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Next meeting is on Tuesday April 8th in the ITT North campus, Room T118 at 7:30 pm.

CURRENT MOON

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Aurora End of February 2014 seen from Killarney.

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 atmosphere.

Aurora March '14

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.

Cassiopeia widefield

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.

Partial lunar eclipse 18th Oct 2013.

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 positions.

The frames opposite were best centered and with the least cloud interference.

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 of Taurus.

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 from Kerry

 

Live weather.

Feedback
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

SPEIR FEEDBACK FORM

MEETING FEEDBACK FORM

Telescope Collimation, A lot of you have been asking about collimating a reflecting telescope. As a starting point have a look at the links below
http://skyandtelescope.com/printable/howto/scopes/article_790.asp
http://homepage.ntlworld.com/robin.scagell/collimate.html

http://www.atmsite.org/contrib/Carlin/collimation/
http://www.nightskygazing.net/maintenance2.html



Resources

Meteor Showers times and rates
Chart on How to find Saturn
MONTHLY NOTES updated.
OBSERVING SESSIONS PAGE UPDATED
OUTREACH Sessions in Tralee and Killmoyley

ORION - A STELLAR SIGNPOST
BUYING A TELESCOPE
Download binocular observers handbook
Download summer triangle chart
Check out some free software for download
Latest Space Station Transit Times
DOWNLOAD A LUNAR MAP HERE (pdf file)


The club's aims are to :-

  • provide a focal point for those interested in astronomy here in the Southwest of Ireland
  • add a social side to what for many can be a solitary hobby by putting people in contact with each other
  • provide a forum for people of all levels of experience to meet, observe and discuss all things astronomical
  • provide astronomy related information to our local community, schools and groups
  • bring in people to give talks at our meetings to further our knowledge
  • be a resource to encourage anyone with an interest in astronomy
  • try to reverse, and to prevent further light pollution.

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since Feb. 2004.

Pages maintained by Michael Scully and Trevor O'Donoghue