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Page contains news events closely related to CfA activities.
Images taken at the Imbusch Observatory last Wednesday as part of the Student Astronomy nights. In association with NUIG Astronomy Society and Explore - NUI Galway's staff/student innovation initiative.
Jupiter and the Galilean Moons
The NUIG Astronomy Society is teaming up with the Centre for Astronomy and the Students Union Explore Student/Staff Innovation Initiative to bring you NUIG Student Astronomy Nights! The first of these nights is scheduled for 7pm on Wed Feb 4th.
The astronomy night will start with a short introduction to astronomy talk in room 220 in the physics department, on the concourse. Followed by a 3D tour of the universe and a trip to the Imbusch Observatory for some observing!
There are just 15 places available, for information on how to book a place check out NUIG Student Astronomy Night's Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/studentastronomynights or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The School of Physics at NUI Galway and the Imbusch Observatory in Dangan are hosting a number of astronomy open nights (see below for dates). The open nights will start at 7pm, and there will be an informative hour-long lecture and 3D tour of the universe which will be followed by a hands-on viewing of the sky by night, weather permitting.
Wednesday 14th & 28th January, 11th & 25th February and 11th and 25th of March.
Admission is limited to two per person and is strictly by tickets only, on a first come first served basis. All bookings are by email and those interested should send requests to email@example.com
The Imbusch Astronomical Observatory was opened in 2004 and is used by students studying Physics and Astronomy at NUI Galway. The Observatory is equipped with a modern computer controlled 16" telescope and camera, and a radio telescope with a hydrogen line spectrometer, which is able to map out and measure the velocity of the sun and the Milky Way. There is also a 10" portable telescope - computer controlled - for visual observations of planets, star clusters, nebulae and other bright objects.
On Wednesday, 12 November the European Space Agency will land the Philae probe onto the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Philae has been travelling to the comet for over ten years. It is the first time that such a rendezvous and landing has been attempted.
To mark this astronomical occasion, NUI Galway will hold a special lecture organised by the University’s Astronomy Society and School of Physics. The lecture will be given by Professor Andy Shearer from the School of Physics and will include a live demonstration of what a comet is, as well as describing the importance of comets to us on the Earth.
Comets are the debris left behind when the solar system and the Earth form 4.6 billion years ago. Their study gives us clues as to what the conditions were like when life first developed approximately 4 billion years ago. Their dramatic appearance in the night sky with a fuzzy head and long tail have always inspired mankind. It is thought most of the water on the earth was brought here by comets in the early part of the Earth life - if it wasn’t for comets we wouldn’t be here today.
The European Space Agency (ESA) sent a space craft to the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko which was discovered by two Russian astronomers in 1969. This journey took ten and it flew past the Earth and Mars once each - gaining speed each time. Since August the space craft, Rosetta, has been in close orbit around the comet looking for a place to land. ESA have decided that it is safe to land on the comet and will launch the probe, Philae, on 12 November. If the mission is a success the NUI Galway talk should include some of the first pictures from the surface of a comet.
During the lecture, Professor Shearer will make a comet from its normal raw ingredients of water, organic tar and gravel. As comets are in deep space they are very cold and to mimic the conditions, the comet mix will be cooled to -170 degrees celsius. In this way Professor Shearer can show how the cometary fuzzy head and tail form.
The lecture will take place at 7.30pm on Wednesday, 12th November in IT 250, IT Builiding, NUI Galway.
For more information, or to register, please contact organiser Laura Boyle of NUI Galway’s Astronomy Society at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For even more information:
The NUI Galway Astronomy Society has been crowned the Best New Society in Ireland after winning at the BICS National Society Awards in Belfast on the 10th of April. The purpose of the National Awards is to recognise the huge effort made by the many individuals who run student societies across Ireland. The National Awards are a means of recognising this dedication and are an opportunity to celebrate the importance and value that societies contribute to college life.
Committee being presented with Best New Soceity Award at the royal gala dinner in the Titanice Museum, Belfast.
Portfolio box for the BICS Judges.
Lisa-Marie Browne, Deirdre Ní Chonchubhair, Niamh Fitzergerald and Diarmaid De Búrca sending portfolio to BICS.
Astronomy Society portfolio.
Lisa-Marie Browne, Diarmaid De Búrca, Niamh Fitzergerald and Deirdre Ní Chonchubhair outside the Titanic Museum.
The NUI Galway Astronomy Society has won two awards at the annual Society awards here in NUI Galway, Best Departmental and Best New Society. The society which is strongly supported by the Centre for Astronomy, currently has over 700 members and has held a wide range of events over the academic year.
Picture of the trophies and certificates presented to the Astronomy Society.
This success from the NUI Galway societies awards means that the Astronomy Society will now compete for Best New Society at the annual BICS National Society Awards. The purpose of the National Awards is to recognise the huge effort made by the many individuals who run student societies across Ireland. The National Awards are a means of recognising this dedication and are an opportunity to celebrate the importance and value that societies contribute to college life. The awards take place on 11th of April in Belfast. Best of Luck
Astronomy Society Committee picutered with their awards. Back Row: Amy Joyce, Letizia Mariotti, Alex Collins, Paul Moran, Louis Martin. Front Row: Deirdre Ní Chonchubhair, Niamh Fitzgerald, Lisa-marie Browne, and Tatjana Vasilevska.
Best of Luck to the NUI Galway Astronomy Society at BICS National Society Awards on the 11th of April.
On the 20th of November the NUI Galway Astronomy Society welcomed Kevin Nolan for a special talk entitled "Exploring Mars, Discovering Earth". The talk was part of NUI Galways very first Science Fortnight which took place from the 11th to 22nd of November. Science Fortnight coincided with the National Science Week and the Galway Science and Technology Festival, with all events taking place on campus.
Photo Credit: Eoin O'Connor
The talk discussed how people have attributed naïve "Earth-like" characteristics to our sister planet for centuries. Though early space missions obliterated those early perceptions - suggesting Mars to be a dormant world - recent missions reveal a planet with characteristics and past activity suggestive of early Earth-like characteristics now regarded as relevant to the emergence of life. With a well set out strategy, the exploration of Mars has finally matured and is expected to deliver valuable scientific insights. The talk examined some of these issues and presented the latest findings from the MSL-Curiosity Rover currently exploring the surface of the Red Planet.
There was a great turnout for the talk, with both NUI Galway students and members of the public. Photo Credit: Eoin O'Connor
Kevin Nolan is a lecturer in physics at the Institute of Technology Tallaght and Co-ordinator to Ireland for The Planetary Society. Kevin is nearing completion of a part-time PhD involving design of a software image analysis pipeline for the European Space Agency’s INTEGRAL, a multi-wavelength space observatory. He is a published author of Mars, a Cosmic Stepping Stone, which looks at the effects and relevance of Mars exploration.
In this photo auditor of NUI Galway Astronomy Society, Lisa-Marie Browne, presents Kevin with a painting by the lovely Vanda Luddy. Photo Credit: Eoin O'Connor
For more information on the NUI Galway Astronomy Society: