Covid-19 Notice

17 March 2020: All IAS in-person meetings and observing nights are cancelled until futher notice.

We urge each of you to take care and we look forward to seeing you all when the Government recommendations change. In the meantime, we might have some clear skies and I hope you can make best use of them.

19 April 2020: Please note that Orbit is not being printed at this time. A PDF copy of the April 2020 issue has now been emailed to members.

7 July 2020: A PDF copy of the July 2020 issue of Orbit has now been emailed to members.

28 July 2020: As soon as feasible and in line with Government guidelines we hope to resume our monthly "Sidewalk Astronomy" observing sessions in Sandymount and Clontarf, as well as occasional events at other locations.

We have started on-line talks. Please see more information.


Mars - a Cosmic Stepping Stone

Kevin Nolan


by Kevin Nolan (The Planetary Society)

Monday, 25th January 2021 (at 19:30 Irish Winter Time/UT).
Venue: online zoom.

You can join the meeting a few minutes before the event. A link will be posted nearer the time.

Another 7 minutes of terror! As the excitement builds about the Perseverance Mars Rover landing in February we are entering a new phase of the exploration of Mars - including exobiological landers in search of past or present prebiotic or biotic activity there. This talk by Kevin Nolan explores these themes, and also looks to the medium term future of our engagement with the Red Planet.

Kevin Nolan is lecturer in physics at TU Dublin, Tallaght Campus. Kevin's first popular science book was published in 2008, titled "Mars, a Cosmic Stepping Stone". He is a volunteer for The Planetary Society and in this outreach capacity delivers talks, writes articles, offers occasional analysis on matters of space exploration to RTE TV and Radio.


Sky-High 2021

skyhigh 2021

Our yearly almanac Sky-High 2021 is now available. It is now in its 29th year.

Sky-High has articles on upcoming events regarding Planets, Asteroids, Comets, Meteors, Eclipses and Variable Stars. It has a detailed Diary tailored for Irish Observers. It includes a handy table of sunset and twilight times as well as Moon phases. It also features a number of guest articles.

Please see more details, that includes information in obtaining a copy.

Please note that paid-up IAS members have been mailed a free copy. Sky-High 2020 has been added to the free Archive.



Celestial Calendar 2021

Member John Flannery has produced a Celestial Calendar. It includes sky events and historical events. Each month has a colour image.

It may be downloaded for free. Please note that paid-up IAS members have been mailed a free printed copy by the IAS.


Comet NEOWISE 2020 F3

comet neowise

Sky-High Extra has been updated with information on this object. Photograph by member John Flannery on 2020 July 6 at 3 h IST.