"What we dont know about the Universe"
Opening Lecture September 7th
Galway Astronomy Club's new exciting season of talks begin on September 7th with a talk by one of of Ireland's top astrophysicists; Professor Andy Shearer from the Centre of Astronomy at NUI Galway who will deliver a talk entitled "Dark Matter? Dark Energy? - What We Don't Know About the Universe"
Science moves forward by answering questions about what we don't know about the Universe. Yet most publicity is about what we just discovered. This talk is about the areas of astronomy where we don't understand what is happening. This year the world's biggest particle accelerator is back in action after a two-year shutdown and upgrade, embarking on a new mission that scientists hope could give them a look into the unseen "Dark Matter" and its celestial cousin, "Dark Energy" which make up most of the Universe, but scientists haven't been able to see them yet, so researchers are looking for them in high-energy crashes. Other questions like how many Earth-like planets are out there? Is there life outside the Earth? Again how will we find out? All will be addressed in this opening talk to the 2015-16 season.
New members are very welcome to attend and we start at 7.30pm with our very informative "Sky Report" a ten minute talk describing events to look out for the month ahead in the night sky which will quickly followed by the main talk lasting for an hour or so, after which we have a 5-10 minutes of audience questions. The lecture over, tea/coffee & coffee is available free of charge. At this time members are free to mix and discuss the latest astronomical news and events. The meeting finishes at 9.30pm.
Mayo Dark Skies: The New Frontier for Stargazers
Ballycroy National Park is Ireland's most recent national park; at more than 11,000 hectares it encompasses a vast, uninhabited wilderness area around the Nephin Beg Mountains. It is one of the last remaining large tracts of intact blanket bog in Western Europe, a windswept waterlogged wilderness in one of the country's most sparsely populated regions. We can't claim many truly wild areas in Ireland. Stand at the top of Carrauntoohil and you're still only a couple miles from the nearest road. But Mayo's a bit different. The road network seems sparser, and doesn't stretch to every last corner. The county boasts some of Ireland's wildest and remotest spots — like the Nephin Beg range of mountains which is probably the very loneliest place in this country, for the hills themselves are encircled by this vast area of trackless bog. Ballycroy and Ballycroy National Park are trying to obtain the Dark-Sky Reserve status and become the final frontier for stargazers. Dark-Sky Reserve status is granted by the US-based International Dark Sky Association to areas where the quality of night sky is exceptional. The night skies, free from pollution, will allow astronomers from all over the world to view unhindered visible sky phenomena such as the Milky Way. The steering committee hope to complete the application for next Spring.(Photo:Conor Ledwith)
"The Cosmological Sublime" Exhibition in Galway
Jim Kavanagh is an established fine artist living and working near Galway City. He has had a successful art career spanning more than thirty years. After graduating with a degree in Fine Art in London, he lectured at third level for a number of years before becoming a full time artist. Jim has had numerous successful shows in both the UK and Ireland, as well as having his work in private collections in four continents. His new exhibition “The Cosmological Sublime” opens this week until September 12th at the Market Street Gallery in Galway City.
In the last couple of years his interest has moved away from landscape painting, and has focused further skywards to the Universe and beyond. It seems like a natural step, with man’s increasing curiosity to examine space with projects like the Hubble Telescope; exploring further and deeper, sending images back to earth that scientists are trying to comprehend. Some of his work is influenced by the views from the International Space Station looking down on earth, again reflecting how ‘small we are’ in the scheme of things. He is currently exploring the Sublime in a world where technological development has eclipsed the past 19th century Romantic’s notions of our place in the Universe. Man’s ego in the past was suppressed by the awesome scale and power of nature. We are now seduced by the awesome possibilities of Space.
"Back to Basics" Workshops resume on September 21st
As part of our outreach program we offer a series of free monthly "Back to Basics" beginner workshops held at NUI Galway where both the public and club members can expand their knowledge and observing skills as well as meeting new people. These workshops are one part practical and another part theory. The opening workshop will be given by Ballaghadereen Camera Club photographer; Mr Steve Hanley who will talk about "A Beginners Guide to Cameras and Astrophotography"
It will start at 7.30pm and take place at Room 220 in the Physics Department in NUI Galway just off the main concourse. We hope to see as many as you at them and remember entry is FREE, Beginners are most welcome. For directions see the Google Earth website HERE and follow the footpath into the main concuouse and see further directions HERE(Photo: Steve Hanley)