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International Observe the Moon Night, Sat 16th October, at Delamont Country Park

Note This event is cancelled due to poor weather

Near Killyleagh, Co Down, 7.30 p.m.

54.384, -5.677

Meet in the main car park. We will provide some telescopes, but bring your own, or binoculars, if you can. We will be providing sanitising wipes for eyepieces and hand controls etc, and these will be wiped clean between users. We strongly advise that only those who are double-vaccinated, or who have had Covid and recovered and with at least one vaccination, should attend.

We will take phone numbers of all groups attending, anyone bringing a telescope will also need to bring a pack of antibacterial wipes, and wipe eyepiece cups and focuser knobs for each viewer, and all telescope operators to wear a mask at close quarters etc.

We will be introducing more Observing nights – see this page for dates. The Covid Pandemic isn’t over so we will need to follow precautions as outlined above to keep us all as safe as possible.

IAA Lecture, Weds 13th October 19:30

“Habitability beyond our solar system”, by Professor Chris Watson

Deputy Head of the School of Mathematics and Physics, Astrophysics Research Centre, QUB


What do we mean by ‘habitability’ and ‘habitable’? How do we define it? Do we even know what ‘habitable’ looks like? What’s the problems with determining whether something is habitable? Why are we looking in the places we’re currently looking? Actually, are we even looking in the right places?

 I’ll talk about the current scientific thoughts surrounding these fundamental questions, what is driving these thoughts, and why it’s so difficult for an astrophysicist like myself to answer these questions.

Paul Evans is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: IAA Zoom Lecture Prof Chris Watson
Time: Oct 13, 2021 07:15 PM London

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 852 1438 8350
Passcode: 376019

The room will open around 19:15 to allow for a prompt start

This talk will also be Simulcast on our YouTube Channel

IAA Zoom Lecture 29th September

IAA Public Lecture, Wed 29 September, 7. 30 p.m., by Zoom. “Astronomy, Ireland and UNESCO World Heritage” by Prof. Michael Burton, Director of Armagh Observatory & Planetarium.

Abstract: In 2019 UNESCO inscribed two astronomical sites for World Heritage based on their Outstanding Universal Values: Jodrell Bank & Risco Caido. Jodrell’s nomination centred on its pioneering role in the development of radio astronomy and extant examples of scientific infrastructure from the discipline’s origins to today.

  Ireland also has outstanding astronomical astronomical heritage through the pioneering role in development of the field of astronomy played by the observatories of Birr, Dunsink and Armagh. Birr with the Leviathan, the largest telescope in the world for 69 years, providing the seeds that led to the concept of other galaxies, as well as the birth of infrared astronomy. Dunsink and Armagh Observatories represent a key step in the development of the telescope itself, when the design of the building they are housed in became central to their function. Armagh has since continuously been occupied by astronomers, with three generations of telescopes from the 19th century within that illustrate the development of clock-driven equatorial telescope over that period.

The new inscriptions of Jodrell Bank and Risco Caido to the UNESCO World Heritage list raise the question of whether Ireland’s astronomical heritage may also be worthy of such recognition?
   This talk will overview the astronomical history of these Irish observatories and the possibility of seeking UNESCO World Heritage listing for them, as well as some of the issues that must be considered if doing so.

ZOOM, etc, Details.

Time: Sep 29, 2021 07:15 PM London
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 883 4390 2455
Passcode: 536349

SuBscriptions now due

As of 1st September membership falls due and we are pleased to announce that our recent problems with PayPal have now been resolved.

Membership of the IAA has been held at £20 (€25) per year for Individual Membership or £25 (€30) per year for Family Membership (all members of a family at one address) from September to August and entitles members to attend all IAA events including our regular speaker programme currently running on the Zoom platform but hopefully returning to Queen’s University, Belfast as soon as circumstances allow.

Also, there are four issues of the IAA magazine “Stardust” produced annually and these will be delivered to your home address.

IAA Season Opener – Zoom Lecture Weds 15th Sept 19:30

“The Gravitational-Wave Optical Transient Observer and Cataclysmic Variables“, by Christopher Duffy, Armagh Observatory and Planetarium


Following the observation of the first binary neutron star merger in 2017 a new frontier in multi-messenger astronomy has opened up, combining Gravitational Wave and optical astronomy. The Gravitational-Wave Optical Transient  Observatory (GOTO) is a robotic observatory designed with this kind of astronomy at its heart, designed to make use of large instantaneous sky coverage and an automatic scheduler to rapidly followup on detected Gravitational Waves events. This talk will outline the need for observatories such as GOTO, its design and operation and what can be achieved using GOTO. It will further go into detail on one of the leading secondary science goals of GOTO, Cataclysmic Variables, their often varied behaviour and why they are of great interest to us.”

 Speaker Biography:

Chris is a third year PhD student at Armagh Observatory and Planetarium and Warwick University. Originally from Scotland Chris studied for his undergraduate and masters degrees at Glasgow University. His PhD is focused on studying transient objects in the night sky; mainly outbursts from Cataclysmic Variables, using wide field survey telescopes. As part of this work Chris is a member of both the GOTO and NGTS (Next Generation Transit Survey) consortia.”

Paul Evans is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: IAA Zoom Meeting
Time: Sep 15, 2021 07:15 PM London

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 859 7958 2176
Passcode: 918551