June 8th AGM and DVD Night
All are welcome to attend, no admission charge and it is open to non-members. A review of the year will take place while also looking forward to a very busy season of talks, workshops and various other activities starting in September. A new committee for 2015-2016 season will be elected on the night, with positions open to new members. The AGM is the place for you to have your say with suggestions/ feedback on what the new committee can do to improve your experience as a club member. Afterwards we will be showing a recording of a talk that was filimed at the 2nd Galway Astronomy Festival by Dr Andy Mc Crea way back in 2005 but on a topic that is very close to us in the west of Ireland that was about the Markree Castle Observatory, Co Sligo.
It was opened in 1830 by Edward Joshua Cooper and remained as a working observatory until 1902. The observatory was undoubtedly one of the most richly furnished private observatories in the British Isles at that time with a huge 13.5-inches refractor that was also the largest in the world. He used this telescope to sketch Halley's comet in 1835 and to view the solar eclipse of 15 May 1836. Later a 5-foot transit and a 3-foot Meridian Circle were added while in 1842 a 4-inch (10 cm) Comet Seeker was added.See you at the Westwood House Hotel @7.30pm and join us for a chat with Tea & Coffee afterwards.
To see a copy of this month's monthly Sky Report click HERE or alternatively to see a list of the speakers for our exciting Autumn Program of talks (including some from the European Space Agency) look HERE
Early Summer Aurora
At our May 11th meeting there was a short talk by our Aurora buff; Ronan Newman showing recent photos of these nocturnal celestial lights, he forecasted at the time that there could be a display visible in the days ahead. Sure enough a beautiful display was photographed during the early morning of May 13th by Mayo based amateur astronomer and photographer; Steve Hanley. This photo was taken at the beautiful Lough Talt, a glacial lake in the Ox mountains, Co. Sligo using a Cannon 5D mark3, a 16mm lens @ F2.8 and a 15 sec exposure at ISO 1600.
Solar Fest 2015
Set your diary for Solar Fest taking place from the 19th -21st of June 2015 , an annual event at Dunsink Observatory and Rathbeggan lake that that combines the best of solar astronomy lectures with observing and solar imaging. Some members of the club intend travelling to the main event that takes place on the Saturday so please have a chat to us a the AGM and we will see what we can organise regarding transportation. See the promotional poster HERE while updates including a list of speakers will shortly be posted HERE
Crescent Moon and Earthshine from Inishsheer
Cormac Coyne a native of Inishsheer, the smallest of the Aran Islands sent in this image of the Crescent Moon and Earthshine. It is a composite photo put together from several photos taken with a Canon 7D on the back of a 8 inch Edge HD SCT with Advanced VX Mount. Cormac has only started Astrophotography recently and hope's by this time next year he will be producing better photos as his equipment list grows.
Earthshine is most readily observable from shortly before until shortly after a New Moon, during the waxing or waning crescent phase. When the Moon is new as viewed from Earth, Earth is nearly fully lit up as viewed from the Moon. Sunlight is reflected from the Earth to the night side of the Moon. The night side appears to glow faintly and the entire orb of the Moon is dimly visible.
International Space Station visible this Month
The International Space Station (ISS) is an internationally-developed research facility assembled in low Earth orbit and is the largest Space Station ever constructed.. The station is expected to remain in operation until at least 2020, and potentially to 2028. Like many artificial satellites, the ISS can be seen from Earth with the naked eye. You can view the International Space Station (ISS) when it passes over your location very easily – in fact, it can be one of the brightest objects in the night sky other than the Moon. It moves faster through the sky than most planes, and usually appears brighter as well. Because the ISS is in an orbit of inclination 51° to the equator, it passes directly over southern Ireland, From May 29th onwards the station will enter our evening skies. For information on how to view it look HERE and HERE or try setting your location at http://www.heavens-above.com or download just simply download their Android App in the "Google Play Store".