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Mayo International Dark Sky & Festival

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1 year 2 months ago - 1 year 2 months ago #105865 by R Newman
R Newman created the topic: Mayo International Dark Sky & Festival
Ireland’s First Ever Dark Skies Festival!!


On the 5th of May 2016 the Ballycroy/Wild Nephin National Park in North-West Mayo became Ireland's first Gold Tier International Dark Sky Park as recognised by the International Dark Sky Association. Located on the Western seaboard it comprises of 17,000 hectares of Atlantic blanket bog and mountainous terrain, covering a vast uninhabited and unspoilt area dominated by the Nephin Beg mountain range, while the "Wild Nephin Wilderness" on the other hand has been more than five years in the planning, is a hugely ambitious joint project by the National Parks and Wildlife Service and Coillte. It aims to ‘re-wild’ over 6,000 hectares of Coillte forestry and national parkland in northwest Mayo and make it a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts, amateur astronomers and adventurous souls seeking an authentic ‘off the grid’ experience.

The Dark skies of the Nephin Wilderness are nationally recognized. You don't have to be a keen astronomer to be amazed by the stars, planets, meteors and other heavenly delights so clearly visible here. Even with the naked eye and our +7 magnitude seeing you'll enjoy celestial sights that simply aren't visible in the city. The Milky Way stretching across the park’s incredibly dark night sky is a sight many visitors will never forget. There are lots of good places in the Dark Sky Park from which to observe the night sky.




The Mayo Dark Sky Festival aims to educate visitors about the importance of this park resource and inspire them to take action in their own counties. We hope you join us in the idyllic costal town of Newport from October 28th-30th 2016 for our Festival and share your passion for the night sky and astronomy during this fun weekend. Or come for our extended weekend from the 27th to the 31st of October. This remote corner of Ireland with its Wild Atlantic coastline, Dark Skies, Majestic mountains and meandering rivers has an unparalleled splendour and natural beauty all its own. Free Parking in the School grounds

Thursday. October 27th: Newport Astronomy Club meeting (speaker TBA)

Friday, October 28th

Wine and Cheese reception for opening of the Astrophotography exhibition at the National School

Opening and Talk by Georgia MacMillan (Project Leader of the Mayo Dark Sky Park)
Talk by Martin Byrne (Sligo) on “Ancient Irish Astronomical Alignments
Saturday October 28th at Hotel Newport
Talks by leading Scientists and Amateur astronomers
Entry Price €15

Leo Enright (Broadcaster and Space Journalist)
Norah Patten (Dr. Norah Patten is adjunct faculty at the International Space University and Co-Chair of the Space Humanities Department for the Space Studies Program)
Tony O'Hanlon (Shannonside AC)
Nick James (Comet Section, British Astronomical Association, UK)
Eamonn Ansbro (Kingsland Observatory)

Evening dinner

After dinner talk by John O'Mahony (Shannonside AC)
“Amateur Astronomy from the Southern Hemisphere ”
Sunday October 29th

"Sunday Basics" 5x Advanced amateur astronomy 40 min workshops upstairs at the Graine Uaile Pub
Entry €3 to cover refreshments

John McKeon "High Resolution Planetary Astrophotography" Nick James: “Observing the Moon”
Samuel Nielsen “The Dark Art of Solar Imaging”

Two more TBA
Free Family afternoon
Exhibits and displays, Solar Observing, Model rocket building etc
Big Bear Planetarium hourly shows
Afternoon Public Talk by Lorraine Hanlon, UCD: From Atoms to Astrophysics - How we know what we know about the Universe
Evening “Masters of the Universe” Charity Table Quiz



During our Dark Sky Weekend and to acknowledge our unpredictable weather we intend to hold three official observing sessions at two locations simultaneously, firstly for serious astronomers with expensive equipment in the Letterkeen wood and secondly a public event at the Burrishoole Abbey car park.




Readings from SQM meters at the Letterkeen wood regularly exceeded 21.9 mpsas and proved that under clear skies, this site excels in Visual Limiting Magnitude, Bortle Scale and Unihedron Sky Quality Meters. Here there is an old stone hut that was rebuilt in recent years and marks the trailhead of the Bangor Trail. The car park is surrounded by one of the largest forest blocks in the country and offers spectacular views of the night sky in all directions.


Accommodation make ref. to Dark Sky Festival

Hotel Newport Double/Twin B&B only €45 P/P sharing p/night
Approved Bord Failte local Guest Houses €40 P/P sharing p/night
Greenway Hostel, Dormitory rooms €20 p/p p/night

Travel

The nearest rail services may be accessed at Westport railway station approximately 14 km distant. There are several trains a day from Westport railway station to Dublin Heuston via Athlone, You can fly to Mayo from Dublin, the UK and continental Europe. There are a number of daily services to these locations from airlines service Ireland West Airport Knock (airport code NOC) The county town of Castlebar is approx 18 km east of Newport and can be accessed via the N5; a national primary road in Ireland, connecting Longford town with Westport. It is the main access route from Dublin (via the M4/N4) to most of County Mayo, including the county towns of Castlebar and Westport. Almost all of the route has been improved during the 2000s with the construction of bypasses and extensive resurfacing works on stretches not bypassed.

Newport

Newport is approx 15kms from Westport and Castlebar and has many visitor amenities and attractions. The area surrounding Newport is rich in history and archaeology with many places of visitor interest including the 15th century Burrishoole Abbey, Rockfleet Castle, once home to the legendary Gráinne Uaile (Grace O’Malley), and the ruins of the ancestral home of the late Princess Grace of Monaco just 3 miles outside Newport, overlooking the tranquil ‘Leg of Mutton’ lake.

For more info go to mayodarkskyfestival.wordpress.com/
Or just call myself as many of ye know me; Ronan Newman at 0868434003
Last Edit: 1 year 2 months ago by R Newman.
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1 year 2 months ago #105866 by R Newman
R Newman replied the topic: Mayo International Dark Sky & Festival

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1 year 2 months ago #105867 by R Newman
R Newman replied the topic: Mayo International Dark Sky & Festival




The road to Letterkeen

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1 year 2 months ago #105870 by dave_lillis
dave_lillis replied the topic: Mayo International Dark Sky & Festival
looking forward to it, all you need now are clear skies.

Dave L. on facebook , See my images in flickr
IFAS Rep. Shannonside Astronomy Club (Limerick)

Carrying around my 20" obsession is going to kill me,
but what a way to go. :)
+ 12"LX200, MK67, Meade2045, 4"refractor

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11 months 1 week ago - 11 months 1 week ago #106082 by R Newman
R Newman replied the topic: Mayo Dark Sky Festival
Hi

If you intend on coming to Newport for the festival can you please complete our online registration as it will speed up your own registration on the morning. By pre-registering (no payment necessary) your itinerary, programme and tickets will all be ready for you before the start of the festival and "Beat the Q" as they say through our fast track desk. But essentially it will also make it easier for us to process everyone to all the different events taking place not just the talks and to anticipate numbers.

See the link at docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdi0O5j...k0ahAAsdK4g/viewform

Thursday October 28th @ 8pm Free Entry

Newport Astronomy Club / In association with Mayo Dark Sky Festival
Venue: Graine Uaile Pub, Newport, Co. Mayo

Talk :“A Beginners Guide to Cosmology: The Science of Everything”



Friday October 29th @7pm Free Entry
Venue: Hotel Newport

Opening of the "Western Starlight" Astrophotography Exhibition

Georgia MacMillan (Project Leader of the Mayo Dark Sky Park): “A Mayo Dark Sky Park: From Vision to Reality”

Martin Byrne: “Ancient Irish Astronomical Alignments“




Saturday October 29th @ 9am
Venue: Hotel Newport
Entry Price only €15, €10 for a half day, €5 for Leo Enright Lecture


Morning Session

0900: Registration and trade stands
0950: Introduction and welcome
1000: Nick James: “One Thousand Years of Great Comets and Great Disappointments”
1100: Norah Patten: “Ireland: Our Place in Space”

1200: Lunch break and trade stands (Tea/sandwichs for lunch only €5)


Afternoon Session:

1300: Tony O Hanlon: “Extra Solar Planets & the Potential for Life”
1400: Eamonn Ansbro: “A High Ecliptic Survey of the Outer Solar System
1500: Tea break and trade stands
1530: Leo Enright: “Europe at Mars: Red Hot News from the Red Planet”
1630: Astronomers Question Time
1700: Closing address

Evening Schedule

Festival dinner @ 7.30pm (Informal dress) only €25 P/P

After dinner talk by John O’Mahony: “Astronomy Down Under: A Personal Voyage”



Sunday October 30th @1000am (Clock go back one hour at 1am
Venue: Hotel Newport
Entry Price only €5
morning Session

1030: Nick James: “Observing the Moon: Then and Now”
1145: John McKeon: “High Resolution Planetary Imaging”

1230: Lunch in Main Bar

1315: Tony O'Hanlon: “Observing from a Dark Sky site and how to get the most from your Equipment"
1400: Dave Grennan: “Building and Operating a Robotic Observatory”
1445: Tea break and trade stands

Free Public Lecture

1500: Lorraine Hanlon: “From Atoms to Astrophysics – How we know what we know about the Universe”

Family Astronomy and Funday Newport National School @11.30am

Big Bear Planetarium shows
Discovery Science Lab with scheduled activities designed for school children
Discussions with amateur astronomers and advice
Information tables
Astronomy Story Telling
Face painting
Drawing
Free Astronomy DVD’s
Cosmic Exhibits and displays
Solar Projection

Rocket Building Workshops with Irish Rocketry Society
Eric Stenzelof the Society will give a talk on Amateur Rockets before the workshops see belowl


Parent or Guardian must attend
Age Range 9 - 15
Entry €15 per child

Science Ireland: Hands on Science Shows

Cosmic Art see www.flickr.com/photos/ifstef

Rocket Launch @ 4pm at Burrishoole GAA Pitch


Evening Program

Venue: Brannens Pub, Main Street, Newport @8pm
“Masters of the Universe” General Knowledge and Astronomy Charity Table Quiz

Teams of 5 with six rounds of ten questions on General Knowledge, astronomy, Comedy etc, if weather is poor and there is no observing the Quiz will be pushed back to 9pm.

All proceeds going to the Mayo-Roscommon Hospice





Observing ..Yes guys thats what interests us

During our Dark Sky Weekend and to acknowledge our unpredictable weather we intend to hold an observing session on the first available clear night at two locations simultaneously, firstly for serious astronomers with expensive equipment at the Brogan Carroll Boothy in the Letterkeen Forest and secondly a Public event at the very dark Burrishoole Abbey on the shore of Clew Bay, parking places are limited and pre-booking is required.

IFAS members are welcome to Letterkeen but parking priority will be given to people with Telescopes as we only have 20 car spaces. Please book in advance on the Friday evening and if you can bring some people in the car also. Red light rules as this is an exceptionally dark site with no light domes in any direction. Readings from SQM meters at the Letterkeen forest regularly well exceeded 21.9 mpsas and proved that under clear skies, this site excels in Visual Limiting Magnitude, Bortle Scale and Unihedron Sky Quality Meters. The carpark is surrounded by one of the largest forest blocks in the country and offers spectacular views of the night sky in all directions. Astronomy Heaven...

Dimmed lights only on approach road, drive slowly and please follow the stewards. 15 mins drive from Newport. See See www.google.ie/maps/@53.979867,-9.5631574...,44.7t/data=!3m1!1e3

Many Thanks

Ronan Newman

mayodarkskyfestival.wordpress.com/
Last Edit: 11 months 1 week ago by R Newman.
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10 months 1 week ago #106145 by Neill
Neill replied the topic: Mayo Dark Sky Festival
Hi,

Below is a small observing guide for the Mayo Star Party at the end of the month. Will not be down myself, but wish everyone involved good luck and hope it will become part of the excellent Star Party/Observing Weekend schedule we have here in Ireland:)

Mayo Star Party Mini Guide (All Times are DST) Thursday 27th – Monday 31st October

Sun and Moon

The clocks go back at 2am on Sun 30th October. For the Sunday night observing, remove 1 hour from the Solar and Planetary times below.

Sunset will be at around 18:10, with Astro twilight ending at 20:05 and not starting again until 06:30. Sunrise will be at around 08:30. New Moon is on the Sunday, meaning it will be out of the way in terms of observing, but on the morning of the 28th, a 5% waning crescent moon lies 4° to the N of Jupiter at around 07:00.

The Planets

Venus Mars Jupiter Saturn Uranus Neptune
Brightness -3.8 0.4 -1.5 1.4 5.7 7.9
Constellation Oph Sag Vir Oph Pis Aqu
Rises 12:19 15:10 06:06 12:07 17:46 16:43
Sets 19:22 22:14 17:31 19:51 07:15 03:05

Mercury is not visible as it is at superior conjunction on the 27th. Venus is at conjunction with Saturn on the evening of the 29th, with it lying to the S of the ringed world. The two planets will be visible for around 1 hour post sunset very low in the W. Uranus is just past opposition and well placed for observation.

Other Things of Interest

Given the time of year and the observing location, an Aurora is always a possibility – fingers crossed:)

No visible ISS passes, but there are some Iridium Flares visible – details in the below table:

Time Brightness Altitude Azimuth
Oct 27, 18:59:28 -0.7 41° 189° (S)
Oct 27, 20:41:45 0.0 28° 16° (NNE)
Oct 28, 18:53:25 -4.8 41° 188° (S)
Oct 28, 20:35:21 -1.0 31° 17° (NNE)
Oct 29, 20:29:11 -0.7 33° 18° (NNE)
Oct 30, 19:22:55 UT -0.1 34° 19° (NNE)

Linda: "All in all, this is one day Mittens the kitten won't soon forget."
Morbo: "Kittens give Morbo gas."
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9 months 3 weeks ago #106177 by Neill
Neill replied the topic: Mayo Dark Sky Festival
Hi,

So how was the 1st Mayo Dark Sky Party? Hope the weather was better down in the West than up North - wall to wall cloud, apart from yesterday which was decent. There was an Aurora Fri night some super pics on spaceweather.

Linda: "All in all, this is one day Mittens the kitten won't soon forget."
Morbo: "Kittens give Morbo gas."

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