterkenny          15th October               BOOK HERE
  • Tralee                  22nd October              BOOK HERE
  • Sligo                    29th October               BOOK HERE
These exciting and hugely popular classes are suitable for people of…

Star Gazing: Saturday 17 October, Castle Espie

To mark International Year of Astronomy 2009, the Irish Astronomical Association will be holding a special public astronomy event at the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, Castle Espie, near Comber, Co Down.

"We will show members of the public the wonders of the night sky, including mighty Jupiter, the largest planet in the Solar System, with its four big Galilean Moons, and lovely double stars, star clusters, nebulae and galaxies from far across the universe.
We will also have an exhibition,…

Astronomy: what is our place in the Universe? Wed 14 October

14 October: Science NI presents Prof Alan Fitzsimmons @ the Science Café, 7.30 p.m. (doors open at 7 pm) 
Venue: McHugh's Bar, Belfast
Admission free

Topic "Astromomy: What is our place in the Universe?"

The Science Cafe is a monthly event where different topics of science are being discussed. You have a chance to listen to and to question experts on the topic discussed, and share your opinions.

Astronomy Ireland's Evening Classes to begin on 8 October

Astronomy Ireland's Evening Classes begin this Thursday, October 8, and are taking place at 10 locations nationwide. These Evening Classes are very popular and are aimed towards the beginner. The course style is informal, there is no complex maths involved and questions are very much encouraged throughout the course. Topics covered include:

  • Introduction to the Night Sky
  • The Sun & the Moon
  • The Planets & Stars
  • The History of Astronomy
  • Telescopes
  • Deep Sky Objects
  • Cosmology
For more details of the…

Donegal and Blue Stacks Festival 2009: happening right now! Come and join in!

Donegal Bay & Blue Stacks Festival 09 has an astronomical theme this year to mark IYA 2009.

This is our Community Arts festival and many groups have worked hard on creating productions & offering a variety of shows, exhibitions  and events for this year. I ask that you all support the arts and celebrate tha talent we have here in Donegal by supporting this unique and wide spread rural festival.  So Please ... spread the word through your contacts.

 Please note that carnival Ballyshannon…

Equinox Sunrise from Loughcrew - a Success!


People who came to see the Equinox Sunrise from Loughcrew Sunday 20 September had a wonderful morning - and saw a beautiful sunrise! The beam of light entered the chamber, exactly as predicted. See photos here.

There are two more days to go!

Monday  21 and Tuesday  22 September, 7.30 am

Meet at Cairn T; dress warm and with good walking shoes; bring a torch

More info here.

European Light Pollution Symposium has started

The European Light Pollution Symposium started yesterday in Dublin and will start in Armagh today (Thursday 17 September), too.
"There are some excellent speakers, on all aspects of the subject, as well as the latest information on what we can do to reduce the problem.
I'm sure many of you are planning to go, even if only on the Saturday, and/or for the trip to the Beaghmore Stone Circles & Alignments on Friday evening, which includes a meal at the An Creagan Centre, and, if clear, observing in…

Come to see the Equinox Sunrise from Loughcrew

Equinox PosterClare Tuffy, manager of the  Bru na Boinne Visitor Centre, Newgrange invites you to come and see the Equinox Sunrise from Loughcrew!

September 20, 21 and 22, 7.30 am

Meet at Cairn T; dress warm and with good walking shoes; bring a torch

Although the Winter Sunrise phenomenon at Newgrange is well known and well documented, the Equinox sunrise effect at Loughcrew is less renowned. For archaeo-astronomers, the alignment at Loughcrew is regarded as less significant than that at Newgrange as the…

The Stars at your Fingertips - a UNAWE Astronomy Workshop: Tuesday 15 September 2009

unawe-logo copy

Dr Carolina Odman from Leiden University will present:  The stars at your fingertips - a UNAWE astronomy workshop on Tuesday 15th September 2009 at Dunsink Observatory.

UNAWE, Universe Awareness for Young Children, is a cornerstone of IYA2009 and Dr Odman is the International Project Manager and a member of the International Astronomical Union. UNAWE is the brain child of Professor George Miley, Vice President of The IAU and an Irish man.

Gates of to Dunsink Observatory open at 20.45 and the…

Astronomical drawing exhibition to open on 18 September in Birr

Birr poster plus children

A major exhibition collated by Deirdre Kelleghan will launch at Birr Castle, County Offaly. Entitled "In the Footsteps of Galileo", it will feature drawings and sketches of the Moon created by Irish, American, and many more children along with lunar, solar, planetary, and deep sky sketches made by well known observers and artists such as Sir Patrick Moore, Sally Russell, Jeremy Perez, Sue French, Dan Davis, Jeff Young and many more. 


First Fridays at the Castle: tonight 4 September

Tonight's events at Blackrock Castle Observatory:

6-8pm: Pocket Solar System Workshop

8pm: Lecture by Deirdre Kelleghan Our Moon, Some Moon Stories and Moon News

9.30pm: Constellations by Moonlight - Astronomy in the Courtyard 

Our Moon, Some Moon Stories and Moon News by Deirdre Kelleghan: 

This talk is about that wonderful rock in our sky and asks the questions: What is it? Why is it important? What are its features? Who went there? Who is buried there? Will we go again? How will we live on the…

Astronomy Weekend at Newgrange


This coming weekend (Friday 28 to Sunday 30 August) there is a special programme of activities to accompany the International Year of Astronomy "From Earth to the Universe" exhibition on display at the Bru na Boinne visitor centre (Newgrange, Ireland's most popular touristic site). There will be astronomers to talk to, the Sun in 3-D, telescope displays, solar imaging if clear, astro-art fun workshops run by Dr Miruna Popescu, and various other fun and interactive exhibits, all these for free.…

Astronomy for Heritage Week at Newgrange

cats-eye-supernova-300dpi-5MBThe Irish Astronomical Association, in conjunction with Armagh Observatory, is delighted to be presenting at the Bru na Boinne Visitor Centre, Newgrange, Co Meath, some of the amazing FETTU (From Earth To The Universe) exhibition photographs which have been produced for IYA 2009. 

This exhibition will run from today Saturday 22 August to Sunday 13 September.

Astronomers will be around to answer questions and show some other astronomy movies and displays especially on this weekend Sat 22 & Sun…

What is light?

web flier

Leo Enright, a broadcaster on Space Exploration and Science, will deliver a public lecture at Academy House, 19 Dawson Street,  Dublin, on  Wednesday 16th September 2009 at 7pm, and in the Market Place Theatre, Armagh, on Thursday 17 September at 7.30 pm.

Leo explores the history of Ireland's sometimes tenuous connection with luminosity - while naming and shaming some modern big wicks. He will focus on the importance of continuing public access to dark skies, especially during the present…

News Round-Up

There is a multitude of astronomy events events coming up at the end of August, why don't you pick up your favourite:

Saturday 15 August IAA event:  IYA2009 Solar Day at Carnfunnock
Sunday 16 August IAA event: IYA2009 Solar Day at Mount Stewart

Saturday August 22, Roundwood, Co Wicklow: Astronomy Ireland's Star-BQ 2009

Saturday 22 August - Sunday 30 August: special astronomy exhibition during the Heritage National Week at Newgrange

IAA Perseid BBQ, Dealmont Country Park

From Terry Moseley: The Irish Astronomical Association will hold a Perseid Observing Night + BBQ, at Delamont Country Park, near Killyleagh, Co Down, on the evening of Wed 12 August, from 7.30 p.m till late. It's actually going to be more of a 'Fry-up' than BBQ, to save on the clearing up later! The usual rules apply - bring your own food, drink, plates, cutlery, glasses, mugs etc, and if you have a small portable cooker (gas or liquid fuel), bring it too. There are picnic tables to cook and…

Jayanne's last lecture of her current Irish IYA tour: Friday 7 August, Dublin


Dr Jayanne English, Associate Professor of Physics in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada will present the talk Cosmos versus Canvas: Tensions Between Art and Science in Astronomy Images in the Science Gallery, TCD, on August 7th. Her talk  explores how we perceive astronomical images as science or art. More details on the talk can be found here.

Star Wars Characters to invade Armagh Planetarium this weekend


Armagh Planetarium is pleased to announce the launch of a new exhibition of fabulous fan-made Star Wars props and costumes.  

The Galactic Treasures event will be held in conjunction with the Emerald Garrison, part of the Knights of the Empire (KOTE). The KOTE is a Stars Wars costuming group where people from all over the world celebrate the films by replicating characters from the six movies. The Emerald Garrison has brought Stormtroopers, Clonetroopers, Darth Vader and more characters to…

Amazing Astronomy Exhibition in Lurgan

An exhibition featuring some of the best astronomical images ever taken is currently in Lurgan Library till the end of the month. 

The exhibition, called From Earth to the Universe, is one of the major contributions of the Irish Astronomical Association to the International Year of Astronomy 2009 (IYA2009). It is supported by the Armagh Observatory, Discover Science and Engineering and the Ireland Node for IYA2009. 

On Thursday 30 July 2009, Miruna Popescu, IYA2009-Ireland coordinator, will…

ALL IN! - Astronomy Summer Programme

Astronomy Summer Programme for Children and Young People in Dublin City Libraries with Deirdre Kelleghan, part of Dublin City Libraries Summer events


Tuesday 14 July, 11am:
Deadly Moons Astronomy Art Workshop, Wexford Library  
Phone        +353 53 9121637

Wednesday 15 July, 11am:
Rapid Rockets and Wicked Robots Astronomy Art Workshop, Donaghmede Library
Telephone: +353 1 8482833

Still to come (please phone the library to book):

Thursday 16 July, 11 am:
Astronomy and other Cool Stuff,  Finglas…

Carolyn Porco: Reminder

3565699565_dc5510a6b2Reminder of Dr Carolyn Porco's lecture tour in Ireland:

Carolyn's lectures were completely booked up in Dunsink and BCO and the feedback from her talk is fantastic!

Last lecture of her Irish tour:
Armagh Planetarium Wednesday 8 July 

This morning (@ 11.30 am) there were 5 more tickets to go.

For tickets contact Neil

Summer Events at Blackrock Castle

IYA Lectures at Tara

tara-lectureOrganised by Clare Tuffy of Bru na Boinne (OPW), this summer's series of lectures at Hill of Tara Visitors Centre, near Navan in Co Meath, are on an astronomical theme to mark the International Year of Astronomy

They are held on successive Wednesdays, at 8 pm.

Admission is free.

(1)  July 1:
 "How the Ancient Irish Viewed the Skies" 

(2)  July 8: 
"Galileo And The Copernican Revolution"
by Prof. Markus Woerner, NUI Galway

(3)  July 15:  

Carolyn Porco: Reminder3


Carolyn's talk is proven extremely popular. 

BCO's lecture tonight is totally booked out (including the standing places!) so don't go announced to avoid disappointment.

Blackrock Castle Observatory Friday 3 July 

(As for half an hour ago) 10 tickets still left for the Armagh lecture on Wednesday.

Armagh Planetarium Wednesday 8 July 

(for tickets contact Neil)

Carolyn Porco: Reminder2


Dunsink Observatory Tuesday 30 June

Fantastic lecture! Make sure you won't miss those ones if you're around:

Blackrock Castle Observatory Friday 3 July 

(for tickets contact BCO)

Armagh Planetarium Wednesday 8 July 

(for tickets contact Neil)

Belfast Carnival

Belfast Carnival

Today is the Big Carnival Day in Belfast. Come and join the fun!

Teachers of Physics Annual Conference

Teachers of Physics Annual Conference 2009

A day of lectures, demonstrations and workshops for post-primary teachers of physics 

Conference jointly organised by the Institute of Physics in Ireland Education Group and WIT School of Science

Date: Saturday 26th September 2009

Venue: Engineering and Science Building, Waterford IT, Cork Road campus

For further information and registrations please email the organizers.


Belfast Carnival 2009

Belfast Carnival 2009

Watch the Belfast Carnival 2009 Promo on YouTube

Moon Week

From Catherine McGuinness, Education Assistant, National Museum of Ireland, Natural History:

2009 marks the 40th anniversary of the first manned Moon landing by Neil Armstrong as part of the Apollo 11 mission on July 20th 1969. To celebrate, the National Museum of Ireland is hosting a "Moon Week" from Sunday 19th to Saturday 25th July in "The Dead Zoo" exhibition at Collins Barracks. Events will include special presentation entitled "Shake, Rattle and Roll:  What it really felt like to watch men…

Carolyn Porco special guest


Dr Carolyn Porco, NASA Imaging Director for the Cassini-Huygens Mission to Saturn, will come to Ireland in association with Armagh PlanetariumCork’s Blackrock Castle Observatory and the Dublin Institute of Advanced Studies as part of the International Year of Astronomy 2009 in Ireland

Her tour will highlight the IYA2009 cornerstone She is an Astronomer.

She will give talks at:

Dunsink Observatory on Tuesday 30 June  (for tickets contact Hilary)

Blackrock Castle Observatory on Friday 3 July (for…

Belfast City Carnival

This year, the Belfast Carnival (formerly the Lord Mayor's Show) welcomes in the new Lord Mayor and celebrates the International Year of Astronomy 2009. 

This coincides with the 'From Earth To The Universe' IYA2009 outdoor exhibition in the grounds of the Belfast City Hall and promises to be a great visual and entertaining cosmic spectacular. 

When one of the highlights of the city’s cultural calendar takes to the streets on Saturday 27 June – the Belfast City Carnival will celebrate the 2009…

Science Display in Belfast

Eight hundred of Northern Ireland’s finest young minds are preparing to attend Seagate Young Innovators on Thursday 19th June 2008 at the Odyssey Arena, Belfast. 

Seagate Young Innovators is admission-free and commences at 10:00 am with student projects, competitions and other exhibitions, including the European Southern Observatory (ESO) astronomy display.

See the full story here.

Solstice Astroarchaeology 1

090620-stonecircle-pat-FLYER3From Terry Moseley: "SOLSTICE ASTROARCHAEOLOGY, Sunday 21 June, 14.00      To mark the summer solstice, the Irish Astronomical Association and the Ulster Archaeological Society have organised an event at the An Creagan Centre in Co. Tyrone, including an escorted visit to the nearby famous Beaghmore Stone Circles and Alignments. This is part of the UAS's public "Archaeology Days" in June, and also falls neatly into the International Year of Astronomy events.

  There will be an exhibition of the…

SOLARFEST coming soon

Solarfest, a one-day event to celebrate the Sun: this Saturday 20 June, Dunsink Observatory. 

Spaces are limited to 60 seats so if you are interested in attending please drop an e-mail to Michael or Deirdre asap so that a seat can be reserved for you at this invitation-only event.

Previous announcement here. Large poster here.

Draft SOLARFEST for Twitter et cetra NEW
Solarfest Programme 

10:30 - 11:00   Registration

11:00 - 11:30   Kevin Smith

11:30 - 12:00   Tea/Coffee + Solar Observing      

12:00 - 12:30   Deirdre Kelleghan

European Dark Skies Symposium

square-lp-090611 copy

The 9th European Symposium for the Protection of the Night Sky will take place in the Market Place Theatre in Armagh from 17 to 19 September 2009.

This will be the main European event on the topic of Light Pollution for 2009 and is supported by the International Dark Sky Association and national light pollution groups throughout Europe. Presentations will be given by a wide range of experts from Ireland and across Europe. We expect 100-200 attendees for this symposium.

The event is supported by…

From Earth to the Universe

cats-eye-supernova-150dpiAs part of the UK and Ireland International Year of Astronomy 2009 program, the touring ‘From Earth to the Universe’ outdoor exhibition will be on display in the grounds of Belfast City Hall from 10th June to 17th July 2009. The goal of the exhibition is to place astronomical images in "non-traditional" locations to expose astronomy to the general public in an unexpected yet accessible manner.

The display is comprised of 25 stunning celestial images. These images have been selected to represent…

Events at BCO 2009

image001Message from Clair McSweeney, Facilities Manager, Blackrock Castle Observatory:

"We are delighted to invite you to our annual members Star B Q on June 21st. 

Remember too to book your seats for Rob Vance (Earth Mother/Father Sky) this Friday evening at 8pm and Dr. Carolyn Porco (At Saturn:Tripping the Light Fantastic), unmissable speakers for June and July's First Fridays at the Castle series. 

Finally there are limited Space Camp places available...Do you want to be an Astronaut?! 

Looking forward…

Archaeology Days.


Archaeology Days will once again take place in June. There are a wide variety of events, which should provide something of interest to everybody, and, as this year is the International Year of Astronomy, there are some special astronomy-related events:

Guided Walk Around the Armagh Observatory Grounds, Human Orrery and Astropark: Saturday 20th June, meet at 11:00 at the Armagh Observatory

NIEA Archaelogist Edith Gowdy and Armagh Observatory Director, Prof. Mark Bailey at Knockmany Passage Tomb:…

New Meteorite to be unveiled at the Armagh Planetarium


From Neil Cullen, Armagh Planetarium:

"On Thursday evening, 28 May 2009, we will be unveiling our new meteorite alongside a special talk by Dr Mike Simms of the Ulster Museum, incorporating the 40th anniversary of the landing of the Bovedy meteorite. This talk  will begin  at 7pm in Armagh Planetarium's Copernicus Hall. There will also be a special  screening of the Invaders of Mars show in the digital theatre at 8.15pm. 

Free refreshments will also be available. Admission is free and seats are…

SOLARFEST 2009 Saturday 20 June, Dunsink Observatory

Updates on SOLARFEST; from Michael O'Connell, IFAS Chair: 

"IFAS in conjunction with Dublin Institute of Advanced Studies (DIAS) are organising a one-day event in Dublin to discuss solar astronomy. The event is called Solarfest 2009 and will take place on Saturday 20th June 2009 at Dunsink Observatory. We are very grateful for the support of DIAS for sponsoring the event and attendance is FREE. 

Speakers confirmed so far are Deirdre Kelleghan (IFAS), Sally Russell (RAS), Miruna Popescu (Armagh…

The Universe - Yours to Discover at the Armagh Heritage Day: Wednesday 20 May


The latest 3D technology as well as glimpses into the past and the chance to don uniforms worn during World War 1 are just some of the features of this year's Armagh Heritage Day organised by the Armagh Visitor Education Committee (AVEC). It will be held on Wednesday, 20th May in the Rotunda Theatre at St Patrick's Trian. The theme of the Heritage Day is the city's contribution to education and learning down through the ages.

Armagh man, Professor Peter Finn, who received his early education at…

SOLARFEST 2009 - Saturday 20 June, Dunsink Observatory

SOLARFEST 2009 - Saturday 20 June, Dunsink Observatory

Ireland and the Moon Landings - Some Personal Reminiscences - Thursday 14 May 2009, Dublin City Library

Blue Earth
Ireland and the Moon Landings: Some Personal Reminiscences, an illustrated talk with Professor Denis O’Sullivan of NASA, on his work with the Apollo Missions, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Moon Landings in 1969.

Thursday 14th May 6.30pm Admission Free. Booking Essential. 

138-144 Pearse Street, Dublin 2

For booking contact: 
Dublin City Library and Archive, Tel. 01 6744873.

Introduction to Amateur Astronomy in Ireland - Tuesday 12 May 2009, Ballymun Library

glendalough 019Introduction to Amateur Astronomy in Ireland - a lecture given by  Deirdre Kelleghan on May 12th 2009 at Ballymun Library at 6:30 pm

Ballymun Library, Main St., Ballymun, Dublin 1 

For bookings please phone 842 1890 or email

Fascinating Astronomy Images on Display in The Market Place, Armagh


The travelling astronomy exhibition "From Earth to the Universe" is now on display in The Market Place, Armagh, for two weeks till Sunday 24 May 2009. Click here for more info about this fascinating exhibition.

From a Bang to a Whimper - Celebrating Differing Views of the Universe - Tuesday 12 May 2009, Trinity College Dublin

roomSpecial Astronomy Day at Trinity College Dublin: the theme of the day is to celebrate the UN General Assembly International Year of Astronomy. One of the stated goals is to bring astronomy to a wider public, so the events today are designed to cover a diverse range of space-related topics that will be of interest to a broad range of people. Our views of the Universe are represented through literature, through this year’s anniversaries of Galileo’s discoveries and the first Moon landing, through…

Follow up from the Second Cross-Border Schools Science Conference


Discover the Stars at Armagh’ - the second Cross-Border Schools Science Conference, an International Year of Astronomy 2009 event, took place in Armagh on Wednesday 29th and Thursday 30th April 2009. 

Here are the first and the second official press releases.

Have you been part of it? Tell us how you've liked it!

Constructing a 16 inch Dobsonian Telescope: Monday 11 May 2009, Ballyclare

The next meeting of the NIAAS will be held on Monday 11th May in Ballyclare High School Lecture Room and starts at 8.00pm sharp. Directions can be found here.

For the last meeting of the season we are very happy to have Michael O'Connell as our guest speaker.
Michael O'Connell

Michael is the Chairperson of the Irish Federation Of Astronomical Societies (IFAS) and the Midlands Astronomy Club (formerly Tullamore Astronomical Society)

His talk at our meeting is entitled 'Constructing a 16" Dobsonian Telescope'

If you…

Blackrock Castle Observatory programme for May

IMG_2514Blackrock Castle Observatory announces another exciting programme of events for this spring: Alien Evolution Workshops, Cosmos at the Castle, First Fridays at the Castle, free choral performance, Hands on Universe, Space Camps and much more. 

For more information click here

IYA2009 special lecture, by Galileo: Wednesday 15 April 2009

picture-13The Irish Astronomical association AGM will be held at 7.30 p.m. on Wednesday 15 April, in the Bell Lecture Theatre, Physics Building, main campus, QUB. This will be followed by a special lecture on IYA 2009, by none other than the great Galileo himself. Well, actually, it might be Prof Mike Redfern from NUI Galway, who's the official Irish Representative, or 'SPOC' for IYA2009. He has been seen in a strange outfit, masquerading as the great Italian astronomer!

Admission is free, including…

To Here From Eternity: Monday 6 April 2009

NIAAS April Meeting - To Here From Eternity: The story of the Bovedy, Sprucefield and Crumlin meteorites by Dr. Mike Simms from the Ulster Museum.

Monday 6th April in Ballyclare High School starting at 20.00. Directions can be found here.

Dr Mike Simms is Curator of Palaeontology at the Ulster Museum but his interests range far beyond fossils and encompass geology and geomorphology, lichens, and meteorites. He is also a caver...

Mike In A Hole

All being well, we'll get Mike out in time for the meeting!


Armagh Observatory's Grubb refractor to open for the public tonight


As part of the 100 hours of astronomy Armagh Observatory is planning to open up the Grubb 10" refractor tonight - Saturday 4 April, 9.30 pm. Everybody welcome!

100 hours of astronomy and much more at Blackrock Castle Observatory

Blackrock Castle Observatory is announcing a huge programme of IYA activities for this spring. Check this link to see the full list of events. 

image007The coming up event is the IYA cornerstone activity, 100 Hours of Astronomy, in which BCO is playing a very active role.

Following this week’s sell out star struck musical shows for Earth Hour and visits by Br Guy Consolmagno, the Vatican Astronomer, Blackrock Castle Observatory prepares for 100 hours non stop astronomy action at the award winning Cork…

Astronomy and Poetry: Wednesday 1 April 2009

bell-burn2Irish Astronomical Association, Public Lecture: "Astronomy and Poetry", by Prof Jocelyn Bell-Burnell. This is a new venture for Jocelyn Bell, originally from Lurgan in Co Armagh. Best known as the discoverer of pulsars, for which she narrowly, and unfairly, missed out on a Nobel Prize, Jocelyn has gone on to the very top of her profession, with a professorship at Oxford, being elected President of the Royal Astronomical Society, and now President of the Institute of Physics. Well-known as a…

100 Hours of Astronomy

100hastronomy100 Hours of Astronomy are starting this Thursday, 2nd of April! Are you prepared to take part in it and look through a telescope?

Search here for events happening in Ireland. This is the event's official website.

These are the latest about this project news from the IYA website - check the news for the event awards!

This is a link to a 24-hour webcast.

The 100 Hours of Astronomy IYA Cornerstone Project is a worldwide event consisting of a wide range of public outreach activities, live science…

The Galieo Wars: Thursday 26 March 2009, Gonzaga College, Dublin


The world-renowed astronomer Br Guy Consolmagno SJ will give a talk titled "The Galileo Wars" in Gonzaga College, Ranelagh, Dublin 6. The lecture will be held on Thursday, 26th March 2009 at 8pm and admission is free.

Br Guy's talk will explore how science is always shaped by what is happening in the broader society that supports it, and the science of the 17th century was no different. His lecture will examine how Galileo's work challenged the science of the day; how it was shaped by the…

Lecture series by Kevin Nolan: "Mars, A Cosmic Stepping Stone"


The Irish Node for the International Year of Astronomy is announcing a series of non-profit lectures by Kevin Nolan  entitled "Mars, A Cosmic Stepping Stone". These lectures, held at various locations across Ireland are part of Kevin's contributions to the International Year of Astronomy - and are free for anyone to attend. For information on the times and venues of the lectures please visit:

Kevin Nolan, the author of the recently launched book "Mars, A Cosmic…

St Patrick's Parades across Ireland - the largest IYA social event on the planet in 2009?

The Irish Node for the International Year of Astronomy is announcing that this year St Patrick’s Festival celebrations in all major cities in Ireland are endorsing an astronomy theme. 

image002In Dublin, this year’s theme for the festival Parade is The Sky’s the Limit!. Over 700,000 people are expected to line the Dublin streets and an estimated six million will be watching either live on RTE or through the internet. The programme is bursting with street theatre, Irish music, dance, spectacles,…

COSMOS 2009 - Ireland's Spring Star Party

Equestrian-AvenueFrom Terry Moseley: "COSMOS 2009 will be held as usual at Annaharvey Farm & Equestrian Centre, Portarlington Road (R 420), Tullamore, on the W/E of 27-29 March. This is always a good event, with interesting speakers & an informal atmosphere."

Space in a Modern Society: Saturday 14 March 2009

Armagh Observatory and Armagh Natural History and Philosophical Society joint public lecture to celebrate International Year of Astronomy 2009: 
"Space in a Modern Society"
 Rotunda Lecture Theatre, St. Patrick's Trian, Armagh; 15:00 to 16:00, Saturday 14th March 2009
BY: Professor David Southwood, Director of Science and Robotic Exploration, European Space Agency, Headquarters, Paris.
   Summary: With the start of the space age, both the universe and the Earth changed or - at least - mankind's…

Mars, the Cosmic Stepping Stone: Wednesday 4 March

The next public lecture by the Irish Astronomical Association will be on Wed 4 March, at 7.30 p.m. in the Bell Lecture Theatre, Physics Building, QUB, by Kevin Nolan. Entitled "Mars, the Cosmic Stepping Stone", it will be based on his excellent new book of that title, just recently published. Kevin is the representative of The Planetary Society in Ireland, and lectures in astronomy and Physics at ITT in Dublin.

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

Blackrock Castle Observatory Events for IYA2009

Cosmic Chaos! 

Blackrock Castle Observatory celebrates the International Year of Astronomy 2009


The International Astronomical Union (IAU) launched 2009 as the International Year of Astronomy (IYA2009) under the theme, The Universe, Yours to Discover. IYA2009 marks the 400th anniversary of the first astronomical observation through a telescope by Galileo Galilei.

The Cork Institute of Technology manages Blackrock Castle Observatory and the facility is open 362 days with expected throughput of…

IYA2009 and Celtic Rock: Monday 16 February 2009

DAVEThe next Irish Astronomical Society meeting on Monday 16 February  will host two talks: Professor Michael Redfern, Single Point of Contact from the IYA Irish Node will talk about the "International Year of Astronomy 2009", and Dave Mc Donald, Vice Chair IFAS, will tell his story about hunting for asteroids: "Celtic Rock".

Monday 16 February 2009, 8pm, Dunsink Observatory

All welcome, free event

Enquiries at 087 28 93 828

Life, the Universe and Everything - well, "The Universe" at least

Iain MacLabhrainn

Would you like the chance to meet people who are interested in understanding the beauty and power of the Universe and our place in it? Join "Meetforreal" at this unique event where cosmology expert, Dr Iain MacLabhrainn, will give a 20 minute talk about his passion for the Universe in this International Year of Astronomy. Click here for more details.

Thursday 12 February 2009, Bar No. 8, The Docks, Galway

Star Formation: How Well do We Understand it? - Wednesday 4 February

The Irish Astronomical Association will hold its next lecture for IYA2009 on Wednesday 4 February, at 7.30 p.m., in the Bell Lecture Theatre, Physics Building, Queen's University Belfast. 

Dr. Fiona McGroarty (QUB) will give a public lecture entitled "Star Formation: How well do we understand it?". 
This lecture will explain one of the most important aspects of modern astronomy, and should not be missed. Admission is free, including light refreshments, and all are welcome. Free parking is…

First Display of the IYA2009-Ireland Travelling Astronomical Exhibition 

Galway 1

The first public appearance of the exhibition of Irish Node for the International Year of Astronomy was welcomed at the Galway Astronomy Festival on 30 to 31 January 2009. The travelling exhibition, entitled "From Earth to the Universe" (FETTU), part of the global cornerstones of the International Year of Astronomy, displays some of the best astronomical images ever taken. 

We would like to thank the Irish Astronomical Association and Astronomy Ireland for helping with the relocation of the…

In the Footsteps of Galileo - 6 February 2009 


Blackrock Castle Observatory is delighted to welcome you to celebrate the launch their programme for the International Year of Astronomy on Friday 6 February 2009, 5.50 pm. The programme opens with an international exhibition of astronomical drawings: "In the Footsteps of Galileo" organised by Deirdre Kelleghan, president of the Irish Astronomical Society.

For more info visit Blackrock Castle Observatory's website.

Galway Astronomy Festival: 30 to 31 January 2009


Members of the Galway Astronomy Club are pleased to announce details of our forthcoming Astronomy Festival to be held at the 4* Westwood House Hotel from 30 to 31 January 2009. In recognition of the Centre for Astronomy at NUI Galway taking centre stage to co-ordinate the Irish activities of International Year of Astronomy 2009,  the Galway Astronomy Club is organising their most comprehensive Astronomy Festival to date with no less than ten speakers. The lectures are spread over a wide range…

The Moon Landings and Memories of Ireland's First Space Experiments: Monday 19 January 2009, Dunsink Observatory


The Irish Astronomical Society will be holding their monthly public meeting on 19 January 2009. Guest speaker this month will be Professor Denis O'Sullivan (DIAS).

Topic:  The Moon Landings and Memories of Ireland's First Space Experiments
Date: 8pm on 19 January 2009
Venue: Dunsink Observatory, Castleknock, Dublin 15.

No admittance charge and all are welcome. For further information please visit: 

International Year of Astronomy 2009 opens with a big Bang in Ireland

On Wednesday 7 January 2009 the International Year of Astronomy (IYA2009) was officially opened in Ireland, in the presence of the Irish President Mary McAleese and the Northern Ireland Minister for Education, Caitriona Ruane, in a most impressive launch ceremony, at the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition in Dublin.

President of Ireland Mary McAleese after delivering a most wonderful and inspiring speech to the young scientists of Ireland 


Robert Hill announcing the official opening of…

The Universe, Yours to Discover: an incredible 3D presentation, from Wednesday 7 to Saturday 10 January 2009, RDS Arena, Dublin

The title "The Universe, Yours to Discover" is the slogan for the International Year of Astronomy 2009. This incredible 3-D presentation will take you on a fascinating visual tour across time and space to discover and explore the universe of the modern astronomer. You will learn of the discoveries of Galileo Galilei observing the sky through his telescope and find out how mankind is using massive ground based and space based telescopes and spacecraft to unlock the mysteries of the cosmos.

Astrophotography: The fundamentals - Wednesday 7 January 2008

Message from Terry Moseley: "The Irish Astronomical Association will hold its opening lecture for IYA2009 on Wednesday 7 January, at 7.30 p.m., in the Bell Lecture Theatre, Physics Building, Queen's University Belfast. Free parking is available on the Main campus, beside the lecture theatre, in the evenings. Entrance via University Square.
IAA member Paul Evans will reveal all the secrets of astrophotography for those just starting in this field in his public lecture entitled "Astrophotography:…

Faulkes Universe Challenge

The Faulkes Telescope Universe Challenge is now open for registration.

One of the highlights of IYA2009-Ireland is a schools competition for using the Faulkes Telescopes - state of the art two metre telescopes from Hawaii and Australia, which can be remotely operated via a web-based interface by students during school hours in Ireland. 

The Faulkes Telescope Challenge is aimed at groups students, aided by their school teacher, at transition year or the equivalent in the North of Ireland, from the…

New year, new name, new website: Monday 5 January 2009

As of the 1st January 2009 the East Antrim Astronomical Society (EAAS) has changed its name to the Northern Ireland Amateur Astronomy Society (NIAAS).

To celebrate this event the January meeting on Monday 5th is NIAAS Launch Party. This will be a very special evening for all, with both telescopes and members' photographs on display, and refreshments will be available on the night.

In addition we will be honouring Dave Mc Donald, an IFAS Astronomer of the Year and recent discoverer of the first…

IYA2009-Ireland launch: Wednesday 7 to Saturday 10 January 2009

The official launch of the International Year of Astronomy 2009 in Ireland will coincide the BT Young Scientists Festival at the RDS arena, in Dublin, from Wednesday 7 to Saturday 10 January 2009. Everybody is invited to see the exhibitions and the shows from Thursday 8 to Saturday 10 January.


Highlights for IYA2009-Ireland are:
  • European Southern Observatory (ESO) exhibition in the Astronomy zone in collaboration with Armagh Observatory and NUI Galway staff
  • "From Earth to the Universe" outdoor…

Touchdown on Titan: Monday 12 January 2009

Discovery Channel and BBC TV star Professor John Zarnecki will give Astronomy Ireland's New Year Lecture "Touchdown on Titan", on Monday 12 January, 8pm.  
On 14th January 2005, ESA’s Huygens probe landed on the surface of Titan, Saturn’s largest moon.  In addition, the Cassini “mothercraft” flies past Titan periodically giving further insights into this fascinating place.  Highlights of the data from both Huygens and Cassini will be presented as well as plans for an ambitious return to Titan.

IAA New Year Party: Saturday 3 January 2009

IAA NEW YEAR PARTY: Advance note of the astro-social event of the year: the Irish Astronomical Association's annual New Year Party, which usually coincides fairly closely with Perihelion, rather than some non-astronomical event such as Christmas! The format will be slightly different this year: the main venue will still be the Tudor Private Cinema in Comber Co Down, where we'll have a private screening of a film with an astronomical or space theme, but this time we will meet first for a buffet…

Living in the Sun's Atmosphere: Monday 8 December 2008

Astronomy Ireland's Christmas lecture this year, 'Living in the Sun's Atmosphere' will be given on Monday 8 December by Dr. Lucie Green of Mullard Space Science Laboratory. Lucie  will talk about our relationship with our closest star, the Sun, and how it is responsible for our existence. Without the Sun it would be eternal night on Earth, there would be no light for plants to grow, seas would freeze and the planet would become inhospitable. Dr Green will also discuss how the Sun affects our…

It's life Jim, but not as we know it - Tuesday 2 December 2008

John Lally, TAS, will present the next talk entitled "It's Life Jim, but not as we know it". It takes place in the Presbyterian Church, High Street, Tullamore on Tuesday 2 December, 8:00 pm.

All are welcome to attend, admission €2.00.

Wonderful Eclipses: The Greatest Saros - Monday 1 December 2008

John O'Neill will give a lecture to the IAS in Dunsink Observatory, Castleknock, Dublin, on Monday 1st, at 8 p.m. Entitled "Wonderful Eclipses: The Greatest Saros", it will look at some of the best total solar eclipses to be seen.

God and the Universe: Thursday 20 November 2008

The ninth Armagh Observatory Robinson Lecture will be held on Thursday 20th November 2008 at The Armagh City Hotel, 2 Friary Road, Armagh. The Lecture will be delivered by Professor Peter W.J.L. Brand FRSE, of the Institute of Astronomy at the University of Edinburgh.  The lecture will begin at 8.00 pm and is scheduled to end at 9.00 pm, followed by light refreshments. The Armagh Observatory Robinson Lecture is a public lecture held biennially in honour of the Founder of the Armagh Observatory,…

Target Earth - How Great is the Impact Hazard? Thursday 13 November 2008

Dr David Asher, from Armagh Observatory, will give a talk entitled "Target Earth - How great is the Impact Hazard?" at Birr Castle, on Thursday 13 November, 7 pm.

Galileo? Galileo? Who on Earth was Galileo? Wednesday 5 November 2008

Shannonside Astronomy Club November meeting will host Deirdre Kelleghan, PRO IFAS, with a talk entitled: "Galileo? Galileo? Who on Earth was Galileo?"
8 pm, 5 November 2008 
Room 207, Mary Immaculate College, Limerick
All welcome, free event

The Life and Death of Stars: Tuesday 13 November

Free astronomy workshop in Bunclody Library, Carrigduff Co Wexford: The Life and Death of Stars, by Colin Melody
Thursday evening, 13th November 2008, at 8pm
A simple introduction, illustrated with graphs and photos from outer space
suitable for teenagers and adults.

The New Gamma-ray Sky: Monday 20 October

Irish Astronomical Society Talk: Professor Luke Drury will talk about "The New Gamma-Ray Sky"  on October  20th, 8 pm, at Dunsink Observatory

Free event, all welcome

Warped passages: Thursday 16 October 2008

The 2008 Hamilton Lecture, organised by the Royal Irish Academy, will be given by Professor Lisa Randall of Harvard University. Entitled "Warped passages: Unravelling the mysteries of the Universe's Hidden Dimensions", it will be held in the Burke Lecture Theatre, TCD, Dublin at 7.30 p.m. on Thursday 16 October.

More details are on: 

Searching for Planets Around Other Stars - from Galway: Monday 13 October 2008

Astronomy Ireland Colm J. Cannon Memorial lecture:  "Searching for Planets Around Other Stars - From Galway" by  Gregg Hallinan, at 8 pm,  Monday 13 October, in the Physics Building, Trinity College Dublin. 
The existence of over 300 planets outside our own Solar System has been confirmed since the first extra-solar planet was discovered only 14 years ago. The techniques used to detect these planets requires the use of very sensitive and expensive equipment. Some astronomers have recently…

Catch a Falling Star: Thursday 9 October

South Dublin Astronomical Society (SDAS) lecture: "Catch A Falling Star", by John Flannery
Thursday 9 October 8pm, Gonzaga College, Ranelagh, Dublin
All are welcome on the night, free admissio

Chasing the Darkest Skies: Wednesday 1 October

IAA PUBLIC LECTURE: Wednesday 1 October, 7.30 p.m. 

The next IAA public lecture will be by IAA's very own redoubtable & inimitable Dr Andy McCrea. Entitled "Chasing the Darkest Skies in America and the Lowell Observatory", it will describe Andy's latest astronomical adventures on the other side of the Atlantic. It will be held as usual in the Bell Lecture Theatre, Physics Building, Queen's University Belfast. Admission is free, including light refreshments, and all are welcome.

Astronomy Today and the Role Played by the Hubble Space Telescope: Wednesday 17 September 2008

The next public lecture hosted by the Irish Astronomical Association will be by Dr Robert (Bob) Fosbury, on Wednesday 17 September, in the Bell Lecture Theatre, Physics Building, Queen's University, Belfast.
   Dr Fosbury is head of the section in the European Space Agency (ESA) as part of ESA's collaboration with NASA on the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) project at ST-ECF. Based at the European Southern Observatory (ESO) near Munich in Germany, Fosbury joined this initiative in 1985, more than…

August Solar Eclipse Report: Thursday 11 September 2008

The South Dublin Astronomical Society (SDAS) meet again on Thursday September 11th at 8pm in Gonzaga college, Ranelagh.The main subject of discussion will be the total Solar Eclipse of 01 August as experienced from China. All Welcome.

The Fascinating Universe: Monday 29 September 2008

The next Galway Astronomy Club (GAC) talk takes place at Claddagh Hall, Nimmos Pier on Monday Sept 29th at 8pm. Dr. John Mc Donald B.Sc of the Computational Astrophysics Lab, Centre for Astronomy, NUI Galway will give a lecture entitled "The Fascinating Universe, Probing Problems in Pulsars & Plasma using PIC" PIC is an acronym for the "Particle-In-Cell" approach, a computational methodology for the numerical modelling of plasmas. All Welcome

Mars Probes: Tuesday 9 September

The next Kerry Astronomy Club meeting takes place on Tuesday 9th September in the ITT Tralee. Room T118 at 7.30pm where you can catch up on all the latest on the Mars Probes and what to see in the sky. All Welcome

BAA Out of London Meeting: Saturday 6 September

The British Astronomical Association will be holding its out of London meeting in association with the IAS in UCD, Belfield on Saturday 6 September.  Entry to the talks is 10 Euro.

Full details are at

John Mason lecture in Belfast: Wednesday 3 September

The IAA is delighted to announce that the opening lecture of the 2008-09 season will be given by well-known lecturer, broadcaster, author and astronomy expedition leader, the inimitable Dr John Mason.
The title is: "An MOT for Hubble - The Future For Space Telescopes"
John is one of the most entertaining & informative lectures you'll ever hear, and this is sure to be a lecture not to be missed.

The lecture will be at 7.30 p.m. on Wednesday 3 September, in Queen's University Belfast.


Light Pollution in Ireland: Monday 8 September

Astronomy Ireland Public lecture: Monday 8 September 2008 at 8 pm.

The lecture  is entitled "Light Pollution in Ireland" and will be given by Albert White of the Irish Light Pollution Awareness Campaign (ILPAC). Albert will tell us about the financial, environmental and astronomical cost of badly designed public lighting. More information at

AI Star-B-Q Saturday 30 August 2008

Astronomy Ireland's annual fundraising Star-B-Q takes place in Roundwood, Co. Wicklow on Saturday August 30. Star-B-Q is one of Ireland's biggest annual Star Party with people coming from all around Ireland, so don't be left out. We are delighted to announce that this year's Keynote speaker at Star-B-Q will be Dr James McAteer who worked for NASA on the SOHO space telescope.
For the first time ever, all attendees are entered into a free draw for a Celestron Nexstar 8SE worth nearly 1,500euro.…

Whirpool Star Party 26-28 September 2008

Ireland's major annual astronomy festival, the Whirlpool Star Party, hosted by the Shannonside Astronomy Club, will be held once again at Birr, Co Offaly, home of the famous 'Leviathan', which was for 70 years the largest telescope in the world. It's always a great weekend of craic, great astronomy talks, exhibitions, 'scopes & accessories & books for sale, observing & socialising. See details here

16 August 2008: Lunar Eclipse

From Terry Moseley, IAA: many people in Ireland saw the partial eclipse of the Sun on 1 August. I watched it through filtered binoculars from the office, and colleagues there were quite impressed with the view just with binocs! Many IAA members got nice photos: see
   Well, that was New Moon, and at the next Full Moon, on 16 August, there's also an eclipse - a lunar one this time, of course. It also will be a partial eclipse, but with a much greater magnitude that the solar…

7 to 16 August 2008: Perseid Meteor Shower

From Terry Moseley, IAA: the 'Old Faithful' of meteor showers is with us once again, now building up to the maximum rate expected on August 12. 
   The peak is forecast for about 09h on the 12th, so best rates will be seen on the night of 11/12, just before dawn starts to lighten the sky. The waxing gibbous Moon will interfere somewhat on the night of maximum, with First Quarter being on the evening of the 8th, and Full Moon on the evening of the 16th.  But the Moon will set by about 00.30 that…

7-11 or 14-18 July: Space Camp at Blackrock Castle Observatory

At our first annual Space Camp we invite students ages 9 to 12 to use science and engineering to explore the universe.  Explore life as an astronaut, the solar system & the search for alien life. The highlight of the week is the day we build and launch our own rockets!  Places are limited so call to reserve your place now. 

Fee: 95 euro per student.

10% discount for members of Blackrock Castle Observatory

4 sessions to choose from:

July 7-11: Morning (10AM- 12:30PM)

July 14-18: Morning (10AM-…

Saturday 29 June: IAA Summer BBQ & Rocket Launching 

The IAA's summer BBQ will again be held at Greencastle Planetarium at the Maritime Museum, Greencastle, Inishowen, Co Donegal, where will be  a planetarium show, followed by real live rocket launching under the expert tutelage of the director, Ash McFadden, followed by the IAA BBQ. 

Normal admission prices to the Maritime Museum and Planetarium.

The usual IAA BBQ rules apply - you bring your own food, drink, plates, cutlery etc. We provide the cooking equipment. If you have a portable BBQ, and…

Saturday 28 & Sunday 29 June: Summer Blast Off at Armagh Planetarium

Blast off into a fun filled family weekend at Armagh Planetarium on the Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th June. It  will be packed full of activities for all the family such as face painting , rocket building and competitions, as well as the chance to check out one of our spectacular new shows in Ireland’s only full dome digital theatre. Our new show for family groups and children up to 10 years old is the amazing ‘Zula Patrol: Under the weather’. This CG-animated show features a cast of lovable…

14 & 15 July 2008: from Babylon to the Big Bang - a History of Astronomy 

Astronomy Ireland presents two public lectures by by best selling authors and TV producers Heather Couper and Nigel Henbest. 

These are two of Britain's best astronomy communicators. For decades, you've seen all their TV documentaries on Discovery Channel, ITV, BBC etc narrated by the likes of actor John Hurt, and now they are coming to Ireland to launch their new book THE HISTORY OF ASTRONOMY with two Public Lectures, in Dublin and Cork at which they will gladly sign copies of their book.

PhD position, Centre for Astronomy, NUI Galway: deadline 18 July 2008

Candidates should submit a letter outlining their suitability for the position, plus full curriculum vitae (PDF format), to include the names, addresses and emails of 3 referees (at least 2 of which are academic referees), by email to Ray Butler (

   Details: Applications are invited for a research position (Ph.D. fellowship), funded by a Science Foundation Ireland Research Frontiers Programme award to the “Star Clusters & Variability” group.

  The PhD project is 

5 - 7 September 2008: BAA - IAS Meeting

BAA out of London Meeting

  The British Astronomical Association will be holding its 2008 "Out of London Meeting" in Dublin on the first weekend of September, hosted by the Irish Astronomical Society.

   The weekend starts on Friday 5th with a visit to Birr Castle and concludes on Sunday 7th with a trip to Newgrange. The main meeting on the Saturday includes a wide range of speakers. The weekend coincides with a major sporting event in Dublin so it is advisable to book your accommodation and…

28 April: What, Where, When of Irish Astronomy

Galway Astronomy Club will host a talk by veteran Irish astronomer Terry Moseley. This talk forms part of a series of lectures that are part of the clubs 10th anniversary celebrations.

Monday Apr 28 - Terry Moseley (IAA Belfast) - 8pm
"What, Where, When of Irish Astronomy"

Terry Moseley was born in South Africa, but spent his formative years in Armagh, where he lived in The Pavilion, on the site of what is now the Armagh College of Further and Higher Education. Thus he was raised next door to…

21 April: Carbon Stars - Cool Stellar Dudes

Irish Astronomical Society public talk"

Tony O'Hanlon Shannonside Astronomy Club  - Carbon Stars Cool Stellar Dudes 
Sounds like a great talk!

Dunsink Observatory Castleknock

Monday 21 April 2008, 8pm 

All Welcome 

Free event

12 April: International Sidewalk Astronomy Night

The Irish Astronomical Society including Dublin Sidewalk Astronomers will be
taking part in International Sidewalk Astronomy Night on April 12th 2008

Venue:  Martello Tower Car Park Sandymount, Dublin 
Date: 12 April 2008, 8pm - 10pm
All welcome 
Free event

Cosmos At the Castle

Visit Cosmos at the Castle - Cork's fun and exciting location to learn about the Universe! Use cinema sized video screens to explore the formation of the Universe and how life developed on Earth. Play the "Comet Chaser" in Ireland's first interactive theatre and virtually save the Earth!

Blackrock Castle Observatory

Monday to Friday, 10am to 5pm, Weekends 11am to 5pm
€6 adults, €4 seniors and students, €16 family, free for members

12 April: first Quarter Moon Observing

Blackrock Castle Observatory event: use our smaller telescopes to get a closer look at the Moon. See the dramatic shadows cast by craters and lunar mountain ranges. BCO are hosting first quarter moon observations in the courtyard of the castle. At this popular event we set up multiple telescopes in the courtyard for viewing the moon and other astronomical objects. There will also be information on the moon itself and a short talk about the moon and observing. Viewings start one hour before…

7 - 11 April Lifelong Learning Festival: Our place in Space

Blackrock Castle Observatory event: you will be taken on a quick tour of solar system with Education and Outreach Officer, Frances McCarthy.  Join us for this free 40 minute workshop to be held daily.

Monday April 7th to Friday April 11th

Daily at 2:30 pm, Ages 12 and up

12 April: IAA Astronomy Evening

The Irish Astronomical Association will be holding another public astronomy evening with telescopes, talks, exhibition, and a portable planetarium at the National Trust's Mount Stewart House near Greyabbey, co Down. We start at 8.0 p.m., so have your telescopes etc ready by then. 

IAA members bringing telescopes or binoculars get in free; otherwise standard NT admission charges apply. All welcome. See for more details.

25 March: The Prehistoric Solar Calendar: Is Knowth the Key?

Dr Euan MacKie, Archaeologist at the Hunterian Museum, University of Glasgow, is giving a lecture at Newgrange, Bru na Boinne, Co Meath, on Tuesday March 25th at 7.00pm entitled "The Prehistoric Solar Calendar: Is Knowth the Key?". 

Dr Mackie has written several books on the ancient megaliths of Scotland and their possible astronomical alignments. 

Admission free, and all welcome.

1 April: Cosmological Quests

TAS Public  Lecture: the next talk will be given by Máire McKay on Tuesday April 1st 2008. It takes place in the Presbyterian Church, High Street, Tullamore, at 8:00pm. Máire is very fond of the cosmological quests like Blackholes and Baby Universes, String Theory, Dark Matter, and the Big Bang. 

Everyone is welcome to attend, admission is €2.00.

4 - 6 April: COSMOS 2008

COSMOS 2008: hosted by the Tullamore Astro Society: Ireland's second longest running Star Party takes place at Annaharvey Equestrian Centre, Tullamore, Co Offaly.  The programme can be found on the TAS website: 

The speakers are:

• Dr. Miruna Popescu, Armagh Observatory
   "The Solar Wind: From the Sun to Ireland"

• Mr. Pat O'Neill, Irish Astronomical Association
   "Astronomical Measures"

• Professor John Zarnecki, Open University

19 March: Active Galactic Nuclei and Supermassive Black Holes

IAA public lecture on Wed 19 March  at 7.30 p.m. by the renowned Prof Ian Robson. Title: "Active Galactic Nuclei and Supermassive Black Holes", which promises to be a fascinating talk on some of the most amazing and energetic objects in the universe. 

Venue: Bell Lecture Theatre, Queen's University, Belfast. 
Admission Free, including light refreshments, and all are welcome.

The lecture is hold in  association with the School of Mathematics and Physics at Queen's University Belfast.

14 March: Public Astronomy Evening

The Irish Astronomical Association (IAA) will be holding another public astronomy evening on Friday 14 March at 7.30 for 8 p.m. at Carnfunnock Country Park, Drains Bay, near Larne, Co Antrim. It's on the main coast road going north from Larne, about 4 miles from the town. 

As usual IAA will have a good selection of telescopes and binoculars for viewing the sky, including a spectacular moon, and Saturn. They will also have the Stardome mobile planetarium, courtesy of Armagh Planetarium, and talks…

31 March: Adventures with the Hubble Space Telescope

Astronomy Ireland, in association with The Irish Times, will host on Monday March 31 at 8pm in the Hamilton Building Trinity College, Lars Lindberg Christiansen, Head of Communications ESA/Hubble. Lars will present a talk entitled "Adventures with the Hubble Space Telescope".

 See for tickets or DVD of this talk.

31 March - 4 April: RAS National Astronomy Meeting

A record number of more than 600 astronomers and space scientists will gather for the 2008 Royal Astronomical Society National Astronomy Meeting (NAM 2008), held in conjunction with the UK Solar Physics (UKSP) and Magnetosphere Ionosphere and Solar-Terrestrial Physics (MIST) meetings. NAM 2008 will be hosted by Queen’s University, Belfast and run from 31 March to 4 April 2008.
     At NAM 2008 scientists will present new research in many aspects of astronomy and space science, including the…

29 March: Earth Hour

The world wide campaign to turn out the lights for one hour on Saturday March 29th at 8 pm has been gathering support around Ireland. It is expected that many local authorities, government agencies, corporations and individuals will turn off non essential lighting for at least one hour. Environmentalists and astronomers are behind the idea and to take advantage of the potentially dark sky on March the 29th. Astronomy Ireland are considering holding nationwide Star Watches that evening; see  

12 March: Nationwide Moon Watches

Astronomy Ireland  will be running Moon Watches  in Clare, Tipperary, Louth, Carlow, Dublin and Cork on Wednesday 12 March. The Moon will be very close to the Pleiades star cluster and its 32% sunlit crescent will be high in the sky so superb detail should be visible in a telescope along the terminator. Further details available on 

10 March: Shooting the Planets and Eclipses with Patrick Moore

Astronomy Ireland lecture: Carl O'Beirnes and Dave Grennan from Astronomy Ireland will report on their recent visit to Sir Patrick Moore to film an episode of The Sky at Night, on Monday 10 March at 8pm in Trinity College Dublin.

Carl and Dave will show us examples of their excellent photographic images of the eclipse, planets, galaxies and nebulae and how these images can be obtained using relatively modest equipment. Admission: 5 Euro (3 Euro to members and concessions)

For those who cannot…

6 March: Shooting the Planets

SDAS lecture: "Shooting the Planets", by Carl O'Beirnes of Astronomy Ireland.The talk will be held in Gonzaga College, Ranelagh, on Thursday, March 6th at 8pm. All welcome. 

5 March: Cosmic Dust: Is That All We Are? 

Irish Astronomical Association Public Lecture: "Cosmic Dust: Is that all we are?" by Seanie Morris, Tullamore Ast Soc. 

Venue: The Bell lecture Theatre, Physics Building, Queen's University, Belfast
Date: Wednesday 5 March 2008, 7.30 pm
Admission free, including light refreshments. All welcome

Terry Moseley, IAA, says: "We are VERY grateful to Seanie Morris for stepping in at very short notice to give this lecture. We hope to have the originally scheduled one by Kevin Nolan at a later date." 


10 March: Cosmic Dust - Is That All We are?

The Irish Astronomical Society presents: Seanie Morris  from Tullamore Astronomical Society who will give a talk intitled "Cosmic Dust - Is That All We Are?"

Venue: Dunsink Observatory, Castleknock, Dublin
Date: Monday 10 March 2008 at 8pm

All Welcome, free event

More details at

14 March: ASGI Meeting in Armagh

The spring ASGI meeting will be held in Armagh on Friday March 14 (10 am - 4pm). Please note that the venue is The Rotonda Theatre in St Patrick's Trian (40 English St.). There is a car park just at the left of the entrance to the Trian. Click here for the map.

There will be contributed talks varying from dust and jets in galaxies, to ISM studies and starless cores, to pre-main sequence and evolved stars.

There will also be an invited talk by Prof. Janet Drew (University of Hertfordshire). She…

8 March: Armagh Planetarium 40th Birthday Celebrations

Members of local astronomy groups are invited to attend the Armagh Planetarium 40th Birthday Celebrations. 
The year 2008 is an auspicious occasion for Armagh Planetarium as it marks our 40th Birthday! We would like to invite you to Armagh Planetarium on Saturday 8th March from 9:30 – 14:00  where you will be treated to a premiere of our new full-dome show, produced in collaboration with Evans & Sutherland-Spitz and Goto.  It will be special preview of "Mars Invaders" Armagh's first full-dome…

20 February: Climbing Mountains to Touch the Stars: Meet the Astronomers at Armagh

Armagh Observatory public event: it is associated with the international workshop of astronomers at Armagh, and aims to explain what it means to be an astronomer and what astronomers do at their remote mountain-top observatories.  The event will provide an informal opportunity for anyone to ask any question about anything they have seen in the sky and about any aspect of modern astronomy or cosmology.  

Venue: Armagh Golf Club 

Date:  Wednesday 20th February 8.00pm  

For free tickets, please…

20 February: The prospect of Adaptive Optics for Small Telescopes

IAA public lecture:  Prof Chris Dainty, NUIG: "The prospect of Adaptive Optics for Small Telescopes". The Bell lecture Theatre, Physics Building, Queen's University, Belfast, 20 February at 7.30 pm.

Prof Dainty is one of the world's leading experts on adaptive optics, and we are delighted and honoured to have him lecture to us. Adaptive optics enable photos exceeding the quality of those of the Hubble Space Telescope to be taken by certain telescopes on Earth. Prof Dainty will describe how it…

18 February: Structure and Morphology of Planetary Nebulae

The Irish Astronomical Society monthly public meeting will take place on 18 February 2008 at Dunsink Observatory. Guest speaker this month is Dr Mohsen Shadmehri (D.C.U.)

Topic:  Structure and Morphology of Planetary Nebulae

Date: 18 February 2008, 8 pm

Venue: Dunsink Observatory, Castleknock, Dublin 15.

No admittance charge; all welcome.
For further information see

20 & 21 February: A History of Life on Earth

As part of 'International Year of Planet Earth', Prof. Richard Fortey  is giving lectures in Dublin and Belfast, as follows: "A History of Biodiversity - “A history of life on Earth”.
Dublin: Wednesday 20th February 2008 at 18:00, Trinity College Dublin (Burke Theatre), Belfast: Thursday 21stFebruary 2008 at 19:00, W5, Odyssey Complex: 
The origins of life lie in the deep oceans and this lecture will trace the ups and downs of its evolution – the blossoming of biodiversity at various…

5 February: Tree rings provide clues to ancient cosmic events 

EAAS lecture at Ballyclare High School, George Avenue (off Rashee Road), Ballyclare, Co. Antrim commencing on Monday 5 February at 8PM: "Tree-rings provide clues to ancient cosmic events", by Professor Mike Baillie.

6 February: Periodic Radio Flares from Brown Dwarfs: the missing link between planets and pulsars?

IAA PUBLIC LECTURE: Wednesday 6 February, 7.30 p.m. Dr Aaron Golden, NUIG: "Periodic Radio Flares from Brown Dwarfs: the missing link between planets and pulsars?" The Bell lecture Theatre, Physics Building, Queen's University, Belfast. Admission free, including light refreshments. All welcome.

The IAA lecture programme is held in association with the School of Mathematics and Physics at Queen's University Belfast. See:

11 February: LISA - Gravitational Wave Mission

Astronomy Ireland public lecture: Dr Harry Ward, of the Institute for Gravitational ResearchUniversity of Glasgow will tell us about LISA - the first spaceborne gravitational wave observatory which promises to revolutionise our understanding of some of the most exotic objects in the Universe. The three LISA spacecraft will have unprecedented precision of measurement over five million kilometre baselines and require significant advances in a number of technology areas. In this talk the LISA…

3 February: LIGHTWAVE festival

 A new public venue is due to open in Trinity College, Dublin next week, called Science Gallery. It launches with a festival called LIGHTWAVE and a lecture called "Solar Voyage" by leading Irish astrophysicist Peter Gallagher, on Sunday 3rd February from 16.30 - 17.30.  Sponsored by the Royal Irish Academy, Peter Gallagher takes us on a journey exploring the sun's influence on the solar system from the innermost planets to the Voyager spacecraft at the outer bounds of the Solar System. With…

19 February: The Life Story of a Star: from Birth to Death

Armagh Observatory public lecture: This lecture will be held in the Rotunda Lecture Theatre, St. Patrick’s Trian, and will be delivered by Professor John D. Landstreet, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Western Ontario, London, Canada.  It will begin at 8.00 pm and is scheduled to end at 9.00 pm with questions, followed by tea and coffee. 

This public lecture is being given as part of the Observatory’s Science in the community programme, associated with an International…

4 February: Live TV Event between ISS and Blackrock Castle Observatory

A live television event will take place between the International Space Station and the Cork Institute of Technology’s new science centre, Blackrock Castle Observatory, in Cork. 

NASA has confirmed that the event will take place on Monday, February the 4th, for ten minutes from 12.45 – 12.55

The background is as follows: astronaut Dan Tani, who is currently living aboard the station, is a regular visitor to Ireland. He fell in love here and married an Irish woman, Jane Egan of the prominent Cork…

16 February: Let's Go and See Planets and Moons!

The Irish Astronomical Society, in conjunction with Wicklow Mountains National Park, will be holding a free night sky gazing event. We hope to show you the lovely first quarter Moon,  the planet Mars and, later in the evening, the extraordinary planet Saturn. This will be part of Saturn Observation Night - a world wide effort to show Saturn to everyone. Wrap up warm as it will be cold.

Free event (weather permitting, of course!) 

The Park will negotiate with the council to get the car parking…

30 January: Astronomy Ireland Evening Classes 

Astronomy Ireland designed evening classes for beginners commence on Wednesday 30th January in Trinity College Dublin, Jurys Hotel Cork and Athlone Institute of Technology. With only a week to go before the classes start, and a limited number of places are available, book now at to reserve your place. The eight week course is designed with the beginner in mind and no knowledge of astronomy or maths is required. This is an opportunity to meet with fellow…

10 February: Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year celebrations will be held at the Armagh Planetarium on Sunday 10 February 2008.

29 January - 8 February: Tyndall Lecture Series 2008

Tyndall Lecture for schools across Ireland: "Living with a star",  by Dr. Robert W. Walsh (originally from Belfast). 

Talk duration: 1 hour. 

Audience: 15-18 year olds.

Admission tickets (3, £2 per head) for all venues will be issued on a first-come-first-served basis. 

See program and locations here.

Reservations may be made for all venues. Booking should be made by telephone or email to the contacts listed above. Reservations will be confirmed only if payment is received within five working days…

27 January: The next World AstroCast event

The next World AstroCast event scheduled for the 27th Jan.  All you need is a PC, Broadband and a sound system of some sort. You can view it from home early that morning. 

25-26 January: Galway Astronomy Festival

Galway Astronomy Club will hold their annual Festival of Astronomy on the weekend of January 25/26 at the Westwood House Hotel, Dangan, Newcastle, Galway city. The programme always has excellent lectures and includes a telescope building workshop, and a tour of the NUI Galway Observatory. 

10 December: The First Irish IYA2009 Meeting

The first Irish IYA meeting took place on 10 December 2007, at the Royal Irish Academy in Dublin. We are gathering forces to start the outreach programme in January 2009!

 International Year of Astronomy, Ireland National Node