City of Stars is the theme for this year’s Galway Astronomy Festival, which will take place in the Westwood Hotel on Saturday. The festival — now the biggest annual gathering of amateur astronomers in the country — will feature talks by some of top names in astronomy from the US, UK, and Ireland, as well as exhibitions, workshops, trade stands, and a trip to the NUI Galway observatory timed to coincide with the new moon.
Speakers at the event will include Paul Mohr, formerly of the NUI Galway Department of Geology, whose talk will show how ancient Greeks displayed a remarkable talent in the field of observational astronomy as they attempted to build a model of the universe. Tuam native and
world leading astrophotographer Tom O’Donoghue will explain the painstaking and complex processing steps involved in making his amazing deep sky images.
A raffle on the day will feature more than €2,000 worth of donated telescopic prizes. Tickets for the raffle are €1 and are available at the festival.
There will be a special free public lecture staring at 4pm by Dr Deirdre Coffey, an astrophysicist at University College Dublin. ‘Exploring the Universe: The View from Hubble and Beyond’ is Dr Coffey’s talk on the rich legacy of the Hubble Space Telescope and what to expect from the next generation James Webb Space Telescope, due to be launched in 2018. Afterwards attendees will have the chance to visit the NUI Galway Imbusch Observatory in nearby Dangan.
The evening dinner and talk, always a popular part of the festival, will feature a talk by veteran UK astronomer Guy Hurst.
For more information on attending the Galway Astronomy Festival see www.galwayastronomyclub.ie or phone 086 8434003.