The Irish Astronomical Association will be holding another of their very popular public astronomy afternoons, at Carrickfergus Civic Centre, in Antrim Street, on Saturday afternoon, 5 October from 1.00 to 5.00p.m. We'll have a selection of special telescopes for viewing the Sun in a variety of types of light in complete safety, an amazing exhibition, including various astronomical telescopes, meteorites, and a mobile stardome planetarium (with thanks to Armagh Planetarium).
And the event is totally free!
If it's clear, you will be able to see giant sunspots which are larger than the Earth, huge flares of incredibly hot gas shooting off the Sun's surface, and other amazing detail on its surface.
And the first person from Ireland who has booked to go into space, Derek Heatly from Groomsport, will be there to talk about his preliminary training flights, and what his actual flight with Virgin Galactic will be like.
People will also be able to touch and hold genuine meteorites, pieces of rock that have come from outer space. These are about 4,600 million years old – the oldest things you will ever see in your life!
There is ever increasing interest in the Sun as it affects our weather in the short term, and our climate in the longer term. There is also increasing concern about the risk of a possible 'Superflare' causing considerable damage to our electricity supplies, communications, and travel. So this is your chance to find out more about our nearest stellar neighbour, and the source of the energy which makes life on earth possible.
This is always a very popular event, so book early with the Civic Centre for the starshows: