Conjunction of Three Planets

Jupiter, Venus, Mercury 26th May 2013

For a few days around Sunday 26th May, a close three-way conjunction of planets Jupiter, Venus and Mercury will be visible in the NW sky for a while shortly after sunset. Venus will be the brightest, followed by Jupiter, but on 26th Mercury will be the highest above the horizon of the three, so if you're part of the estimated 99% of the population who have never seen Mercury, now is possibly the best chance you will get! The three planets will all be within 2 degrees, or four moon diameters of each other and will remain close in the evenings before and after 26th.

Annual General Meeting - 17th April 2013

IAA meeting

Wednesday 17th April marks the date of the 39th 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.

IAA Lecture 3rd April 2013 - Prof Alan Fitzsimmons - “Data Mining The Asteroid Belt”

Prof Alan Fitzsimmons

The Pan-STARRS1 telescope is the largest telescope currently used to systematically survey the sky for comets and asteroids. Since starting in 2010, it has been used to make over 4 million detections of comets, asteroid and other Solar system bodies. This cornucopia of data is allowing us to study many different regions from Near-Earth space to the Kuiper Belt. In this talk Professor Alan Fitzsimmons will describe how Pan-STARRS1 works, how asteroids and comets are found, and what we have discovered so far.

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

IAA Lecture - Andrew Dennis - Andor Technologies - "Andor & Cutting Edge Astronomy"

Andrew Dennis

Andor Technologies is a Belfast based company manufacturing a ranges of cameras including some which are capable of high-end astrophotography. The company grew out of the Physics Department of Queens University Belfast and now supplies cameras to the world market. Some of the topics covered by the lecture will include:-

·         Lucky Imaging

·         Hunting for Extra Solar Planets using various techniques