at Kerry Astronomy Club are in shock having heard the news of Michael
Scully's passing. Michael was a founder member of the club and
became chairman three months after the club was formed. He held that
position for seven years, simply because we would not let him resign.
Apart from establishing our website, and recently our facebook page,
Michael was by far the most knowledgeable person in the club on all
aspects of astronomy.
His main passion was observing and he led
many observation session for us. I had the privelage of spending 4
hours observing with him on Monday the 29th of December. We had good
views of Comet Lovejoy despite a bright moon in the way. Though his job
took him to Cork for 5 days a week during the past three years, he
continued to be an active member of the club and continued his
maintenance of the website and facebook page and was in fact our
His passing is a massive blow to the club. We will honour his memory by continuing the work he started.
Paddy Stack, Chairman Kerry Astronomy Club.
Details of Michael's funeral are as follows:
late Michael Scully of Mounthawk Manor, Tralee and formally of
Kanturk, Cork. Reposing at his residence in Mounthawk Manor from 2.30
pm to 5.30 pm. Removal at 5.30 Wednesday to our Lady & St
Brendan's Church. Requim mass on Thursday at 11 am. Internment
afterwards in Realt na Mara Cemetry, Churchill. Donations in lieu of flowers to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, care of the Gleasure Funeral Home.
All our thoughts and prayers are with Michael's family at this time.
Our Meeting next on the Second Tuesday of 2015, the 13th,
in the ITT North
Room T116 will go ahead as planned - and will be used to remember
Michael and his time with Kerry Astronomy Club. In addition, Tom Bonner
from Cork Astronomy Club will give a talk on binocular astronomy.
Michael saw this talk recently and suggested that it would be perfect
for Kerry Astronomy Club. We are honoured to host this talk in memory
Join us and "like" us on our new Facebook page at
https://www.facebook.com/kerryastronomyclub Just click here
Club's Christmas 2014 observing session at Banna Beach.
The observing session started with about 25% cloud cover but
soon cleared to be nearly cloud free.
On the target list for the night were, the first quarter Moon,
Comet Lovejoy (just in the cloud in this image under Beta Lepus,
to the right of and dwarfing M79), Jupiter and its moons, Uranus,
(quiet a challange near the Moon as well as numerous tight double
The session started at 8:30 and by the time we wrapped up at
about 1:00 am we had got to see all of the above and more.
The image, again taken by Trevor O'Donoghue, of the northern
sky during strong solar activity. Visually it was only seen as
a brightening of the northern sky but the digital eye brings out
the colour of the emissions caused by the impact of high energy
particles, guided in by the Earth's magnetic field, on the upper
The Milky Way around Cassiopeia.
This is a combination of 5 x 30 second exposures of Cassiopeia.
taken with a Canon digital SLR camera, stacked using Deep
sky stacker to remove noise and increase detail.
The image, taken by Trevor O'Donaghue, is centered on the constellation
and shows the Andromeda galaxy (just above center on the right)
and the double cluster (lower center) nearly lost in the band
of the Milky Way.
Partial lunar eclipse.
There was a penumbral lunar eclipse on the night of the 18th
of October. Although, even at its peak, (at 00:50 BST) only 76%
of the moon lay inside the penumbral shadow.
This made it very difficult to notice but with the camera, the
Southern limb (at the five o'clock position on the picture opposite)
is a little darker than usual.
Click on the image for a larger version.
Venus in the autumn evening skies.
Venus has returned to our evening skies. On the 1st of November
it is at greatest eastern elongation from the Sun. This evening
pass of Venus never sees it very high above the south-westeren
horizon and as the month progresses it beggins its journey back
to align with the Sun.
As it does it climbs from the horizon and gets closer to Earth.
There fore even though the percentage illuminated decreases its
angular size increases and with it its brightness.
At start of the month, it sets at 18:25 and by month's end at
18:40. It is in Sagittarius and brightens from mag -4.5 to mag
-4.8 during the month.
Close pass of Asteroid 2012 DA14, Feb. 15th 2013.
On the evening of the close pass of this asteroid, several club
members were lucky enough to have a clearing sky to enable us
attempt to see this asteroid pass by.
At magnitude 7, and fading rapidly as the ~50m body receded
from us, it was never going to be an easy target. To put it in
perspective we were trying to see a medium size building from
30+ thousand km!
Despise scanning good clear skies with various size binoculars,
none of us saw it visually.
However Pat Granfield did his homework and had several transit
positions, at various times, programmed into his polar mount and
with his Meade, he succeeded in capturing it in a couple of these
The frames opposite were best centered and with the least cloud
A great achievement, well done Pat.
Asteroid 2012 DA14 passing
6th magnitude 76 Uras Major. (South is up)
Global Astronomy month observing session 27th of April 2012.
On the evening of April 27th we held an observing session at
Carpark No.2 in Banna Beach. We had a nice crescent Moon, Venus,
Mars and Saturn as well as the beginning of the summer constellations
on view. In the image here Betelgeuse in Orion is just visible
to the right of the tripod above the sand dunes.
Venus was a thinning crescent in the telescope as it continued
its swing back toward the Sun for its transit on the 6th of June
2012. The image over shows it just below Auriga in the constellation
The Moon was just over 30% illuminated but was still bright enough
to limit any deep sky observing. In the north near the terminator
were the remarkable craters of Eudoxus and Aristoteles while in
the South, Maurolycus and Clairaut were even more so.
Mars was nice and high in Leo but gave up very little detail
and had noticeable shrunk in apparent size since our last viewing.
Saturn was stunning with it's rings well open again and four
of its Moons, Titan, Tethys, Rhea and Dione all visible. The Cassini
division was only occasionally spotted when the air steadied.
The International Space Station (ISS) is visible
from Ireland in the Evening and Morning Sky for at different times
throughout the year. Check the links below for times.
The times are available here for when it is visible
Hi guys. In our continued effort to improve, we have two pages
for feedback, one on speir and one on our monthly meetings,
please take the time to have a look and fill them in.
They are anonymous so please be frank