Celebrate Apollo day 20th July 2019 at Tory Top Library

We celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing
On Saturday 20th July, Cork Astronomy Club celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing at Tory Top Library, Ballyphehane.  Members and the public attended, memorabilia were on display and Tony Jackson who remembered the event, gave a highly praised talk and showed a video. Authentic 1969-recorded footage of Apollo  11’s mission as well as memorabilia from the time, such as a model of the Saturn V rocket, and much more.  

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? 

“ET where are you?” – 9 Sept, 2019

Leading Irish amateur astronomer Terry Moseley opened the Club’s new season in September by asking “ET where are you?”.  The date was Mon 9th Sept 2019, and as usual the venue was UCC.   Several new members joined.

Noting that despite scientists’ best efforts no evidence of life elsewhere in the universe has so far come to light,  Terry asked what we can deduce from this. He referred to the Fermi Paradox – the apparent mismatch between the lack of evidence, in spite of extensive search, for extra-terrestrial intelligence, and various estimates suggesting it’s highly probable extra-terrestrial civilizations should exist elsewhere in our galaxy.  Have alien civilisations destroyed themselves, as some fear we might, before being able to reach out? Are they too far away? Or don’t care?

And what might the psychological effect on us be of contact with a civilisation as far ahead of us as we are to hedgehogs? Terry entertained us with these and other speculations, giving rise to a lively Q&A session.

Terry Moseley
Terry Moseley

All are welcome at Cork Astronomy Club’s lectures, free admittance and no obligation to join. We start at 8pm but we recommend arriving 10 minutes early if you can. Here’s how to get to the venue.

Winter Solstice 2018 at Drombeg Stone Circle

The weather on Friday 21st December looked unpromising for a visit to Drombeg stone circle–but perseverance was rewarded when about 25 members and their friends briefly witnessed–or almost witnessed–the solstice sunset there. Just about 4 in the afternoon, twenty minutes or so before official sunset, the sun briefly broke through the clouds fractionally to the left of a notch in the hills which really made the day. Club member Michael O’Keeffe gave a tour of the site, telling its history, the excavation of the site which took place in the 1950’s, and the relevance of the winter and summer solstice.

Fri 16 Nov – Blackrock Castle open night

The open night will be hosting workshops, a Gravity Well to show how space is warped by large objects, demonstrations on Stellarium (a free software that helps you to explore the night sky) and observing in the courtyard with telescopes brought by Club members. (weather dependent!)

Schedule of events:

19:00 – 20:00 – Prof Robert Walsh: A talk in the area of solar science and our relationship with the Sun
20:15 – 22:00 – Cork Skeptics host Kevin MitchellDestiny and Chance – How the Wiring of Our Brains Shapes Who We Are
19:00 – 22:00 – Stargazing with Cork Astronomy Club*

Workshops and other activities will run throughout the night from 19:00

 

 

UCC Seminar

Club Members Attended a Seminar at University College Cork

Joint Congress of University Astronomy Societies 2018 was held in February at UCC by astronomy societies of UCC, NUIG and UL. The conference offered an all-day schedule of lectures spanning many different areas of Astrophysics. Chris Lintott, Oxford professor and Sky at night presenter gave an interesting talk about the successes of the project Galaxy Zoo emphasizing the importance of citizens involvement in science projects. Paul Callanan gave a talk on European Southern Observatory which Ireland will soon become a member of.
Other topics were: jet outflows of active galaxies, ejection of matter from black holes, and star formation and destruction.
Photo: Astronomy Club members photographed with Prof. Chris Lintott

oint Congress of University Astronomy Societies 2018 was held in UCC last Saturday by astronomy societies of UCC, NUIG and UL. The conference offered an all-day schedule of lectures spanning many different areas of Astrophysics. Chris Lintott, Oxford professor and Sky at night presenter gave an interesting talk about the successes of the project Galaxy Zoo emphasizing the importance of citizens involvment in science projects. Paul Callanan gave a talk on European Southern Observatory which Ireland will soon become a member of. Other topics were: jet outflows of active galaxies, ejection of matter from black holes, and star formation and destruction. Photo: Astronomy Club members photographed with Prof. Chris Lintott

Solar Eclipse 20 March 2015

Cork Astronomy Club took part ina public event organised by Blackrock Castle Observatory to view the Solar Eclipse from Cork on 20th March 2015

Declan Foley preparing his SCT prior to the eclipse

Club members equipment displayed ready for action at the foot of Blackrock Castle. Note the lens protection for safe solar viewing

Tony’s demonstration of the science behind the eclipse

 

 

 

 

Blackrock Castle – venue for many Club and Blackrock Castle Observatory events

Lecture Schedule 2018-2019

Mon 10th Sept 2018  “Mars: not this good again till 2035”  – Frances McCarthy, Education and Outreach Officer, Blackrock Castle Observatory

Mon 8th Oct 2018   “Exoplanets – the past, present and future”,  Dr Chris Watson, head of the exoplanet group,  Queens University Belfast.

Mon 12th Nov 2018   “The 1919 solar eclipse – a centenary worth observing” – Prof Paul Callanan, Professor of Physics and Astronomy, UCC.

December 2018no lecture

Mon 14th Jan 2019   “Watch out! There’s space debris about” – Dr Niall Smith,   Head of Research CIT / Head of Blackrock Castle Observatory

Mon 11th Feb 2019    “The Character of the Universe – It’s Written in the Stars” – Tom Bonner, a leading member of our Club

Mon 11th Mar 2019    “How we got to the moon and back”  – Brian MacGabhann,   About the Apollo 11 mission.  Galway Astronomy Club

Mon 8th April 2019   “Dark Matters – viewing the dark in a new light” – Georgia MacMillan, light pollution campaigner and one of the organisers of Mayo Dark Sky Festival

Mon 13th May 2019   CIT’s Dr Niall Smith and Club member Eddie Lyons will debate the rights and wrongs of terraforming Mars and sending life to other planets.