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. 

Lecture - Weds 15th March - Dr. Cosimo Inserra "Building bridges to the mysteries of our Universe with the brightest cosmic explosions"

Dr Cosimo Inserra
We know only the 4 per cent of the Universe, the other 96 per cent is made of things that astronomers cannot detect or even comprehend. Supernovae are stellar explosions capable to outshine the luminosity of an entire galaxy. It means that a single star explosion can irradiate more energy than 100 billions stars altogether. It is thanks to such explosions that we can have heavy elements like iron on our planet, as well as the Earth itself. Furthermore, it is exciting how Supernovae can also help us to understand the aforementioned missing and mysterious 96 per cent of our Universe, something that astronomers call dark energy and dark matter. 
 

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