February 8th Public Lecture
Our next club lecture will take place on February 8th by Frank Prendergast, UCD School of Archaeology "The Role and Importance of the Sky in Prehistoric Societies" Frank is the foremost leading authority in Ireland when it comes to passage tombs of the Boyne valley and other megalithic sites around Ireland. Archaeology and astronomy both converge when it comes to Ireland's megalithic tombs. The prehistoric architects of monuments such as Newgrange took great care in building and aligning these structures, leaving many questions to be answered by modern-day researchers. Frank has studied many sites to identify their hidden mathematical complexity in their construction and orientation or alignments with the stars or our Sun.
Suggestions of high precision construction, alignment and calendars being a deliberate design featurin the architecture of ancient European megalithic monuments first appeared in English language astronomical texts before 1900. Now, these ideas are largely at variance with the evidence. This talk will use data drawn from the Irish Passage Tomb Tradition to illustrate how modern approaches adopted by scholars of archaeoastronomy are much more 'aligned' with new archaeological thinking on social organisation and customs in the prehistoric past.
Majestic Orion Region
The Orion Molecular Cloud Complex (or, simply, the Orion Complex) is a large group of bright nebulae, dark clouds, and young stars in the Orion constellation. The cloud is between 1 500 and 1 600 light-years away, and hundreds of light-years across. Several parts of the nebula can be observed through binoculars and small telescopes, and some parts (such as the Orion Nebula) are visible to the naked eye.
The nebula is important because of its sheer size, as it spreads several degrees from Orion's Belt to his sword. It is also one of the most active regions of stellar formation visible in the night sky, and is home to both protoplanetary discs and very young stars. The nebula is bright in infrared wavelengths due to the heat-intensive processes involved in the stellar formation, though the complex contains dark nebulae, emission nebulae, reflection nebulae, and H II regions. Despite what you might think this beautiful was photo was actually taken from a suburb of Galway City by Ray Butler, a lecturer from the Centre for Astronomy at NUI Galway. He used an old Fuji S5 Pro with a deep-red sensitivity to achieve this shot.
Back to Basics Workshop
As part of our outreach program we offer a series of free monthly "Back to Basics" beginner workshops held at NUI Galway where both the public and club members can expand their knowledge and observing skills as well as meeting new people. Workshops start at 7.30pm and take place at Room 220 in the Physics Department in NUI Galway just off the main concourse. We hope to see as many as you at them and remember entry is free, Beginners are most welcome.
Our next Workshop will take place on Monday the 15th of February with a talk by Ronan Newman entitled "The Northern Lights in Irish History: From Superstition to the Digital Age" Ronan is an accomplished Aurorae hunter for the past 25 years this talk will give the audience the tools needed to know when to keep an eye out for Celestial activity in the night sky. Photo taken at Knock Airport by Ronan on April 16th 2015.
Thanks to everyone who came along to
Galway Astronomy Festival 2016
To contact a member of the club at any time please email us at email@example.com or by calling 0868434003