The Pope’s Astronomer at Blackrock Castle on 10 Aug 2019

Club members met Papal Astronomer Bro Guy Consolmagno, author of Turn Left at Orion, at Blackrock Castle Observatory on Saturday 10 August, from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm.  Bro Guy will gave a talk “Discarded Worlds: Astronomical ideas that were almost correct …”. You can read his abstract below. As well as astronomers who were wrong he cited those who were right but for the wrong reasons – Galileo being a prime example.

Bro Guy (third from camera on right) at lunch with Club members at Blackrock Castle Observatory after giving his talk

The event was fully subscribed.   Bro Guy is an incisive and entertaining speaker,  and the author of numerous books on astronomy including  Turn Left at Orion – Hundreds of Night Sky Objects to See in a Home Telescope – and How to Find Them

You can find more about Bro Guy at his page on the Vatican Observatory website. He provided the following abstract for his lecture:

Astronomy is more than just observing; it’s making sense of those observations. A good theorist needs to blend a knowledge of what’s been observed, with a good imagination … and no fear of being wrong. Ptolemy in ancient Rome, the medieval bishops Oresme and Cusa, the 19th century astronomers Schiaparelli and Pickering, all rose to the challenge; and they were all almost correct. Which is to say, they were wrong … sometimes hilariously, sometimes heartbreakingly so. What lessons can 21st century astronomers take from these discarded images of the universe? 

March 4th 2019

On March 4th, 1979, NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft took the first photos of rings around Jupiter. This was the first time anyone had seen Jupiter’s rings.

Because Jupiter’s rings are so thin and faint, it’s extremely difficult to see them from Earth with ground-based telescopes. Even for a spacecraft out near Jupiter, the rings are essentially invisible unless the cameras look at them edge-on or from an angle where sunlight shines directly through them.

Since Voyager 1 first saw the rings, other space missions like Juno and Galileo have continued to study them. Scientists believe that the rings formed by comets colliding with Jupiter’s moons and kicking dust into the planet’s orbit.

Source: https://www.space.com/39251-on-this-day-in-space.html

January 21st 2019

Monday 21st January from about 4 to 6 am

Club members gathered at 4:15 on Patricks Hill to witness a total eclipse of the Moon.  Totality lasted from 4:40 to 5:11.  After an unpromising start they were rewarded with a moderately clear night.

Sat 17 Nov – Buying a telescope

Thinking of asking for or giving a telescope for Christmas?  Cork Astronomy Club has a word of advice to offer: don’t!  Or at least, not until you have attended our “What telescope” workshop on Saturday November 17th.

What type of telescope? Dobsonian, Newtonian, go-to? Or would binoculars be better for you? How much to spend?  Is there such a thing as a beginner’s scope?  Where do I buy it? … So many questions … and one place to get the answers …  Tony Jackson’s “What telescope” workshop on November 17th, at Tory Top Library, 2:30 pm.  Our Club has no connection whatever to any business and you will receive impartial advice from an expert amateur astronomer.  Not a Club member?  You can still come, and it’s free, but need to book, please email info@corkastronomyclub.com.