"The Star of Bethlehem: An Astronomical Detective Story"
On December 1st we present a special pre Christmas lecture by Tony O'Hanlon who will give an exciting talk on the scientific theories behind the famous Christmas Star. In his lecture he will explore this phenomenon, relying on documented archaeology and the cultural, social, religious and astronomical practices of the peoples in the region we now call the Middle East. Travelling back 2000 years to the days of King Herod, he will piece together a critical time period in which today's astronomical knowledge might suggest an answer. This fascinating talk provides an intriguing insight into the mystery of what is probably one of the most powerful and enigmatic symbols of Christianity.
A little bit about Tony....
Tony has been an amateur astronomer for 45 years. He has held the post of Shannonside Astronomy Club Secretary for most of its existence; he was the co-founder of their now defunct but very popular Whirlpool Star Party. A former presenter at Armagh Planetarium, Tony has delivered many public astronomy out-reach lectures around the country. He has been fortunate to spend time at large professional observatories around the world, including observing with some big instruments such as 100″ at Mt Wilson. Residing in Ennis, Co. Clare, Tony currently works with Birr Castle providing astronomy out-reach and night classes. He is particular interested in deep sky objects. We very much look forward to his talk at the Westwood House Hotel startring at 7.30pm, new members always welcome.
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. Our next Workshop wil take place on Monday the 17th of November at 7.30pm with a tak by club outreach officer; Brian MacGabhann who will talk on the subject of Celestial Mechanics.
NB..This is a change from the original program
Celestial mechanics is the study of the different configurations of the Earth, Sun and Planets. It considers how these configurations change as everything orbits the sun, and crucially what significance these changing arrangements arrangements have for viewing. This talk will consider and explain concepts such as opposition, conjunction and elongation, and explain the implications of each for viewing the planets
Galway Astronomy Festival 2015
Galway Astronomy Festival themed "New World's, New Horizons" is taking place on February 21st, come along to a great day of events with workshops, trade and information stalls and talks by internationally acclaimed speakers. Now in its 12th year, has become one of the most popular events in Ireland of the Irish astronomical calender, where amateurs and professionals meet, essential for exchanging information, successful stargazing and mutual progress. We look forward to seeing you, hopefully under clear skies. Entry for the full day only €20 or why not come along to our afternoon free talk entitled "Measuring the Distances to the Stars & The Making of History's Greatest Star Map" by British astrophysicist Michael Perryman.
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1 Professor Michael Perryman (UCD): "Measuring the Distances to the Stars"
Co author of the "Millennium Star Atlas" and project scientist of the GAIA Space Astrometry mission. (FREE PUBLIC LECTURE)
2 Daniel (Eclipsedan) Lynch: "Light into Dark: Chasing Total Solar Eclipses"
Irish Eclipse chaser of ten international Total Solar Eclipses and his talk will serve as a prelude to the March 2015 Solar Eclipse.
3 Nick Howes: "A Tail of Two Comets - Serendipity and Discovery" and after Dinner talk : "Under African Skies... the Astro Safari adventure of a lifetime"
Amateur astronomer at the Kielder Observatory, UK, Consultant and Science writer
4 Damian Peach: "Worlds of the Solar System
World renowned planetary imager, Damian has spent the last ten years documenting the changing face of our solar system with crystal clear images good enough to stand alongside those of the Hubble Space Telescope
5 Professor Susan McKenna Lawlor: "The Rosetta Mission and its lander Philae"
Susan Mckenna Lawlor is the Emeritus professor in Experimental physics at the National University of Ireland Maynooth (NUIM) and the founder and director of Space Technology Ireland Ltd which builds instrumentation for various space experiments flown on ESA, NASA and Russian missions. She also developed a set of instruments to monitor the Martian solar wind on the Mars Express mission launched by the European Space Agency. Her talk will look at the Rosetta Comet mission for which her team built an instrument on its lander that will touchdown on the comet this November.
6 Dr Christopher Watson: Title TBA
Dr Chris Watson from Queens University Belfast who will provide the very latest up-to-date information on the fascinating area of research about Extra Solar Planets. At QUB he has lectureship position studying the impact of stellar activity on the nature and detection of extra-solar planets and has been busy designing techniques to help in the hunt for these New Worlds orbiting other stars
7 Dave Grennan: Title TBA
Dublin based Supernova discoverer with a home built telescope
If you have any queries regarding the Club call the chairperson; Ronan Newman at 0868434003