“Ireland’s Place in Space” – Mon 6 Apr 2020, 8pm

Lecture cancelled due to coronavirus. Was scheduled for April 2020. ESA engineer Con McCarthy will describe the parts played by Irish companies ─ especially the local ones ─ in designing systems for and providing services to the European Space Agency.  The date is Mon 6th Apr 2020 at 8 pm, and the venue is UCC.   Please arrive 10 minutes early, or if you wish to join, then ideally at 7.40 if you can.

Con worked as an ESA engineer for more than 30 years,  his jobs there including  –

  • project manager for Mars Express Lander, arrived Mars 2003
  • systems engineer for Huygens, landed on Titan January 2005, which is still the most distant landing of any man made object
  • systems engineer Venus Express, launched 2005

and he also contributed to

  • Spacelab, the first European crewed space vehicle, 22 missions up to 1998
  • Earth Resources Satellite 1, the first earth observation satellite to monitor the surface via radar instead of optics giving it an all weather capability
  • Exomars, due for launch July 2020

Con is a member of our Club.

Go to Events Calendar for map

Photo shows Con (right) with Russian cosmonaut the late Alexi Leonov, the first man to walk in space when in 1965 he exited the Voskhod capsule.  Photo dates from around 2015.

“V1 – The star that changed the Universe” – no date yet

Lecture cancelled due to coronavirus. Was scheduled for March 2020 Coming soon, we hope – prominent amateur astronomer Tony O’Hanlon will tell how observation of single star was to change how we saw the Universe, and relegated our Milky Way to just one of billions of objects. This lecture was originally scheduled for 9th March 2020. Meeting cancelled due to coronavirus situation in Cork while we await HSE guidance.

As recent as the early 1920’s, we believed the entire Universe consisted of what we called the Milky Way.  Some astronomers of the day believed it was much larger, but how to prove it was a huge mathematical and observational problem and much debate ensued.  Edwin Hubble, after whom the Hubble Space Telescope was named, then made a key discovery from his observations of a single star. It changed how we saw the Universe. Our understanding that our Milky Way is just one of billions of objects can be traced back to Hubble’s discovery.  In this talk, Tony will tell its story.

Tony is a member and co-founder of Limerick Astronomy Club, and a former V.P. of the Irish Astronomical Association.  His passions lie in deep sky objects and providing astronomy outreach.    

Go to Events Calendar

Tony O’Hanlon

Lecture Schedule 2019-2020

From September to May (but not December) we meet on the 2nd Monday of the month at 8pm in UCC Civil Engineering building. This building is near the College Road entrance to the campus.  See Getting there.

The centre piece of each meeting is a lecture by a club member or invited guest.  Also a briefing on what to look for in the sky that month and club announcements.  The formal part of the meeting finishes at 9:40 pm, and you can slip away then if you need to; or join us for tea and biscuits and a chat.

Here are the forthcoming season’s lectures up to November. Further speakers and topics will be announced.

Mon 9th Sept 2019   “ET Where Are You?”─ Terry Moseley,  Ireland’s foremost amateur astronomer. Report of ET lecture

Mon 14th Oct 2019   “Space law: Weapons, property rights and mining in Space” ─   Laura Keogh, space lawyer. Report of space law lecture

Mon 11th Nov 2019  Dr Sophie Murray on space weather – report

December 2019 – no lecture

Mon 13th Jan 2020  “Back to the Future: Celestial Navigation for Ocean Positioning” – report of lecture by Bill Kavanagh

Mon 10th Feb 2020 Black holes large and small – report of lecture by Prof Paul Callanan

Mon 9th Mar 2020  –   “V1 – The star that changed the Universe” – Tony O’Hanlon – cancelled (Covid-19)

Mon 6th April 2020  – “Ireland’s Place in Space” – Con McCarthy – cancelled (Covid-19)


Workshops Season 2018-2019

Workshop schedule 2018/19


Oct 13
New Members Welcome Meeting,  with committee members
Blackrock Castle, 11 AM

Nov 17
Buying a Scope?  What type, price ranges, where to buy.  Tony Jackson
Tory Top Library, 14.30

Dec 1
Drombeg Stone Circle, Michael O’Keefe.   This workshop in advance of visit so that we all have a better knowledge and understanding of the site beforehand.
Tory Top Library,  14.30

Dec 21
Winter Solstice at Drombeg
Drombeg,  16.00


Jan 19
Discovering Exoplanets,  Derek O’Keefe, will also include details of dome automation.
Tory Top Library,  10.30

Feb 16
Introduction to Radio Astronomy.  Tom Bonner will introduce us to the amazing world of Radio Astronomy.
Tory Top Library,  10.30

Mar 9
Understanding the Ecliptic.  The Ecliptic is the imaginary orbit in the sky that marks the apparent annual path of the sun on the celestial sphere with the Earth as the reference frame. Understanding this momentum explains what and when we see the various objects in the night sky.

Tony Jackson
Tory Top Library,  10.30