IAA Observing

Observing Programme

At Delamont Country ParkKillyleagh, Co Down 


The Council has decided that the Observing Programme can now be brought back into being following the Covid-19 pandemic. We are being very careful to make sure we work within the restrictions currently in place in order to bring some socially distanced observing back into being, however be aware that the safety of our members is paramount.

To this end we will supply some anti-bacterial wipes to ensure that telescope controls and eyepiece surrounds are cleaned between users and of course if you bring your own telescope or binoculars so much the better. Mask-wearing at close-quarters and social distancing are still necessary.

You can of course continue to observe from home and to that end we are producing the IAA/IFAS Sky Guides on our YouTube Channel as well as Neill McKeown’s excellent monthly guide here………

The IAA observing nights are planned with a degree of flexibility to accommodate our variable weather. The first preference night is usually a Friday and will be chosen to coincide with a particular event – eg a meteor shower, first quarter Moon or moonless sky. An update will always be shown on this website to indicate whether the session is going ahead. This is generally updated at 6pm on the Friday or Saturday evening concerned.

The sessions are designed to cater for all levels of capability and beginners of all ages are most welcome.

We will usually have one of the IAA’s 12″ or 16″ telescopes available for viewing of Deep Sky objects and members will bring a range of telescopes suited to viewing different objects. Some times there’s a Barbeque in progress before the sky darkens – bring your own bangers, bacon etc!

Check the Weather Forecast for Delamont Country Park here……


Sept 2216th/17th23rd/24th
Oct 2221st/22nd28th/29th (lunar)
Nov 2218th/19th25th/26th
Dec 222nd/3rd (lunar)16th/17th
Jan 2320th/21st27th/28th (lunar)
Feb 2317th/18th24th/25th (lunar)
Mar 2317th/18th24th/25th
Apr 2314th/15th21st/22nd

We intend to try out some other observing sites this year including Cultra and Clandeboye – more details will be included in the Front Page Updates


All dates provisional – subject to amendment, other venues TBC

  • It is important to check the IAA Observing Update . at 6pm on above dates to confirm go/no go.

  • We will arrive between 7.00pm to 9pm, depending on time of year.

  • Observing sessions will be held on the first date on the month shown, with Friday being the main night. This will change to Saturday if the weather is poor on Friday night.

  • If the weather is poor on the first Friday and Saturday nights in the month then the 2nd choice dates later in the month will be used.

  • Wear warm clothing/footwear and bring something hot to eat/drink.

Astronomy in Northern Ireland and Beyond