IAS Banner

Marking 80 Years, 1937-2017


Images of Starlight

IAS Astrophotography Exhibition continues!

Bunclody Library, Co Wexford

1 Aug to 4 Sep 2017

astro photo

The IAS (with help from IFAS) has a very special touring exhibition to showcase the work of Irish backyard astronomers astrophotography. Splendid images of the Stars, the Galaxy and the Solar System are featured.

The exhibition first took place in the Botanic Gardens, Dublin in February 2016 before moving to a number of venues around the country.



The Eclipse Chasers Report

Monday 25th September 2017 (20.00 hrs).
Venue: Ely House, 8 Ely Place, Dublin 2. All welcome, free event.

Members travelling for the August 21st total solar eclipse report on their experiences.

Photo by J.O'Neill of the 2012 Total Solar Eclipse.



The Earth at aphelion

The Earth was at aphelion on 3rd July (at 20:11 UT). This is when the Earth was farthest from the Sun at 152,093,000 km in its yearly orbit.

From Sky-High 2017.

Giant Planets on show

Jupiter, which was at opposition on 7th April, is still well displayed by the late evening. Good binoculars will show the Galilean Moons. A small telescope should show the equatorial belts. Jupiter is mag -2.0.

The ringed planet Saturn (mag +0.1) was at opposition on 15th June. It is now low in the South in southern Ophiuchus A small telescope should show the magnificent ring system, which is now virtually fully open.

Data from Sky-High 2017.


Members observe Total Solar Eclipse of 9 March 2016 from Indonesia

solar eclipse

Angela O'Connell reports:

A view of totality from the MS Volendam, on the starboard bow, mid-ship. We were located in the Makassar Strait between the islands of Borneo and Sulawesi, about 1½ degrees south of the equator. The sea was surprisingly calm and the ship was steady allowing those of us with tripods to relax and concentrate on the spectacle which lasted 2 min 46 sec approximately. Photo (at left) taken 08:34 (local time), 9th March 2016 with Lumix GM5 on automatic night scene setting.


solar eclipse

Terry Moseley reports:

The solar corona during totality. Photo taken 08:36 (local time), 9th March 2016 with Canon Power Shot with x42 zoom.

The next total solar eclipse occurs in August 2017, only touching land in USA.



Total Lunar Eclipse of 28 September 2015 was well seen by most

lunar eclipse

We were treated to a fine total lunar eclipse.

The photo of the eclipse was taken by J. O'Neill, at 02.21 UT, with a 106 mm refractor at f/8. This was 10 min after the start of totality.

The next total lunar eclipse visible from Ireland occurs in July 2018.

Members please report any observations, drawings or photographs to our Director of Observations, Liam Smyth for inclusion in the next issue of Orbit.



Comet Lovejoy 2014 Q2 near Polaris

In late May 2015, the comet passed about 1° from the pole star Polaris. Remarkably, it was still visible (as of 23 May) in binoculars, at just below mag 8. It was 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


What's on?

Please see EVENTS/opposite 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.

Visit our Facebook page:

Copyright © I.A.S., Authors & Imagers. Webmasters: Sara Beck & John O'Neill.