On the evening of Tuesday 13th November the Moon will pass directly between the Earth and the Sun giving rise to the phenomenon that many consider to be nature's finest spectacle, the Total Solar Eclipse. Unfortunately the event is only visible in a narrow corridor which sweeps across the Pacific making landfall in North Queensland in the early morning of 14th November local time.
The feeds on this link will provide live pictures of the event – the totality will be 8:38pm on Tuesday evening. The video on there at the moment features IAA member Dr Kate Russo who has returned to her native Queensland for this event!
One of the best astronomical projects to have been launched this year is the Dark Sky Discovery programme which the IAA is working on in conjunction with the Northern Ireland Space Office. The first of what we hope will be many of these events takes place at Delamont Country Park on Friday 9th November at 7pmand is being run in association with Down District Council
On display we expect to have The Summer Triangle, Cassiopeia, Perseus, the Andromeda Galaxy and much more – a little later in the evening we will see Jupiter later still Orion will rise in the East. So if the weather co-operates we should be looking at an excellent night of stargazing. If the weather is very poor the event will have to postponed to a later date, so keep an eye on the IAA Forum for announcements. If the weather turns out to be inclement on the Friday, we will keep the Saturday night, 10th November, in reserve in case that looks better, otherwise we will reschedule the event.
Our third lecture of October will be delivered by Dr Daniel Mortlock from Imperial College, London who will talk to us about "Searching for the Rarest Objects in the Universe"
Dr Mortlock is a University Lecturer in astro-statistics in both the Astrophysics Group in the Department of Physics and the Statistics Section of the Department of Mathematics at Imperial College, London. His research interests are based around problems of inference, in which (probabilistic) conclusions about the real world are made from incomplete or imperfect data. The main application of these methods to date has been in using data from the UKIDSS infrared survey to find the most distant quasars, an effort which has resulted in the discovery of the redshift 7.085 quasar ULAS J1120+0641
Our lecture on 17th October will be something a bit special! We are teaming up with the Astrophysics Research Centre at QUB to bring Science Communicator, TV and Radio personality and Solar Expert Dr Lucie Green to Belfast to talk to us on the subject of “The Sun”.
This lecture will be held in the Larmour Lecture Theatre at QUB and though admission is free, seats will need to be booked due the expected demand. Further details regarding the lecture can be found here….
Details of Dr Green’s work can be found on her website here….
Our guest on 3rd October will be Solar expert Dr Peter Gallagher from Trinity College, Dublin.
Dr Gallagher is Head of the Solar Physics Group at Trinity and his research is primarily concerned with the understanding of Solar Storms and their impact on Earth – of great interest to us as Solar Cycle 24 gathers pace!
Dr Gallagher obtained a first degree in Physics and Mathematics from University College Dublin, a PhD in Solar Physics from QUB and has since worked on Solar research including a six year stint in the US working firstly at Big Bear Solar Observatory in California and at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland.
His talk, entitled “LOFAR and The Rosse Observatory” will give us an insight into the latest Solar Reserch being conducted from Ireland.