The Irish Astronomical Association will be holding another of their very popular astronomy evenings at the Museum beside Bangor Castle, on Saturday evening, 16 February, at 6.30 p.m. Once again we'll have a selection of 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 just in case of bad weather. And you'll have a chance to meet our own 'Ulsternaut', Derek Heatly from Groomsport, who is booked to fly into space with Virgin Galactic.
GLORIA stands for "GLObal Robotic-telescopes Intelligent Array" and will be the first free and open access network of robotic telescopes in the world. It will be a Web 2.0 environment where users can do research in astronomy by observing with robotic telescopes, and/or by analysing data that other users have acquired with GLORIA.
The next IAA public lecture will be on Wednesday 23 January, at 7.30 p.m.
As in years past, the IAA will be the BBC's main partner in Northern Ireland delivering events over the three days of Stargazing Live from Tues 8th to Thurs 10th January. The main event this year will again be held at Lough Neagh Discovery Centre on Oxford Island near Craigavon just off the Lurgan junction on the M1.
Our meeting on 9th January will feature a lecture by by Prof Phil Dufton of QUB: "Forty-five Years in Astronomy".
Prof Dufton, who has given us several fascinating lectures before, has had a long and varied career in astronomy, and has seen some amazing changes in what we know, or think we know, about the universe. That promises to be a very interesting and informative talk.
It will be at 7.30 p.m. in the Bell Lecture Theatre, Physics Building, QUB.