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Meeting A Legend

Someone said at one time, you should never meet your hero – They will only disappoint. Well I can’t say that this statement is never true but I can definitely say without fear of contradiction that is is not always true! I had the honour and pleasure of meeting Commander Chris Hadfield at a recent…

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Spreading The Science!

The Lunar Observation Group of the Irish Astronomical Society held its first Kerbside Astronomy event on Sunday July 10th in Sandymount, Dublin. Despite a bright summer evening sky, observers were able to admire an 80% lit Moon. Local people as well as visitors from Germany and Brazil, all stopped for a chat and a view.…

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Dark Skies Of The North

I recently traveled north to the OM Dark Sky and Observatory facility in the middle of the Tyrone countryside (Map Ref.). The facility opened last Summer and is an absolute joy to visit. All credit to the local community and council for building such a great centre. This region is only one of three internationally…

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Ireland’s First Satellite

EIRSAT-1 is the Educational Irish Research Satellite 1. A team of students in University College Dublin and academic staff is designing, building and will operate Ireland’s first satellite. It is a 2U CubeSat being developed as part of the European Space Agency’s Fly Your Satellite programme. `The EIRSAT-1 project is carried out with the support of the Education Office of the European…

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Save Our Science Centre

Dublin as a capital city and Ireland as an innovative country with a long and proud history in scientific developments is long overdue a National educational science centre and planetarium. I have been to such facilities in many cities around the world and the excitement and motivation on the faces of young and old alike…

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Cover Story!!

Delighted and honoured that my images of the recent partial lunar eclipse feature on the cover of the Irish Astronomical Society’s quarterly journal! I have long been a reader of the Society’s Journal and now to be featured on the front cover is really a thrill. I am involved in astronomy because I simply love…

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Serious About Science

There are reports that the Government are planning to cancel the National Children’s Science Centre at a time when we need to get serious about science, more than ever. Yes, I know, many see me as the science nerd who bangs on about how great the Moon and astronomy and science is. It can be…

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Movie Review: Frau im Mond (1929)

Cards on the table here, I am a sucker for old black & white movies that depict the future. And the silent movie ‘Frau im Mond’ or ‘Woman in the Moon’ is right up there with the best. The screenplay was written and directed by Fritz Lang who is probably most famous for his previous…

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Movie Review: Moon (2009)

This is an excellent piece of cinematography. It may not be to every one’s taste, but if you like Solaris – you will love this. It is effectively a one man show from Sam Rockwell who puts in an amazing performance. It certainly gives a possible insight about what long term life on the Moon…

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Movie Review: First Man (2018)

This for me was one of The movies of 2018 and I say that as an ardent Marvel and Queen fan!! This is a movie about the man who first landed on the Moon, the landing of the Moon and all that goes with it is, in a way, incidental to the main story. Neil…

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Lunar Blog

Guide To Buying A Starter telescope

A good telescope is a wonderful gift but where do you start? To buy a suitable starter telescope, it helps to have a basic understanding of how a telescope works, so here is a quick crash course. A telescope is a relatively simple instrument which works in a two-step process. Step 1: Capture Image: Firstly the…

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Where Art And Astronomy Meet The Open Road

An outdoor exhibition featuring astronomy photographs will hang at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (DIAS) at 10 Burlington Road, Dublin for the month of July2021. They have been selected from the entries to DIAS’s Reach for the Stars astrophotography competition, which took place earlier this year. The exhibition  can be viewed on the railings…

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Ireland’s First Astronomers: Rethinking The Past

The Great Mound: The great mound was built over 5,000 years ago, probably after the construction of Newgrange. The Great Mound at Knowth is similar in size to Newgrange and is surrounded by 18 smaller satellite mounds. The Great Mound has two passages with entrances on opposite sides, the western passage is 34 metres long and…

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For All Mankind

Humanity is returning to the Moon, heading for Mars and from there….who knows? As someone who has always been fascinated with the Moon and its exploration, this is very welcome news but as a child who grew up in the 1970’s (I was 4 when Neil and Buzz walked on the Moon), I have been…

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God, The Universe And Everything Else

Imagine a conversation between one of the greatest scientific minds, one of the greatest communicators of science and one of the greatest science visionaries chaired by the master of Mastermind. That is Stephen Hawking, Carl Sagan, Arthur C. Clark and Magnus Magnusson, respectively. This isn’t some fantasy scenario or an imaginary ideal dinner guest list,…

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Summer Time Confusion

There’s a conversation happening up and down the country today; “Don’t the clocks change around this time?” “Yea, I think so, but I can never remember if they go back or forward…. let’s see, I think it’s fall back and spring forward…. I think!””Ok, but does that mean an hour more, or an hour less…

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Calculating Easter!

Ever wondered why Easter is when it is and why that ‘when’ keeps changing. Well it seems that the bible never actually recorded the exact date of when Christ was crucified and rose from the dead, beyond saying that the crucifixion was on a Friday and the resurrection on a Sunday. What is known is…

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