Category Archives: Event

IAA Zoom Lecture 2nd March 19:30 – Dr Deirdre Coffey

Title
Star and planet formation: a whistle-stop tour! 


Abstract
Studies of the birth of a star and its solar system have become particularly relevant in this exciting new era of extrasolar planets discoveries.

I will outline our current understanding of how a star is born, and how observations of newly forming stars can hint at sites of newly forming planets.

Finally, I will outline Ireland’s involvement in the European Space Agency’s upcoming space mission ‘Ariel’ to probe exoplanet atmospheres. 


Brief Biography
Dr Deirdre Coffey is an Assistant Professor at the UCD School of Physics. She earned her PhD at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (DIAS), which she followed with five years of post-doc experience based at Arcetri Observatory in Florence, Italy, and also at DIAS.

She joined UCD in 2012. Her research interests are in the area of star and planet formation. Currently, she is National Program Manager for the European Space Agency’s upcoming space mission ‘Ariel’ to probe exoplanet atmospheres; she is Chair of the Astronomical Society of Ireland; and committee member of the Institute of Physics in Ireland, as well as the Royal Irish Academy’s Physical, Chemical and Mathematical Sciences Committee. 

Paul Evans is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: IAA Zoom Lecture
Time: Mar 2, 2022 07:15 PM London

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88613059568?pwd=am1hd2lTb214TWtTL3NxRC9KOGp3UT09

Meeting ID: 886 1305 9568
Passcode: 383639

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

This talk will also be Simulcast on our YouTube Channel

https://www.youtube.com/user/irishastronomy/videos

IAA Zoom Lecture Weds 16th Feb 1930 – Ben McKeon

“SETI and Adaptive Optics: A Match Made in the Heavens”

Synopsis:

This presentation gives an overview of SETI (the search for extra terrestrial intelligence) and the various methods by which this search is carried out. In the first part of the talk, I outline the history of SETI before detailing more recent work in this area, focusing briefly on the use of the I-LOFAR radio telescope for SETI activities. The disadvantages of conventional radio SETI techniques are discussed, while also highlighting the value of optical telescopes to the SETI cause.
The second part of this talk introduces my research on adaptive optics (AO) and how this technology is crucial for imaging exoplanets directly. I describe the main components of an AO system and how they work before speculating on how adaptive optics may be able to detect evidence of advanced alien civilisations.


Biography:

I’m Ben, an avid space geek and first-year PhD student researching adaptive optics at NUI Galway. I was fortunate enough to be introduced to the world of SETI last Summer when I took part in an internship with Breakthrough Listen and the Berkeley SETI Research Center. An active member of the NUIG Astronomy Society, I always enjoy talking about the wonders of the night sky. When I’m not tinkering with my own telescope or designing a new one, I’m usually found running, reading or knee-deep in a pile of Lego.



Paul Evans is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting. Topic: IAA Zoom Meeting
Time: Feb 16, 2022 07:15 PM London

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86036851590?pwd=RUVBYnVxSmZ5UHlwOTA1OGdvVmQ0QT09

Meeting ID: 860 3685 1590
Passcode: 833900

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

This talk will also be Simulcast on our YouTube Channel

https://www.youtube.com/user/irishastronomy/videos

IAA Lecture Weds 2nd Feb – Dr John Regan

“Black Holes Across Cosmic Time”

Abstract:

The last decade has led to an unprecedented in advance in our understanding of black hole population demographics. We are, like never before, in a golden age of black hole observations. The breakthroughs in observations of black holes have been matched to a large extent by similar breakthroughs in our theoretical understanding of black hole demographics.

In this talk I will discuss the initial predictions of black holes stemming from General Relativity moving on to discuss recent detections of black holes through gravitational waves and with the Event Horizon Telescope. I’ll finish by discussing some outstanding questions in the field.

Biog:

PhD Institute of Astronomy at the University of Cambridge

Postdoctoral Research: University of Helsinki, Institute of Computational Cosmology at Durham University

Postdoctoral Fellowships: Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellowship (2016-2018) at DCU,Royal Society

Fellowship (2020 – present) Maynooth University

Paul Evans is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: IAA Zoom Meeting
Time: Feb 2, 2022 07:15 PM London

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84822534019?pwd=UHFscTFDQlBETFc1VVo5UmxJRXdoQT09

Meeting ID: 848 2253 4019
Passcode: 213472

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

This talk will also be Simulcast on our YouTube Channel

https://www.youtube.com/user/irishastronomy/videos

IAA Lecture Weds 19th Jan 1930 – Prof Tom Ray (DIAS)

“The Webb: Well Worth Waiting For”

Abstract:

On Christmas Day, the Webb was launched from Kourou in South America. It is currently on its way to a special orbit well beyond the Moon having undergone a number of very complex manoeuvres.

After giving everyone an update, and an explanation of what to expect over the next few months, I will briefly introduce its four main instruments and describe how the Webb can help us understand the birth of the first stars in the Universe and how stars and planets, like our own Solar System, form.

Bio:

Tom Ray is Director of the School of Cosmic Physics at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies.

He began his career in Radio Astronomy at Jodrell Bank before working at a number of institutions including the University of Sussex and the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg. His primary interest is in star and planet formation.

Tom is Co-Principal Investigator of the Mid-Infrared Instrument on the James Webb Space Telescope and Co-Principal Investigator on the Ariel Mission to explore exoplanets.  In addition he is building a new type of super-cooled detector, known as a Microwave Kinetic Inductance Detector, for optical/near-infrared astronomy.

Tom’s other interests include ancient astronomical sites, such as Newgrange, and the history of Irish astronomy.

In his spare time he sails.

Paul Evans is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: IAA Zoom Meeting
Time: Jan 19, 2022 07:15 PM London

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/4222002106

Meeting ID: 422 200 2106

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

This talk will also be Simulcast on our YouTube Channel

https://www.youtube.com/user/irishastronomy/videos

IAA Lecture, Wed 5th January, 7.30 pM – Prof Antonio Martin Carillo

Comets and their tales

Comets are very much in the news, with the recent visit by Comet Neowise. They have a much wider significance in astronomy than just providing spectacular sights in the sky, as their origin, development and composition tell us a great deal about the solar system as a whole.

Biography

Antonio Martin-Carrillo is an UCD Ad Astra fellow/Assistant Professor in the School of Physics. He graduated with a BSc and MSc in Physics with Astronomy from University Complutense Madrid. Following 2 years working at the European Space Agency as part of the XMM-Newton space observatory calibration team, he moved to UCD where he completed his PhD investigating gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) and pulsars.

He is currently a member of the Space Science Group studying the transient Universe and in particular the prompt and afterglow emission of GRBs using high-energy space observatories and ground-based telescopes such as UCD’s Watcher robotic telescope.

His research also includes the development of software tools for advanced data analysis. As such he is an ambassador and collaborator on the Astropy project aimed at providing a wide range of software packages written in Python for use in astronomy. He is also a member of the INTEGRAL multi-messenger group searching for gamma-ray counterparts to gravitational waves, neutrino events and other transient sources; the ATHENA X-ray space observatory, an ESA large mission scheduled to launch in 2028, and the THESEUS space telescope, currently in its study phase with ESA.

Paul Evans is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: IAA Zoom Meeting
Time: Jan 5, 2022 07:15 PM London

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86772024897?pwd=YzhURHhRTjJheE5QZnlBREl4dDZmUT09

Meeting ID: 867 7202 4897
Passcode: 132894

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

This talk will also be Simulcast on our YouTube Channel

https://www.youtube.com/user/irishastronomy/videos

IAA Zoom Meeting Weds Dec 8th – Dr Jamie Robinson

“Asteroids: the key to unlocking the secrets of the Solar System ”

Synopsis

Asteroids are the small bodies of the Solar System which represent the leftovers of planet formation. They can be found throughout the Solar system, mainly in the rocky asteroid belt between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter and the more icy region beyond the orbit of Neptune.


By considering the physical properties of these bodies and how they came to be on their present orbits one can investigate the various processes of Solar System formation. Asteroids provide clues as to how the first solid bodies grew out of the disk of gas and dust from which the Sun was born, and how these small bodies then grew into the major planets. Furthermore their distribution throughout space tells us how the planets would have migrated from their birth locations in the early Solar System, scattering these asteroids as they went.


The asteroids are an invaluable key to unlocking the secrets of the Solar System, helping to explain how planets such as the Earth came to be. They are both the building blocks of our planet from which life developed and also a threat to life in terms of their continuing collisions with the Earth. As such they are fundamentally linked to understanding our place in the Universe and are an extremely fruitful subject of study.

Bio:

James (Jamie) Robinson

2011 – 2016: MPhys Durham University (year abroad at McMaster University 2013 – 2014)
2016 – 2020: PhD at Queen’s University Belfast on The Origin and Evolution of Transneptunian Binaries. 2017 LSST Data Science Fellow
2020 – 2021: Postdoc at QUB, ATLAS asteroid science
2021 – present: Postdoc at University of Edinburgh, LSST software tools

My research has covered a wide range of topics within the realm of small Solar System bodies. These objects represent the leftovers of planet formation and have a diverse range of physical and orbital properties. My research makes use of intensive computations and data science techniques to simulate and investigate the properties of small Solar System bodies. Studying such objects provides a valuable constraint on how the Solar System formed and gives us insight into how the Earth, and life, came to be.


For my PhD I conducted intensive numerical simulations to study how a binary pair of planetesimals can form through the collapse of a cloud of pebbles in the outer reaches of the early Solar System. I also considered how such binaries evolved under the effects of planetary migration which is believed to produce the Solar System of today.


I then took up a postdoctoral position at QUB which brought my research into the inner Solar System. I have utilised the large database of photometry from the ATLAS survey to study the surface properties of asteroids. The Asteroid Terrestrial-impact Last Alert System is one of several wide field surveys that scan the sky discovering transient phenomena and I assist in efforts to analyse the data in real time searching for possible Earth impactors.


I have recently started a postdoc at the University of Edinburgh where I will focus on developing software tools for the next big wide field survey, the Legacy Survey of Space and Time. LSST will be a revolution in Solar System science, discovering and characterising an order of magnitude more objects than previously known.

Paul Evans is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: IAA Zoom Meeting
Time: Dec 8, 2021 07:15 PM London

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85927713853?pwd=QzNIQmU5bldla3hVcEQ2YmhFZlZnUT09

Meeting ID: 859 2771 3853
Passcode: 796033

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

This talk will also be Simulcast on our YouTube Channel

https://www.youtube.com/user/irishastronomy/videos

IAA Lecture 24th Nov7:30pm – Dr Laura Hayes (TCD)

“The Active Sun – Observations of our Closest Star”.

Details to follow…..

Paul Evans is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: IAA Zoom Meeting
Time: Nov 24, 2021 07:15 PM London

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81395684573?pwd=dzVyRWNxVXBQdDhFa0FQYkVMNFF0QT09

Meeting ID: 813 9568 4573
Passcode: 986079

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

This talk will also be Simulcast on our YouTube Channel

https://www.youtube.com/user/irishastronomy/videos

IAA Zoom Lecture 10th Nov 19:30 – Dr. Donnacha O’Driscoll (IAS)

“Earth’s Constant Companion”

Synopsis.

This will be a general presentation on Earth’s constant celestial companion, the Moon. Its formation, physical attributes, movements, effects on the Earth and how to observe it. It will be a fun, entertaining and hopefully informative talk that will have something in it for all ages with no prior knowledge required

Biography

It is presented by IAS member Dr. Donnacha O’Driscoll who is a scientist by profession. He is the General Manager of the Science Foundation Ireland research centre ‘Insight’ in UCD.

Although professionally he has worked in the biotechnology and data analytical sectors, his passion is in astronomy and in particular Lunar astronomy.

He has been an active observer of the Moon for over 40 years and has presented many talks on the subject in that time. He established and runs the website www.themoon.ie which is an outreach project, acting as a source of information and teaching aids on all things Lunar to individuals young and old and to various groups and schools.

Paul Evans is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: IAA Lecture
Time: Nov 10, 2021 07:15 PM London

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86346334772?pwd=L3AvZE9KZjZPMHZBT25BbkNkUUhHZz09

Meeting ID: 863 4633 4772
Passcode: 859645

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

This talk will also be Simulcast on our YouTube Channel

https://www.youtube.com/user/irishastronomy/videos

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

https://goo.gl/maps/gBHCfJXcJtH9QMhY9

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.