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The Northern Ireland Amateur Astronomy Society (NIAAS)
September 2019 Meeting PDF Print E-mail

The first meeting of our new season will be on Monday 2nd September, it starts at 8pm sharp in our usual venue of Ballyclare High School Lecture TheatreDirections can be found here.

gary fildes

I am really excited to announce that our first speaker for the new season is Gary Fildes the creator of Kilder Observatory! When I first read his book a couple of years ago, I knew we had to get him over to give us a talk.  

About Gary: As a child I wasn't encouraged by my teachers to explore my love for science. We were destined for the shipyards, building sites or the military. I ended up on building sites for 25 years. I also became an astronomer. By the time I was in my mid thirties, I had joined the Sunderland Astronomical Society where my interest grew massively. By 2002 I had started the Kielder forest star camp, and a year later I would start a path that would change my life forever, in ways I hadn't imagined.

In 2004 I was appointed astronomical adviser for the Kielder Observatory project, in the beautiful Kielder Forest in Northumberland. I put all my passion for the stars into my plan to build an observatory. In 2008 it opened, with me as a volunteer. I was then appointed Director and lead astronomer where I oversaw the whole organisation and managed it to what it is today, eventually being appointed as CEO.

In 2019 I resigned from the observatory to pursue my own ambitions – ambitions to reach even more people than before.

In 2016 I published my first book 'An Astronomers Tale' here you can learn all about how and why I found myself directing the observatory, starting off from my humble beginnings as a brickie in Sunderland.

We hope you will join us in welcoming Gary along to the society! This promises to be a fantastic start to our new season and a night not to be missed.

Please note: Under 16's are very welcome but due to our child protection policy, we ask that they are accompanied by an adult.

As always we will have refreshments available after the meeting, a donation bucket is available at the door if you wish to support us in our work!

Hope to see you all there!

Programme PDF Print E-mail

All meetings start at 8pm in the Lecture Theatre at Ballyclare High School, Ballyclare, County Antrim. For directions, click here.


September 2nd - Gary Fildes (Kielder Observatory) - TBC

October 7th - Prof. Michael  Burton (Armagh Observatory/Planetarium  - Astronomy in Antarctica

November 4th - Dr.Ryan Milligan (QUB) - TBC

December 2nd - Dr. Matt Redman (Galway) - The Shaping of Planetary Nebulae


January 6th - Prof. Mark Bailey - Societal Impacts and Long-term Climate Archives at Armagh Observatory

February 3rd - Prof. Tom Millar (QUB) - The Birth Of Stars And Planets

March 2nd - TBC

April 5th - TBC

May 4th - Members talks and AGM


Become a NIAAS member ONLINE PDF Print E-mail

We are pleased to announce that you can now become a NIAAS member ONLINE with payment through PayPal.

Click here to see our membership options and join now for membership to September 2020!  Pay securely with PayPal. Even if you don't have a PayPal account you can pay with your credit or debit card!

There is no better time to join or renew your current membership!
(The NIAAS is a registered charity no. NIC100233 and registered as a charity with the Inland Revenue: Charity No. XT18196)

Associate Membership PDF Print E-mail

Due to the great increase of interest, we are very proud to introduce a new associate membership pack!

Are you interested in local astronomy and would like to become a member of the NIAAS but you're unable to attend our meetings in Ballyclare? Then Associate Membership is for you!


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