The Irish Astronomical Association was formed in 1974 and draws its 200+ members from both the UK and Ireland. The IAA membership ranges from complete beginners to accomplished observers and astrophotographers.
The lecture programme is held in association with the School of Mathematics and Physics, Queen's University Belfast. It runs from September until April and is held in the Bell Lecture Theatre in the Physics Building, main campus, Queen's University, Belfast.
Meetings start at 7-30pm sharp and consist of a short talk given by one of our members followed by the main lecture, usually given by a professional astronomer. The lecture over, light refreshments are available free of charge. At this time members are free to mix and discuss the latest astronomical news and events. The meeting finishes at 10.00pm.
Non-members are also welcome to attend,and of course regular attendees are expected to become members!
The Association also runs an observing programme where beginners of all ages can be guided around the night sky by more experienced members and get to see objects through the Association's Meade Lightbridge 16" telescope!
Members will be sent our highly regarded magazine "Stardust" every three months.
Throughout the year the Association runs an outreach programme where we visit various venues throughout the province, often with the Planetarium's Stardome as well as displays of meteorites and other astronomical paraphenalia. During daytime sessions solar observing is usually on offer - weather permitting of course - and this allows members of the public to see our nearest star through special telescopes designed for safe viewing, filtered to emphasise features on the Sun's surface, such as sunspots, prominences and so on. Night time observing sessions will of course feature telescopic observations of the Moon, planets and deep-sky objects.
The IAA is governed by a Council elected by the members at the Annual General Meeting, traditionally being the last meeting of the season towards the end of April.