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Mars at Opposition

The planet Mars (mag -2.1) is now a striking sight in late evening. Opposition occured on 22nd May 2016. At the moment it lies in Scorpius, north-west of Delta Sco. Saturn (mag 0.0) is just 13° to the east.

Data from Sky-High 2016.



Images of Starlight

IAS Astrophotography Exhibition continues!

South Dublin County Library

4 to 15 July 2016

astro photo

Following our widely acclaimed exhibition in Dublin City last February, the exhibition went to Tullamore, Co Offaly in June.

Our exhibition is currently showing at:
South Dublin County Library, Tallaght, Co Dublin from July 4th to July 15th 2016.

The IAS have organised a very special exhibition to showcase the work of Irish backyard astronomers astrophotography. Splendid images of the Stars, the Galaxy and the Solar System will be on view.

Later the exhibition will be at:
Linen Hall Library, Belfast: 2nd Aug-30th Sept 2016 (venue organised by IAA, Belfast).



79th IAS AGM held

As well as interesting talks, a new Committee was elected at this meeting.

Meet the new Committee.


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?

2016 Aug 26-28 Skellig Star Party, Co Kerry

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. Note: these are over for the season and will recommence in October 2016.

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