IAA Midsummer BBQ, Sat 23rd June, at Armagh Planetarium

IAA Barbeque

We are delighted to be able to confirm that the annual barbecue will again take place in the coach car park at Armagh Planetarium. We will be setting up from 3 p.m., and attending the Planetarium show at 4.00, “We are stars” (optional, the group rate admission charge of £7.50 per adult less 10% applies).

Please let Terry Moseley terrymosel@aol.com know BY RETURN if you will be attending the Planetarium show and how many in your group, so he can book seats.

For the BBQ, it’s the usual format – bring all your own consumables, cutlery, chairs etc if you want them – we supply the cooking facilities.

New IAA Council elected


We had an excellent AGM+ night at the IAA with a brilliant talk on The European Solar Telescope Project by Dr Ada Ortiz followed by the AGM.

The new Council was elected with Brian Beesley taking over from Paul Evans as President. Paul had served as President for 5 of the previous 6 years during a period of continued growth for the Association.

Lecture Weds 4th April - Daniel Williams (Univ of Glasgow) - "The Universe is full of noises: A new perspective from gravitational waves"

In September 2015 the Advanced LIGO detectors in the USA made the first detection of gravitational waves from two black holes colliding at close to the speed of light. This discovery was the first astrophysical result to come from a century of theoretical and experimental efforts to take the predictions of Einstein's General Relativity to build a new field of observational astronomy.

Lecture Weds 21st March - First Contact: Uncovering An Interstellar Visitor.” - Prof Alan Fitzsimmons, QUB

Prof Alan Fitzsimmons

On 19 October 2017 an Interstellar Object was spotted passing through our Solar system, the first of its kind to be discovered. With little warning, astronomers had only a few days to study it before it became too faint for detailed investigation, even when using the world’s largest telescopes. Studies revealed a body that matched some of our expectations, but that differed significantly in other aspects. This talk will cover how it was discovered, and what we have learned so far.

Lecture Weds 7th March - “Mars Sample Return technology: development and testing in Antarctica” - Dr Patrick Harkness, Univ of Glasgow

Dr Patrick Harkness

Planetary drilling is more difficult than drilling on Earth. Low gravity reduces the possible weight-on-bit, and freezing conditions can seize the bit downhole. Furthermore, to reach any depth, it will be necessary to assemble the drillstring in-situ, which is a challenging task for robotic systems.

Lecture Weds 21st February 7:30pm - Erin Higgins (AOP) - "The Life of a Cosmic Rockstar"

Erin Higgins
The stellar giants of our universe are notorious for their drastic lifestyles : live fast, die young. Burning up to hundreds of times the mass of our Sun, these stars produce the heaviest elements in the natural universe. Though they are born in a stellar nursery like all stars, their violent deaths can shine brighter than entire galaxies.