Club News & Events
2010 Perseid Meteor Watch PDF Print E-mail

The annual NIAAS Perseid meteor watch and barbecue will be held at Killylane on Friday August 13th, starting at around 9.30pm. With no Moon in the sky, this could be an especially good year.
The early weather forecasts are mixed, so we will have to wait until later in the week to see what conditions will be like. A final decision will be taken on the Friday, at around 6.00pm. Unless it is heavily overcast, or raining, we will probably go ahead, as the crack is always good.
If Friday looks bad, but Thursday night looks ok, we may have a session then. The absolute maximum activity, for observing purposes, is early in the morning of the 13th, if anyone feels up to it. Keep an eye on this thread in the forum for up-to-date reports.

As always, bring your own food and drink, cooking facilities will be provided.

There's no need to bring any equipment, as meteors are best seen with the naked eye, although no doubt, there will be a couple of telescopes set up for other viewing, especially Jupiter. Some people like to try and photograph the meteors, so feel free to try that if you wish. 

Make sure to wrap up warm, and bring along a reclining chair or sun lounger for comfort if desired. There is always scientific interest in the shower, so if anyone wants to bring along pens and paper, or an electronic counter, to record their observations, feel free to do so.

Don't forget to have a look outside during this week, there are usually early meteors to be seen in the build up to to the main shower, Jonathan, Neil and I saw a few last night.

For more information on the Perseids meteor shower, and tips on how to identify Perseid meteors, see our article here, and for a short report by Phil on last years watch, click here.

Hope to see you all there.

Stevie

 
2010/2011 Programme Announced PDF Print E-mail

We are very pleased to announce our new lineup of speakers for the coming season.

Click here

 
New Committee Elected PDF Print E-mail

At the AGM on Monday 17th May a new NIAAS Committee was elected.

We would like to welcome new Committee members Jonathan Bingham, Ian McConnell and Derrick McCourt to the board. Philip Matchett has also taken up his Committee position after a year off.

Eamonn Keyes and Neil Patterson have resigned from the Committee and we would like to thank them for their work over the year and wish them both the best for the future.

Your new Committee lineup is:

Chair: Stephen Beasant
Treasurer: Ralph Gault
Secretary: Brian Stafford
Webmaster: Philip Matchett
Ordinary Members: Jonathan Bingham, Ian McConnell, Derrick McCourt


 

 
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.

Read more...
 
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,

Read more...
 
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.

Read more...
 
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