Club News & Events
Perseid Watch - A Great Night Out PDF Print E-mail

I'd just like to say thanks to everyone who made it last night, I'm sure you all enjoyed it as much as I did. Members started arriving at Killylane from 2030 onwards and shortly after this the bbq was fired up and we all took part in some serious munching.

As was expected, the weather wasn't great with total cloud coverage at times, however it did continuously break up to give us some nice large clear areas. As darkness fell, it wasn't long before the first meteor of the night was spotted, this was followed up by quite a lot of activity and the count started rising fast.
Unfortunately we got clouded over again, which caused a major lull, but within 30 minutes we were up and running again.

At 2330 it totally clouded over and at this point most of the members called it quits, the count having reached 22.

Myself, Stevie and Jonathan stayed to tidy up and while we where chatting the clouds departed once more leaving a large area clear, so we stayed on for a bit. We left at 0045 with a final count for the night of 35.

Even though the weather wasn't perfect, this was our first watch in three years and was a bigger success than was first anticipated.

Philip Matchett
NIAAS Webmaster

Interest in Jupiter rises as Opposition approaches PDF Print E-mail

With the newly observed hole in Jupiter's Southern polar region, there has never been a better time to become familiar with Jupiter's bands and storms.

From the beginning of August, Jupiter will be rising at 21:50, and by the end of August it will rise at 19:40, visible in the constellation of Capricornus.

Why not take a look and see for yourself?

The NIAAS will be holding star parties, the next of which will coincide with the Perseid meteor shower - more details will be on the NIAAS Forum.

04/2009 IYA Moonwatch PDF Print E-mail

On Wednesday 1st April 2009 the NIAAS decided to take advantage of the clear skies and have their first moonwatch. The night turned out to be a resounding success.
We met at ASDA in Ballyclare at 8.30pm, and set up two Meade Lightbridges, a 12" and a 16", both fitted with widefield 2" eyepieces. The 12" showed the moon at approx 40X, while the 16" was showing 100X.
In the hour and a half until closing time, almost 100 people had a look through the telescopes,

A New Observatory for Northern Ireland PDF Print E-mail
Congratulations To Kieran Rooney!

Following on from his successfull workshop at Monday night's NIAAS meeting, Kieran has had some great news. Here is a press release from Dave McDonald:

Kieran Rooney, of the Northern Ireland Amateur Astronomy Society (NIAAS), was smitten by the astronomy bug when he was a child. After graduating from University, he worked in the mineral exploration industry and ended up in Mozambique. On returning home to County Down and dark skies, he began imaging the night sky and sharing his results. He is renowned for these wonderful images taken from his observatory but he recently became interested in asteroids - dark, cold, rocky objects that orbit the sun and are remnants from the birth of the Solar System.

NIAAS Chair On Radio Ulster PDF Print E-mail

Congratulations to NIAAS chair Maria Hanna, who features on this week’s ‘Your Place And Mine’ show on BBC Radio Ulster.

Maria is interviewed by the show’s host Anne Marie McAleese and she talks about the society, IYA2008 and even her rendition of the Galaxy Song!

The show was broadcast on Saturday Morning 17th January at 0800 and is repeated today on Sunday 18th January at 1500.

Dave Grennan Receives NIAAS Award PDF Print E-mail
Dave And Dave
As you know, at the NIAAS launch party on Monday 5th January, we presented Dave McDonald with a gift, on behalf of the society, for being the first person in Ireland to discover an asteroid in 150 years. Unfortunately Dave Grennan was not able to make the night, which was a pity as we were hoping to present him with a gift for his great discovery as well. But Dave McDonald was kind enough to accept it on his behalf. On the night Dave said that he would try to think of a way to present him with it, rather than just handing it over! Little did we know what he had planned!
NIAAS Launch Night A Great Success PDF Print E-mail

 Dave McDonald
The Northern Ireland Amateur Astronomy Society got off to a great start last night at Ballyclare High School. Almost 50 people turned up on a very cold night to join in the launch of the new society and also the beginning of the International Year of Astronomy. We were pleased to welcome some distinguished guests and great friends of the society, Prof. Mark Bailey, Dr David Asher and Dr Miruna Popescu from Armagh Observatory, as well as Pat O'Neill, president of the Irish Astronomical Association. Our special guest and speaker was Dave McDonald, along with his wife Fiona.

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