Club News & Events
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!

 
May 2019 Meeting & AGM PDF Print E-mail

The final meeting of 2019 will be on Monday 13th May, it starts at 8pm sharp in our usual venue of Ballyclare High School Lecture Theatre. Directions can be found here.

For our May meeting we are pleased to continue our very popular 'Member's Talks'. This month we are in for a treat as NIAAS committee member Lawrence Hanna will be giving us a short talk on 'Astrophotography'.

Following this, for the forth year NIAAS member Philip Matchett will be hosting his fun and bizarre 'Big Astronomy Quiz'! With real prizes!!!

After the quiz we will stop for a few refreshments, then we will be holding our AGM. All members are encouraged to stay for the AGM as your input is valuable to the continuing success of the society.

quiz

We hope you have enjoyed this season so please come along for a final meet-up before we take our summer break!

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

Hope to see you all there!

 
April 2019 Meeting PDF Print E-mail

Our next meeting of 2019 season will be on Monday 1st April, it starts at 8pm sharp in our usual venue of Ballyclare High School Lecture TheatreDirections can be found here.

andrew dennis

We have a new speaker visiting us in April, Dr. Andrew Dennis from Andor Technology will be giving us a talk titled 'The Role of Non-imaging cameras in Cutting Edge Astronomy'.

About the talk: When we think of Astronomy we think of beautiful Astrophotograpy images, but behind the scenes there are usually a vast array of “technical” cameras which ensure the telescope remains aligned, perform deep Astronomical analysis or produce details of the chemical composition of far off worlds. To make a Hollywood analogy, these cameras could be considered to be the Screenplay writers, Visual effects engineers or Directors of the Astronomy world, without these cameras the “lead actors” simply couldn’t perform.

About Andrew: Andrew Dennis works at Andor technology and is the Director with responsibility for product Strategy. Andrew is a scientist with backgrounds in both Chemistry & Physics and a PhD in Spectroscopy.

We hope you will join us in welcoming Dr. Dennis along to the society! Andor is a company born in N.Ireland and their technology is used in some of the biggest telescopes in the world. We think N.Ireland is a fantastic place to be, if you want to work in astro physics, and we want to share this with you! We do this by inviting along the people who are living it here and now, to tell us what they are working on!

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!

 
March 2019 Meeting PDF Print E-mail

Our next meeting of 2019 season will be on Monday 4th March, it starts at 8pm sharp in our usual venue of Ballyclare High School Lecture TheatreDirections can be found here.

ronan

We are really happy to have Ronan Newman coming up from Galway again this year to give us a talk titled 'Noctilucent Clouds: Ice at the Edge of Space'.

Noctilucent Clouds (NLC) also known "night shining clouds," are some of the strangest cloud formations you can see with their characteristic blue colour. These clouds are normally too faint to be seen by the human eye-unless illuminated by sunlight from below the horizon while the lower layers of the Earth's atmosphere are in Earth's shadow. They are, in fact, the highest clouds on Earth, forming on tiny crystals of water ice and dust particles near the edge of space some 50 miles above our planet's surface.

In the talk the speaker Ronan Newman will be a giving a serious examination from an amateur astronomers standpoint into the various manifestations that have to come together to make a Noctilucent cloud display.

To start he will look at possible NLC observations in the mid 19th century and will go on to examine the giant volcanic eruption of Krakatoa in 1883 and how this affected the upper atmosphere as well as examining NLC's and there connection to greenhouse gases & Climate change.

Other topics will include the how the Solar cycle affects NLC formation, a possible upcoming Deep Solar minimum, similar yet strange high atmospheric phenomena and finally a look at recorded observations of NLC displays from Northern Ireland during the 19th and 20th century.

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!

 
February 2019 Meeting PDF Print E-mail

The second meeting of 2019 season will be on Monday 4th February, it starts at 8pm sharp in our usual venue of Ballyclare High School Lecture TheatreDirections can be found here.

alan fitzsimmons

In February we hold our special Andrew Trimble Memorial Lecture and this year we are really lucky to have Professor Alan Fitzsimmons from Queens University Belfast along to give us our talk. Alan will be giving us a talk titled 'Oumuamua'.

Professor Alan Fitzsimmons is one of the top Astronomers in the U.K and it will be great to welcome him back to the society. Oumuamua is the name given to the first interstellar object that was discovered just over a year ago, passing through our solar system. It will be really interesting to hear Alan's take on this object as not a lot is known about it! 

About Prof. Fitzsimmons: I am an astronomer in the QUB Astrophysics Research Centre. My primary research interests are in performing observations of minor bodies in our solar system, comets and asteroids. These studies are generally based on observations performed on the UK supported telescopes in the Canary Islands (ING) and Chile ( ESO). I am also a member of the WASP consortium which has built and operates the SuperWASP facility on La Palma, and the UK Pan-STARRS Science Consortium.

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!

 
January 2019 Meeting PDF Print E-mail

The first meeting of 2019 season will be on Monday 14th January (take note this is the second Monday as there is a function on in the school on the first), it starts at 8pm sharp in our usual venue of Ballyclare High School Lecture Theatre. Directions can be found here.

stuart sim

For our January meeting, we are really pleased to welcome Dr. Stuart Sim from Queens University Belfast, who will be giving us a talk titled 'Antimatter in the Milky Way'.

It's great to have another member of QUB's talented staff along to give the society a talk. Why not join us in January and start the year of in style with what promises to be another excellent lecture.

About Stuart: - Originally from Aberdeenshire in Scotland, Stuart studied in Oxford  for his undergrad and PhD
He then became a research astronomer (theory) working in various places (London, Munich, Canberra). Stuart is now a lecturer in the Astrophysics Research Centre at QUB (since 2013) and his main research interest is the theory and simulation of supernova explosions.

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!

 
December 2018 Meeting PDF Print E-mail

The last meeting of 2018 will be on Monday 3rd December, it starts at 8pm sharp in our usual venue of Ballyclare High School Lecture Theatre. Directions can be found here.

equipment_sm

For our December meeting, we are going to hold one of our very popular beginners' nights. This year we are going to be looking at a range of equipment for observing. We will be showing you the essential gear and what to do with it. This meeting will be hosted by NIAAS members and will be a very relaxed evening with lots of opportunities to get hands on. If you are new to Astronomy, then come along and ask loads of questions, we will even help you to write your list for Santa!!

After the meeting, weather dependant, we will set some telescopes up and do some observing in the school carpark.

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, mince pies anyone? A donation bucket is available at the door if you wish to support us in our work!

Hope to see you all there!

 
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