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National Astronomy Week Ireland?

  • R Newman
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National Astronomy Week Ireland? was created by R Newman

I made this suggestion to the IFAS private board and now posting here to the general audience for more feedback on a possible all Ireland Astronomy event, for anyone who knows me I was involved in Galway Astronomy Club for many years, but these opinions here are my own.
I understand the world is a different place right now but maybe in 2022/23 when club events return, we as a group could help organize a National Astronomy Week. This type of event has been run in the UK for many years and could lay the framework for a future goal of IFAS. To start I would envisage that over a chosen week all astronomy clubs organize a public meeting/workshop as well as an observing evening.

Maybe other outreach establishments like Dunsink and Blackrock could be asked to get involved. There is a great catchment of clubs around the country. A few ideas I had was to split the island up into regional sections with one coordinator responsible for communication with all the IFAS clubs and some of the smaller clubs that have popped up recently. Maybe call it “Astronomy Week” or “Irish Astronomy Week”.

There is a huge amount of scope for a free 5-day event with online events from daily zoom talks, live observing, public tours to places of Astronomical history/private observatories/Megalithic tombs, club talks, workshops, exhibitions, Dark Sky Parks etc.

Regions

ULSTER

IAA
NIAAS
OM dark sky park
Greencastle Planetarium
Armagh Planetarium
Armagh Observatory

WEST

Galway AC
NUI Galway Astrosoc
NUIG Imbush Observatory
Connemara AC
Newport AC
Louisburg AC
Mayo Dark sky Park
John Birmingham House and Museum

MID WEST

Limerick AC
Lough Gur Dark sky Project

SOUTH

Cork AC
Kerry AC
Crawford Observatory
National Space Centre
Cobh Astronomy Club
Blackrock Castle
Schull Planetarium

SOUTH EAST

Youghal AC
Wexford Astronomy Club
Carlow Astronomy Club

MIDLANDS

Midlands AC
Leitrim AC
Clonkill Observatory
Birr Castle

EAST
Irish AS
Dunsink Observatory
KTEC Telescopes
Big Bear Planetarium
Images of Starlight exhibition


Thanks

Ronan Newman
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Last edit: 1 year 10 months ago by R Newman.
1 year 10 months ago #109918

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Replied by Seanie_Morris on topic National Astronomy Week Ireland?

Hi,
I've wondered about why this wasn't done before, as there is Science Week, Space Week, now Maths Week, and I'll bet there's more as well - all here in Ireland.

When International Year of Astronomy took place in 2009, it was a great opportunity to bring space and astronomy to the forefront. I think Science Week really grew legs from that year onwards. SW has the benefit of being driven by Discover
Science and Engineering, and Science Foundation Ireland, so it does get some government funding.

I think Blackrock Castle Observatory drives Space Week. I don't know where/if they get funding for that.

Astronomy is the only STEM-type subject that for the most part relies solely on the weather to really bear fruit for its events, daytime and night. It's for that reason why I think there is no national week for astronomy in Ireland.

I believe in your proposal Ronan, but as you point out, it is one that takes a decent amount of commitment from a core of
individuals (not just one) to bring about the wider co-ordination of an NAW. You can include me in any such endeavour!

Seanie.
(also posted in the Mods forum)
Midlands Astronomy Club.
Radio Presenter (Midlands 103), Space Enthusiast, Astronomy Outreach Co-ordinator.
Former IFAS Chairperson and Secretary.
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Replied by R Newman on topic National Astronomy Week Ireland?

Thanks Seanie,

Irish Astronomy Week goes ahead on April 2nd - 9th, yes ye will all say..ah.. thats a Full Moon week, yes unfortunately, but its the start of Global Astronomy Month, most clubs well on the west coast have their meetings that week, Dark Sky week starts on the 17th so not to encroach on that, over the next few year it will occur on week of Astronomical events or Starparties. Also a nice line up of Planets in the evening sky including  Mercury at its brightest. But as our weather is a constant issue I hope most of the astronomy events will be indoors.


Children are off with schools closed and its a great time to encourage them to get involved in astronomy. I encourage everyone to organise some free public engagement events likeTelescope nights, practical demonstrations, Children's Workshops, library talks, etc

I have already over twenty Astronomy clubs and related organisations involved from across the 32 counties..

Seanie, in reply to  your offer could you please get on to me and maybe we could work on some ideas for next April.

Thanks

Ronan Newman
www.facebook.com/westastronomy
twitter.com/newman_ronan?s=09
 
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Last edit: 2 weeks 4 days ago by R Newman.
2 weeks 4 days ago #111587
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Replied by R Newman on topic National Astronomy Week Ireland?

     
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Replied by Until_then-Goodnight! on topic National Astronomy Week Ireland?

Hi Ronan,

Very many thanks for the update. I'm delighted to read that the idea is taking off. Are those three images potential logos for Astronomy Week? Also while I'm relatively newbie (approximately four years in the hobby) I'd be happy to help out in any way I can.

Clear skies,

Darren.
2 weeks 3 days ago #111591

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Replied by R Newman on topic National Astronomy Week Ireland?

Thank you Darren, yes they are pretty poor logos I was messing with, if you know anyone who can make a proper one please let me know, Thanks

"From March 20th to 26th the inaugural "Irish Astronomy Week" will take place with events taking place throughout the thirty-two counties. To make this successful there needs to be coordinated planning in place with a website that has a visual impact and strong branding. To make this happen I need financial assistance, as I am not a member of any club. The target is €1000, getting a company to create a website is awfully expensive depending on who you ask. The money raised will go towards a new website, a brand-new logo while any extra money will go towards the hosting, the .ie domain, a pull down banner, stationary, flyers, stationary for schools and towards the 2024 event. In the weeks following the Astronomy week I would ask all participating organisations to submit a questionnaire (will be forwarded) to show a general number of people that have been engaged with. This will be useful when it comes to applying for future funding from Science Foundation Ireland.

Donations no matter how small are kindly welcomed and can be made at
gofund.me/74a8c1af

Thanks
Ronan Newman
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Last edit: 1 week 1 day ago by R Newman.
1 week 1 day ago #111608

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Replied by Until_then-Goodnight! on topic National Astronomy Week Ireland?

Hi Ronan,

Very many thanks for your message. On the contrary, I think there's some real potential in the logos. 

Good idea with the go fund me page too!

I've a potential idea that might help with reducing the marketing costs...I'll send you a message on it.

Clear skies,

Darren.
6 days 18 hours ago #111610

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