Club News & Events


October 2019 Meeting PDF Print E-mail

The second meeting of the season will be on Monday 7th October, it starts at 8pm sharp in our usual venue of Ballyclare High School Lecture TheatreDirections can be found here.

We are pleased to announce that our second speaker for the season is Prof. Michael  Burton Director of Armagh Observatory/Planetarium.  He will be giving a talk entitled Astronomy in Antarctica.

About Michael:  My academic career includes significant periods in the USA (NASA, Mauna Kea Observatory), Australia (Anglo Australian Observatory, University of New South Wales), Chile (Universidad de Chile, Chajnantor Observatory), Antarctica (South Pole and the high Antarctic Plateau), as well as Ireland (Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies) and the UK (Universities of Cambridge, Edinburgh, Leeds, the Royal Greenwich Observatory and Armagh).

I am an astronomer, with primary research expertise in the formation of stars within the molecular clouds of our Galaxy, and an educator, with 25 years university-level teaching (including Director of Teaching in Physics in a large university), combined together with an active involvement in science communication and outreach.

Of my contributions to service in my discipline, I am currently President of the largest Division of the International Astronomical Union (Division B - Facilities, Technology, Data Science).

I was the Editor of the Journal of the Royal Society of New South Wales for 5 years – one of the oldest peer reviewed publications in the Southern Hemisphere.

I am a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, the Astronomical Society of Australia, the Australian Institute of Physics and the Royal Society of New South Wales.

We hope you will join us in welcoming Michael along to the society for the first time.  I'm sure it will be a fascinating talk of doing Astronomy in such a harsh environment.

Please note: Under 16's are very welcome but due to our child protection policy, we ask that they are accompanied by an adult.

As always we will have refreshments available after the meeting, a donation bucket is available at the door if you wish to support us in our work!

Hope to see you all there!

 
September 2019 Meeting PDF Print E-mail

The first meeting of our new season will be on Monday 2nd September, it starts at 8pm sharp in our usual venue of Ballyclare High School Lecture TheatreDirections can be found here.

gary fildes

I am really excited to announce that our first speaker for the new season is Gary Fildes the creator of Kilder Observatory! When I first read his book a couple of years ago, I knew we had to get him over to give us a talk.

About Gary: As a child I wasn't encouraged by my teachers to explore my love for science. We were destined for the shipyards, building sites or the military. I ended up on building sites for 25 years. I also became an astronomer. By the time I was in my mid thirties, I had joined the Sunderland Astronomical Society where my interest grew massively. By 2002 I had started the Kielder forest star camp, and a year later I would start a path that would change my life forever, in ways I hadn't imagined.

In 2004 I was appointed astronomical adviser for the Kielder Observatory project, in the beautiful Kielder Forest in Northumberland. I put all my passion for the stars into my plan to build an observatory. In 2008 it opened, with me as a volunteer. I was then appointed Director and lead astronomer where I oversaw the whole organisation and managed it to what it is today, eventually being appointed as CEO.

In 2019 I resigned from the observatory to pursue my own ambitions – ambitions to reach even more people than before.

In 2016 I published my first book 'An Astronomers Tale' here you can learn all about how and why I found myself directing the observatory, starting off from my humble beginnings as a brickie in Sunderland.

We hope you will join us in welcoming Gary along to the society! This promises to be a fantastic start to our new season and a night not to be missed.

Please note: Under 16's are very welcome but due to our child protection policy, we ask that they are accompanied by an adult.

As always we will have refreshments available after the meeting, a donation bucket is available at the door if you wish to support us in our work!

Hope to see you all there!

 
May 2019 Meeting & AGM PDF Print E-mail

The final meeting of 2019 will be on Monday 13th May, it starts at 8pm sharp in our usual venue of Ballyclare High School Lecture Theatre. Directions can be found here.

For our May meeting we are pleased to continue our very popular 'Member's Talks'. This month we are in for a treat as NIAAS committee member Lawrence Hanna will be giving us a short talk on 'Astrophotography'.

Following this, for the forth year NIAAS member Philip Matchett will be hosting his fun and bizarre 'Big Astronomy Quiz'! With real prizes!!!

After the quiz we will stop for a few refreshments, then we will be holding our AGM. All members are encouraged to stay for the AGM as your input is valuable to the continuing success of the society.

quiz

We hope you have enjoyed this season so please come along for a final meet-up before we take our summer break!

Please note: Under 16's are very welcome but due to our child protection policy, we ask that they are accompanied by an adult.

Hope to see you all there!

 
April 2019 Meeting PDF Print E-mail

Our next meeting of 2019 season will be on Monday 1st April, it starts at 8pm sharp in our usual venue of Ballyclare High School Lecture TheatreDirections can be found here.

andrew dennis

We have a new speaker visiting us in April, Dr. Andrew Dennis from Andor Technology will be giving us a talk titled 'The Role of Non-imaging cameras in Cutting Edge Astronomy'.

About the talk: When we think of Astronomy we think of beautiful Astrophotograpy images, but behind the scenes there are usually a vast array of “technical” cameras which ensure the telescope remains aligned, perform deep Astronomical analysis or produce details of the chemical composition of far off worlds. To make a Hollywood analogy, these cameras could be considered to be the Screenplay writers, Visual effects engineers or Directors of the Astronomy world, without these cameras the “lead actors” simply couldn’t perform.

About Andrew: Andrew Dennis works at Andor technology and is the Director with responsibility for product Strategy. Andrew is a scientist with backgrounds in both Chemistry & Physics and a PhD in Spectroscopy.

We hope you will join us in welcoming Dr. Dennis along to the society! Andor is a company born in N.Ireland and their technology is used in some of the biggest telescopes in the world. We think N.Ireland is a fantastic place to be, if you want to work in astro physics, and we want to share this with you! We do this by inviting along the people who are living it here and now, to tell us what they are working on!

Please note: Under 16's are very welcome but due to our child protection policy, we ask that they are accompanied by an adult.

As always we will have refreshments available after the meeting, a donation bucket is available at the door if you wish to support us in our work!

Hope to see you all there!

 
March 2019 Meeting PDF Print E-mail

Our next meeting of 2019 season will be on Monday 4th March, it starts at 8pm sharp in our usual venue of Ballyclare High School Lecture TheatreDirections can be found here.

ronan

We are really happy to have Ronan Newman coming up from Galway again this year to give us a talk titled 'Noctilucent Clouds: Ice at the Edge of Space'.

Noctilucent Clouds (NLC) also known "night shining clouds," are some of the strangest cloud formations you can see with their characteristic blue colour. These clouds are normally too faint to be seen by the human eye-unless illuminated by sunlight from below the horizon while the lower layers of the Earth's atmosphere are in Earth's shadow. They are, in fact, the highest clouds on Earth, forming on tiny crystals of water ice and dust particles near the edge of space some 50 miles above our planet's surface.

In the talk the speaker Ronan Newman will be a giving a serious examination from an amateur astronomers standpoint into the various manifestations that have to come together to make a Noctilucent cloud display.

To start he will look at possible NLC observations in the mid 19th century and will go on to examine the giant volcanic eruption of Krakatoa in 1883 and how this affected the upper atmosphere as well as examining NLC's and there connection to greenhouse gases & Climate change.

Other topics will include the how the Solar cycle affects NLC formation, a possible upcoming Deep Solar minimum, similar yet strange high atmospheric phenomena and finally a look at recorded observations of NLC displays from Northern Ireland during the 19th and 20th century.

Please note: Under 16's are very welcome but due to our child protection policy, we ask that they are accompanied by an adult.

As always we will have refreshments available after the meeting, a donation bucket is available at the door if you wish to support us in our work!

Hope to see you all there!

 
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