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The Northern Ireland Amateur Astronomy Society (NIAAS)
Patrick Watson PDF Print E-mail

It is with deepest sadness that we share with you the news of the passing of NIAAS member Patrick Watson. Patrick was a long time member and supporter of our society and had also served on the committee. In fact Patrick actually met his wife Deborah on a club outing to the Armagh Planetarium.

We will really miss him at our lectures as his knowledge of Astonomy always shone through, he was great at keeping our speakers on their toes with really intelligent questions.

On behalf of the society commmittee, members and friends of the NIAAS, we would like to offer our thoughts and prayers to Patrick's family at this sad time.

Patrick Watson

Patrick (Left) with his brother-in-law Martin

March 2018 Meeting PDF Print E-mail

The next meeting of 2018 will be on Monday 5th March, it starts at 8pm sharp in our usual venue of Ballyclare High School Lecture Theatre. Directions can be found here.


For our March meeting we are pleased to have a great friend to the society back with us again to give us a talk. Ronan Newman from Galway will be giving us a lecture titled: 'The Aurora Borealis in Irish History - From Superstition to the Digitial Age'

About the talk: Most of us can only dream of seeing the Northern Lights with our own eyes. There's no ligh show in the world like it. No amount of modern shimmering screens, zapping lasers or spinning disco balls can match Mother Nature's sky show: The Northern Lights. Think the Aurora Borealis and you probably imagine setting your compass for spots like Norway , Canada or Greenland . In recent years the shimmering solar phenomena has been spotted frequently above the skies of Ireland . However it can be difficult to know whether or not it will be possible to see the aurora borealis until the night in question.

The talk will explore the Folklore, History and Science behind the Irish Aurora Borealis with some fleeting glimpse into the archives from the likes of the Met office and several fascinating clips from Belfast newspapers. The talk will also give an insight into how to predict and photograph displays of the Aurora Borealis and a related summer nocturnal phenomena called Noctilucent Clouds.

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 4th - Dr. Carolin Crawford (Cambridge) - Cassini at Saturn

October 2nd - Francis Keenan (QUB)- We come in peace - Aliens in popular science fiction

November 6th - Jorrick Vink (Armagh) - The first stars and black holes in the early universe

December 4th - Sophie Murray (Trinity College) - Space weather forecasting - bringing astrophysics down to Earth


January 8th - TBC

February 5th - Rene Breton (Manchester) - The secret life of pulsars

March 5th - Ronan Newman (Galway) - The Aurora Borealis in Irish History - superstition to the digital age

April 9th - TBC

May 14th - AGM + short talks


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!

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 2018! 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)


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