Free Public Lecture
Where the Earth came from: The First steps of Planetary Formation
By Professor Ian Sanders, Geology, Trinity College Dublin
As part of world Space Week we present a free lecture at the Westwood House Hotel on October 6th by one of Ireland's leading Geologists on the history of where our planet came from. The planets grew from a huge disk of dust and gas around the new-born Sun, 4567 million years ago. The dust grains clumped together to make many baby planets that, in turn, merged to make the large planets we know today, all orbiting the Sun in the same direction and in the same plane. However, the baby planets between Mars and Jupiter failed to make it into a big planet, and a few of them still exist there today as asteroids, battered and bruised from many collisions. Fragments of broken asteroids supply the Earth with meteorites, so the study of meteorites provides clues about the first steps of planet formation.
Prof Sanders is a Lecturer in the Department of Geology with an interest in meteorites. His teaching and research lie in the fields of mineralogy and petrology. For two decades he investigated enigmatic Scottish and Irish rocks that originated deep in the Earth's interior. By the early 1990s his interest had switched to meteorites and their implications for planet formation. His recently published ideas run counter to conventional thinking, and have prompted heated debate on the events that took place in the terrestrial planet region during the Solar System's first five million years. As previously stated the lecture starts at the Westwood House Hotel on October 6th starting at 7.30pm. For further information on our program of upcoming talks the include topics like the "Star of Bethlehem", "Missions to Mars" and an Irish woman's quest to become an astronaut please tick on the above Meetings 2014/15 tab.
World Space Week events in Galway
World Space Week is the largest annual space event in the world with a record-breaking 1,420 events in 80 nations and defined as a international celebration of science and technology, and their contribution to the betterment of the humankind. On December 6, 1999, The United Nations General Assembly declared World Space Week as an annual event celebration to be commemorated between October 4–10. The choice of dates was based on recognition of two important dates in space history: the launch of the first human-made Earth satellite, Sputnik 1, on October 4, 1957; and the signing of the Outer Space Treaty on October 10, 1967
To see a distribution of the many events happening all over the world or just to read more about the celebration please go to http://www.worldspaceweek.org/events/event-list/. For members of the public in Galway we will be a holding two consecutive observing nights on Saturday the 4th and Sunday the 5th of October (weather permitting) at the Salthill carpark. Come along and see the Moon like you have never seen it before and hopefully get a rare view of the distant worlds Uranus and Neptune.
Starting from Scratch? Free Beginners Workshops
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. Workshops 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. The opening workshop will be given by Brian McGabhann on September 22nd with a topic entitled "A Guide to the Sun and safe solar viewing" while the next will be on October 20th: "Amateur Radio Astronomy" Tom Frawley, Galway Radio Club.
If you enjoy observing the stars, don't forget that there's a star a quarter million times closer than any other and 13 billion times brighter. And it appears enormous, as big in your telescope's eyepiece as the Moon. Of course, it's the Sun. If you've got a telescope, you're missing out if you don't equip it for observing our great, big day star. But a word of warning: the Sun can blind you, especially when its light is concentrated by a telescope. But if you use a proper Sun-observing filter and don't do something careless (such as letting the filter blow off in the wind), you can watch the Sun safely for a lifetime and enjoy some highlights that include capturing the Solar Eclipse coming in March 2015. All these topics will be covered in this opening workshop while further topics covered include "Learning the Constellations", "Planetary Photography with a webcam" and "Telescopes for Christmas". See the full list of upcoming workshops HERE while directions to the venue just off Distillery Rd at NUI Galway can be found here HERE and to locate the room inside the building see the map HERE . Photo by Dave Gradwell with a Sunspot with the Earth inserted to scale
See the International Space Station next Month
Next month represents a great chance of getting a clear view of what is the biggest man-made object ever launched into space. The International Space Station will make a series of movements over Irish skies from the 9th to the 28th of October 21st, giving the Irish public a good number of opportunities to marvel at it. Look out for a bright moving point of light, moving roughly from west, through south, to east.
It will appear to move slowly at first as it comes above the western horizon, then appearing to move faster when it gets closest to us in the southern part of the sky, when it will be much brighter than any of the stars. A fantastic new App called "ISS Detector" can be downloaded for your Smart phone, Laptop or Tablet and is Free, easy to use and includes weather conditions, timings and a compass. To see how to use it see HERE or to view our guide to the ISS see HERE, Photo by Clint Coen, a short time lapse of the ISS over Galway Bay
Galway Astronomy Festival 2015
Our view of the Universe has changed dramatically. Hundreds of planets of startling diversity have been discovered orbiting distant suns. Other astronomical observations have also revealed that most of the matter in the Universe is dark and invisible and that the expansion of the universe is accelerating in an unexpected and unexplained way. New missions pave the way to a better understanding of our solar system and its cosmic interlopers including comets. Recent discoveries, powerful new ways to observe the Universe, and bold new ideas to understand it have created scientific opportunities without precedent. Some of these big questions will be addresses at the 2015 Galway Astronomy Festival with a host well known amateur and academic astronomers from Ireland and the UK. Entry only €20.
1 Michael Perryman: co author of the "Millennium Star Atlas" and project scientist of the GAIA Space Astrometry mission
2 Daniel (Eclipsedan) Lynch: Irish Eclipse chaser of ten international Total Solar Eclipses and his talk will prelude to the March 2015 Solar eclipse
3 Nick Howes: Amateur astronomer at the Kielder Observatory, UK, Consultant and Science writer
4 Paul Abel: UK Amateur Astronomer, broadcaster and writer, Sky at Night presenter, Author of "The Stargazers Notebook" and "Visual & Planetary Astronomy"
5 Professor Susan McKenna Lawlor: Space Technology Ireland & NUIM
6 Dr Christopher Watson: Excellent speaker on the topic of Exoplanetary worlds from Queens University Belfast
7 Dave Grennan: Dublin based Supernova hunter
If you have any queries regarding the Club call the chairperson; Ronan Newman at 0868434003