The next Irish Astronomical Association public lecture will be given by Dr Chris Watson of Queens University, Belfast.
The Irish Astronomical Association will be holding another of their very popular astronomy evenings at the Museum beside Bangor Castle, on Saturday evening, 16 February, at 6.30 p.m. Once again we'll have a selection of powerful telescopes and binoculars for viewing the night sky, an exhibition, short astronomy and space films, a selection of meteorites (rocks from space) which you can actually hold, and of course the Stardome mobile planetarium just in case of bad weather. And you'll have a chance to meet our own 'Ulsternaut', Derek Heatly from Groomsport, who is booked to fly into space with Virgin Galactic.
For where to see the asteroid on Friday evening, 15th Feb, follow this link…….
GLORIA stands for "GLObal Robotic-telescopes Intelligent Array" and will be the first free and open access network of robotic telescopes in the world. It will be a Web 2.0 environment where users can do research in astronomy by observing with robotic telescopes, and/or by analysing data that other users have acquired with GLORIA.
The next IAA public lecture will be on Wednesday 23 January, at 7.30 p.m.
As in years past, the IAA will be the BBC's main partner in Northern Ireland delivering events over the three days of Stargazing Live from Tues 8th to Thurs 10th January. The main event this year will again be held at Lough Neagh Discovery Centre on Oxford Island near Craigavon just off the Lurgan junction on the M1.
This will be a major event, with schools activities in the afternoon, and the programme for the general public starting at about 6 p.m. There will be a much bigger and more varied programme even than last year, so this is something not to be missed. Attractions on offer will include Star Shows in the Mobile Planetarium, Boat trips with Star Guides on the Lough, telescopic observing of Jupiter and its moons, and the Deep Sky, Comet making, and many, many more! Even if it's cloudy, we will have the telescopes set up inside on display and of course the indoor activities won't be weather dependent!
There will also be a two hour live radio programme on BBC Radio Ulster coming from the event from 7pm until 9pm.
Our meeting on 9th January will feature a lecture by by Prof Phil Dufton of QUB: "Forty-five Years in Astronomy".
Prof Dufton, who has given us several fascinating lectures before, has had a long and varied career in astronomy, and has seen some amazing changes in what we know, or think we know, about the universe. That promises to be a very interesting and informative talk.
It will be at 7.30 p.m. in the Bell Lecture Theatre, Physics Building, QUB.
This year's New Year Party will be held on Saturday 5th January. We start with a buffet meal at McBrides restaurant in The Square, Comber, followed by a special private screening of a film in the local Tudor private cinema. Meet at McBrides at about 5.30 p.m. for 6.0. p.m. The film will be "Men in Black 3". This film has a rating of PG-13, so parental discretion is advised regarding any children.
We will also have free refreshments at the Tudor Cinema, including Terry's notorious seasonal punch (notorious because no-one else can make one like it!), tea & coffee, and soft drinks. We will also have George's entertaining and challenging quiz. You MUST book in advance, by 28th December: £15 per adult. Download the flyer and form here…
On Wednesday 12th of December we have a very special topical night with three of our Council members taking the stage.
First up, Terry Moseley will give his account of the recent Total Solar Eclipse in Australia. Terry will be followed by Andy McCrea who saw the eclipse from a different vantage point and managed to take some excellent photographs of the event.
After this, David Collins will give us a short introduction to his new book, "The Star of Bethlehem". This is a preview of his main talk which will be delivered at Stormont on Friday 14th December.
This promises to be a power packed evening with plenty of fun to bring 2012 to an end with a bang!