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Sligo Astronomy Group

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Sligo Astronomy Group was created by Derek Davey

I have just set up a Sligo Astronomy Group on Facebook as their has been no club or group in Sligo for a long time, their is a few of us that meet when their is Aurora visible, and for widefield astrophotography, im going to arrange nights out for observing and when their is Aurora visible, so if their is any members here from that side of the country, come over and say hi, and of coarse every one is welcome, wherever you are, LOL it would be great if we could get more people involved with telescopes,
Derek Davey

www.facebook.com/groups/1643513499266292/
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7 years 5 months ago #104639

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Replied by Frank Ryan on topic Sligo Astronomy Group

Hi Derek.
Great idea!
Best of luck with it!
I know some of us from Shannonside Astronomy Club would be delighted to hook up for a weekend sometime. We were only recently discussing doing this more often with other clubs.
Nothing formal, just basically meeting up and going observing / astrophotography etc.
My Astrophotography
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7 years 5 months ago #104640

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Replied by Roy Stewart on topic Sligo Astronomy Group

Count me in Derek, We need more of these
get togethers for us crazy shower of night owls.
Keep me posted and you have my number so just bell
me and I'm there.

Cheers Roy
QUOTE: “Two possibilities exist: either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying.” ― Arthur C. Clarke.
Skywatcher 200pds & HEQ5 PRO Mount , 15x70 Astro Revelation binos.. EP's SW 38mm 2" Panaview- SW 30mm 2" Aero- SW 26mm 2"Panaview.. 2" UHC filter-2" OIII filter.

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7 years 5 months ago #104644

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Replied by Derek Davey on topic Sligo Astronomy Group

Thanks Frank and Roy,
myself and Steve are gona check out accomadation up this way, so were gona see about getting a star party organised, of coarse it is very early days, but we will get there,
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7 years 5 months ago #104684

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Replied by dave_lillis on topic Sligo Astronomy Group

A dark sky star party in North Connacht, yip, I'd go to that.
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7 years 5 months ago #104688

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Replied by Neill on topic Sligo Astronomy Group

Sligo only 3 hours from Belfast, so would be good for us Northern observers :)
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7 years 4 months ago #104699

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Replied by Frank Ryan on topic Sligo Astronomy Group

I like were this is going. We could end up with a series of observing starparties over the year.
Derek, where do you lads go in Sligo?
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7 years 4 months ago #104700

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Replied by R Newman on topic Sligo Astronomy Group

Hi


I am involved with the Mayo Dark Skies project for a Dark Sky Park in North West Mayo incompassing the Ballycroy National Park and the new Wild Nephin Wilderness which in total amounts to 280 sq/km and is probably the very loneliest place in this country, for the hills themselves are encircled by this vast area of trackless bog .


As I said most of this is road less and has zero inhabitants making it very dark and our SQM readings are well within the Gold Tier standards. The night sky here is simply amazing just see this image on Google Maps and you will know what I mean about a wilderness goo.gl/maps/0VpBj no houses for miles and a hiking trek through the park can take up to three days.

We should have our Dark Sky Status next year hopefully whenever our light management plan is completed so come the end of October 2016 I'm hoping to put together a three night ((Thurs-Sun)" Wild Nephin Star Party" probably based in the picturesque seaside town of Newport with Hostel accommodation. A great place to sample a taste of West Mayo and with a some good Irish speakers & practical workshop.

Roanan Newman
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7 years 4 months ago #104701

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Replied by lunartic_old on topic Sligo Astronomy Group

Great news, Ronan, the prospect of another star party in a truly dark site is exciting, for such a small country to have two extremely dark sites is remarkable, a summer and a winter star party will fantastic.

Paul
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7 years 4 months ago #104703

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Replied by Frank Ryan on topic Sligo Astronomy Group

Let's not forget the annual Burren Starparty next weekend! :-)
The Burren Starparty
It looks like for DARK SKY, OBSERVING focused starpartys there may be a good yearly breakdown....
Summer: Skelligs Starparty
Autum: Burren Starparty
Winter: Sligo
Spring: ?
Hmmm... well, there is talk of holding an observing starparty in Lough Gur.
I'm obviously biased here as we are the applying for Dark Sky Park accreditation with the IDA,
I know there are other 'starpartys' in Spring and I dont want to ruffle any feathers - but they are more talks orientated / in urban / suburban areas aren't they?

Either way,
It's great to see there is a real interest in getting outside and the eye on the eyepiece.
My Astrophotography
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Last edit: 7 years 4 months ago by Frank Ryan.
7 years 4 months ago #104704

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Replied by flt158 on topic Sligo Astronomy Group

Spring? We have Cosmos. Which I think is one of the best too.

Last April, I did 6 hours observing thanks to Seanie.

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7 years 4 months ago #104705

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Replied by R Newman on topic Sligo Astronomy Group

Hi Paul

Ive been out with the lads in Sligo, we used to meet up at the carparks at Lough Talt, a favourite haunt of mine or Lough Easky. I know the lads would be glad to join forces for a Winter Wild Nephin Starparty which will be a Gold Tier site and is much darker then the two previous mentioned locations due to its massive size. Late October or early November would ideal, and of course like Skelligs there would be several talks and practical workshops on the Sat/Sun as I dont fancy the idea of an observing only event.. Skelligs was a brilliant event, the best Irish Starparty in my opinion , I'd like to try something similar on a smaller scale in Mayo, there is also plenty to do and see in the area too as its a huge tourist drawer and along the Wild Atlantic Way.

Ronan
Last edit: 7 years 4 months ago by R Newman.
7 years 4 months ago #104706

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  • Derek Davey
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Replied by Derek Davey on topic Sligo Astronomy Group

their is a few places up here that we meet up, Lough Easkey, Lough Talt, Carrowkeel Megalithic Cemetary, and Parkes castle which is just across the Leitrim Border, all good spots but not near as dark as Ballycroy in Mayo, ther is still two places I have in mind that have Lodges, so im going to check them out on a dark night and see how the skies are, But I think to join forces with Ronans Nephin star party is the way forward as those skies will be just excellent, so it does look like next year ther will be a star party up this part of the country,
7 years 4 months ago #104707

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Replied by R Newman on topic Sligo Astronomy Group

Yes I agree there Dave, as you can see by my first post the one with the Google Earth shot is absolutely a C-road. I have always admired ye guys in Shannonside AC making Observing a big priority.

I dont think I have to say who it is plenty of posts about him here over the years.

Thanks
7 years 4 months ago #104718

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Replied by Frank Ryan on topic Sligo Astronomy Group

Ha. Ya, I was on the points of just disappearing back to Facebook
But know what, I'm beyond it.
Anyway. Back to the actual OP
Best of luck Dereck, if you lads in Sligo Astronomy Group go observing sometime
Let us know.
My Astrophotography
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7 years 4 months ago #104722

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Replied by Neill on topic Sligo Astronomy Group

How does a dark sky park differ from a dark sky reserve, i.e. Kerry?

Looking at the IDS website, there seem to be quite a few gold tier ones in the States, but only Kielder in Northumbria and Galloway Forest Park in SW Scotland have gold tier status outside of the States.
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7 years 4 months ago #104724

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Replied by albertw on topic Sligo Astronomy Group

How does a dark sky park differ from a dark sky reserve, i.e. Kerry?

Looking at the IDS website, there seem to be quite a few gold tier ones in the States, but only Kielder in Northumbria and Galloway Forest Park in SW Scotland have gold tier status outside of the States.


Hi,

The main difference is size.

For a reserve you need at least 770 km^2. A core area that is strictly protected and legally enforced can be surrounded by a typically 15km wide buffer zone that is still expected to adhere to good lighting practices. The areas must be an areas of exceptional dark skies. Because of the size and requirement for legal enforcement it is something that can only really be done on county council type level where lighting and development plans can be mandated. Some other areas in the country have looked at reserve status, but the size requirement is the problem, apart from West Kerry there is nowhere else really in the country that does not have at least a major town within a possible area; some of the sites also straddle multiple county councils which would make the bureaucracy potentially troublesome.

Dark sky parks can be of any size and on public or private land provided there is night time access. This is what all of the other areas I've spoken to in the country are aiming for.

It's important to point out that it's not simply a competition to see who has the darkest skies. Some areas that we've looked at would be bronze tier level, but their location is such that their potential for outreach, dark sky awareness, and promotion of lighting best practices may do more to educate than a large really dark reserve.

There are a couple of other designations but they don't fit well in Ireland:

A Dark Sky community is a municipality that gets dark sky status. However legally the community must be able to enact its own legislation to enforce lighting practices. In the USA small towns can mandate ordinances to accomplish this, but there is no such fine grained legal structure in Ireland. Typically the county council is as fine grained as it gets.

There is also a new category called a dark sky sanctuary. This is similar to a reserve but is designed for more remote regions in need of conservation. The only one so far is AURA Observatory in Chile. Had this been available sooner it's a designation that Kerry possibly could have considered.

All types of 'dark sky place' need access, outreach, a lighting inventory and lighting management plan in place, a commitment to meeting ongoing dark sky requirements and an ongoing dark sky monitoring programme etc.

The full details of exactly what is needed are in the pdf guidelines from darksky.org/idsp/

hth
Al
Albert White MSc FRAS
Chairperson, International Dark Sky Association - Irish Section
www.darksky.ie/
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7 years 4 months ago #104727

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Replied by albertw on topic Sligo Astronomy Group

Hi All,

As there were several posts in this thread going far off the original topic to the detriment of the original topic I've split them into another thread based purely on my opinion on whether they were at all relevant to Sligo Astronomy Group or Astronomy in Sligo in general.

If I have moved a post of yours that you feel I shouldn't have please accept my apologies in advance and just add your comment to this thread again. But out of respect to the folks in Sligo please keep it on topic.

Cheers,
~Al (first time actually moderating in years!)
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7 years 4 months ago #104736

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Replied by Roy Stewart on topic Sligo Astronomy Group

...
QUOTE: “Two possibilities exist: either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying.” ― Arthur C. Clarke.
Skywatcher 200pds & HEQ5 PRO Mount , 15x70 Astro Revelation binos.. EP's SW 38mm 2" Panaview- SW 30mm 2" Aero- SW 26mm 2"Panaview.. 2" UHC filter-2" OIII filter.

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7 years 4 months ago #104739

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Replied by eansbro on topic Sligo Astronomy Group

Derek,

Good to meet you again the other night in Ballaghadereen.
I have a couple of other guys that may be interested in observing from the Roscommon area.

The plan of just having it as a group of observers is much better one that should be successful. I was with a club (Breffini Star Walkers Club) based in Ballinamore, Co. Leitrim failed after a 2 years starting. Members had to travel from as far as Donegal, Sligo, Roscommon and Cavan, it was focussed mainly on talks. Unfortunately, the main venue shut down, which only left the Ballinamore library for limited times in the evening.

I look forward to observing from some of the locations mentioned by you.

Eamonn
7 years 4 months ago #104826

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  • Derek Davey
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Replied by Derek Davey on topic Sligo Astronomy Group

Hi Eamon,
I remember coming across the Breffini Star walkers club, here on IFAS, its unfortunate it didnt work out, its great that you may have a few more guys for the group,
It would be great if it was a Club I was starting, but the fact is I would not have the time to get a club up and running, and then to keep it running. aswell as working five and a half days, I also work late some evenings, so it would be impossible,

so the group will be simply get together for observing, when we get the weather, their is a lot of interest, in the group on Facebook, im looking forward to seeing where this goes, I think I did mention to you that Ronan Newman is looking into organising a star party in Mayo, which would be under very dark skies,

so clear skies and were off :scope:

Derek
7 years 4 months ago #104827

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Replied by johnomahony on topic Sligo Astronomy Group

Great initiative Derek.
I thought about a club in the region too but as you say it takes time and dedication. Personally, I am only interested in observing and imaging so getting together with an informal local group is good for me. Even when I was in Aussie I rarely went to club meetings but I attended all the observing nights and the public outreach events. These events are great for drumming up interest in astronomy as it is so hands on and friendly too.
I used to go to an event at Macquarie University in the heart of Sydney with my scope for their annual astronomy night. One evening, we had two thousand ticket paying members of the public turn up. I remember that for 4 hours I had at least 30 people constantly lined up behind my scope to have a look at the moon and Jupiter. Great fun. Won a few converts there.

Setting up a club in the region would be a challenge as it is so sparsely populated. It might be hard to get a critical mass of core people to support it..
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Last edit: 7 years 4 months ago by johnomahony.
7 years 4 months ago #104833

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Replied by Derek Davey on topic Sligo Astronomy Group

The Sligo group had a very successful night for the Eclipse, we had close to twenty people turning out, and most stayed until the end, we had a BBQ at midnight to keep us going, very enjoyable night, onwards and upwards
Derek




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7 years 4 months ago #104947
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Replied by Joergn on topic Sligo Astronomy Group

Nice image
7 years 3 months ago #105018

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Replied by flt158 on topic Sligo Astronomy Group

The memory of the 2015 Total Lunar Eclipse lives on and on.

Thank you to all.

Aubrey.
7 years 3 months ago #105023

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