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Irish National Astronomy Meeting 2015

26th-28th August 2015
Venue: QUB, Belfast.

This event is organised by the ASGI.

See details of programme and how to register.

The event is open to IAS members, but note that the talks are at a professional level.



Dunsink Culture Night

Culture Night at Dunsink Observatory on Friday 18th Sept. 2015. This is a free public event. See DIAS for registration and more details. John Flannery of the IAS will be among the speakers.


IAS Membership Sub due

Membership renewals are due from the 1st August 2015. Please note that the rates have increased this year. This is the first increase in many years and is needed to cover increased postage costs and rental fees for the hall for our lectures.


Dr Ian Elliott (1936-2015)

dr ian elliott

The Society is saddened to learn of the passing of Dr Ian Elliott, which occurred on 10th May 2015.

He spent some time at Sacramento Peak Observatory, New Mexico after qualifying as a solar physicist. He was also part of the group site-testing for the solar telescope at La Palma and then was on the Dunsink Observatory staff until 2001, finishing his tenure as Assistant Professor. Ian was co-founder and first Chairman of the Irish Science Centre Awareness Network (ISCAN) and also served as Chair of the Science and Technology Committee of the Royal Dublin Society for some time. He had a deep interest in promoting science and acted as the Irish point of contact for a number of competitions run by the European Space Agency and European Southern Observatory. Ian wrote many articles on the history of Irish astronomy and science, and also had a long-standing interest in the Sun's influence on the Earth's climate. (based on information provided by J.Flannery).

Dr Elliott was also a good friend to the IAS and gave many talks to the Society and wrote a number of articles for Orbit. Our sincere condolences to his wife Dorothy and his family.



Comet Lovejoy 2014 Q2 near Polaris

In late May, the comet passes about 1° from the pole star Polaris. Remarkably, it is still visible (as of 23 May) in binoculars, at just below mag 8. It is an excellent time to image the comet with a fixed camera, as trailing would be slight.

The photo (below) of the comet is by John O'Neill and was taken on 9-10 January 2015 (cropped; 200 mm camera lens). The drawing of 19 January 2015 is by Deirdre Kelleghan, with details appended.

Please report any observations, drawings or photographs to our Director of Observations, Liam Smyth.

comet lovejoy

comet lovejoy



Partial Solar Eclipse of 20 March 2015 was visible from Ireland

partial eclipse

Despite a poor weather forecast and the day starting very grey and grim, many saw the eclipse through thin cloud or holes in the cloud.

The photo was taken by J. O'Neill, a little after maximum, through a hole in the clouds (85 mm refractor at 600 mm focal length).

The next partial solar eclipse visible from Ireland occurs in 2017, while for a total solar eclipse, the wait is for 2090!

Members please report any observations, drawings or photographs to our Director of Observations, Liam Smyth by the end of May for inclusion in the July 2015 issue of Orbit.



Petition for Ireland to join the European Southern Observatory

VLT Please consider signing the petition in favour of Ireland joining the European Southern Observatory.

Photo of the Very Large Telecope in Chile, courtesy of E.S.O.


What's on?

Please see EVENTS for more details and further events.

If you would like to attend Dunsink Observatory Public Open Nights that are supported by the IAS, you can find more details at Dunsink Observatory. These recommenced in October 2014.


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