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Solarfest 2018: 15-17 June
Solarfest took place at DIAS Dunsink Observatory on the 15th to 17th of June 2018. This annual event is a celebration of solar astronomy for professional and amateur astronomers, as well as the general public.
Our amateur astronomy partners maintain the Solarfest Facebook page here, with lots of great photos from the 3 days and follow-up information.
We had a Public Open Night on the evening of Friday 15th of June, including observing the Sun.
- Sam Green (DIAS) & John Flannery (IAS) talked about the history of Parallax and the 150th anniversary of the Grubb Telescope.
Saturday 16th June: Main Solarfest events
- 10:30 Registration
11:00 Ronan Newman ‘Clouds at the Edge of Space: An insight to their History, Formation & link to Solar Minimum’
11:45 Shane Maloney (TCD) – ESA Solar Orbiter
12:30 Ciara Maguire (TCD) and Oisin Creaner (DIAS) – I-LOFAR
13:15 Live Classical Music by Sarah Joyce / Observatory Tour / Bring Your Own Picnic
14:30 US Solar Eclipse Report: Michael O’Connell (IFAS)Phd Session:
15:10 Sam Green (DIAS)
15:30 Maria Moutzouri (DIAS)
15:50 Samuel McKeague (DCU)
16:10 Camille Stock (DIAS)
16:30 Q&A Session – All Speakers
16:45 Conference Close with Poetry Reading by Sarah Joyce
17:00 onwards: Informal get together – pizza (€10 pp)
On Sunday 17th June: family afternoon from 12:00 to 14:30
- Family-orientated talks by John Flannery (IAS) and Kevin Smith (MAG).
- Observatory Tour by Sam Green (DIAS).
Solarfest has been running for some years now at Dunsink Observatory, through the dedication of a number of amateur astronomers and the support of DIAS.
For 2017 we were very fortunate to have blazing sunshine all day for Solarfest! We also had a great line-up of speakers talking about a range of diverse topics. Especially exciting was the upcoming solar eclipse in North America in August 2017, to which quite a few participants were planning to travel.
Friday 16th June Open Night:
- Terry Moseley “Our place in the universe”
- Observatory tour, telescope viewing
Saturday 17th June:
- Brian MacGabhann “Einstein Made (Relatively) Simple”
- Pete Williamson “Solar Imaging and Processing Made Simple
- Samuel Bleyen “Sunspot Classification and Measurement”
- Solar observing, observatory tour.
- Sam Green “Stellar Bow Shocks”
- Aoife Ryan “Solar Physics with I-LOFAR
- Dúalta O’Fionnagáin “The Solar Wind in Time”
- Sophie Murray “Space Weather: Origins and Impacts”
Sunday 18th June:
- Sam Green “Sun for Kids”
- Kevin Smith “Fun in the Sun!”
- Observatory tour and solar observing.
DIAS Dunsink Observatory sealed its status as one of Ireland’s most important scientific sites on the 23rd of June 2018 when it was recognised by the European Physical Society as a “site of historical significance”. Dunsink joins other famous historical sites such as Einstein’s house in Bern and Marie Curie’s laboratory in Paris, in recognition of the tremendous contributions to physics and mathematics made by Sir William Rowan Hamilton. A plaque commemorating this designation was unveiled by Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD, Minister of State for Higher Education and Rüdiger Voss, President of the European Physical Society.
Regular Events for the public and for schools
Open Nights: Wednesday nights during the winter months, usually 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month.
Solarfest is an event run in partnership with amateur astronomers and solar observers that takes place on a weekend around the summer solstice every year (mid-June). We have a public open night on Friday evening, a full day of talks and solar observing (weather permitting) on Saturday, and a family afternoon on Sunday.
Culture Night is an open night in mid-September when many public buildings open their doors for the evening. We run a series of talks and tours of Dunsink.
Early October brings Space Week, closely following in mid-to-late October by Maths Week, and we support these weeks by running a number of public and schools events, including the annual Hamilton Walk to celebrate the contributions of Ireland’s greatest mathematician.
Ireland’s national Science Week runs every year in mid-November, coordinated by SFI. We run events most days and evenings during Science Week for schools and the public. Look for notifications in October of the events for this year.
In late February and early March, Engineers week takes place, and we again have schools visits during the week and an open night with a theme appropriate for the week.
Introduction: Dunsink Observatory, part of the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies and integral to the Irish Astronomy Trail, has a long history in the service of science. Like most older European Observatory buildings it is now mainly used for residential accomodation, a venue to hire for small meetings and workshops, and for public outreach, in particular public open nights during the winter months.
- Book for Joycetime at Dunsink Observatory: part of the Bloomsday festival.
- Book for Solarfest here: Friday night lecture, and Saturday all day.
Getting Here: Dunsink Observatory is located about 8 kms northwest of Dublin city centre, in the suburb of Castleknock. Further details on the travel page.
Mobile Phone: +353-(0)87-6294966
GPS location is +53° 23′ 12.30″, -6° 20′ 10.40
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