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Location :
Dunsink Observatory ,
Dunsink Lane,
Dublin 15, D15 XR2R.

Tel: +353 -(0)1- 4406656
Mobile: +353-(0)87-6294966
GPS: +53°23'12.30", -6°20'10.40"

Further Details


Solarfest 2018: 15-17 June

Solarfest 2018 flyerSolarfest 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.

Sam Green and John Flannery: our speakers for Friday evening

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
  • Ciara Maguire of TCD introducing I-LOFAR

    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)
  • Panel Discussion on Saturday afternoon

    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).

Previous Years

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.

Solarfest 2017

Observing the Sun during Solarfest 2017. Warning: don’t ever look directly at the sun, especially not though a telescope or binoculars! You will damage your eyes. Get advice from amateur astronomers before trying to observe the Sun.

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.


Irish Heritage Week 2018

A guest blog by Qi Qi Kennedy (DCU).

The Moon photographed using Dunsink Observatory’s modern refractor telescope during Heritage Week. (Credit: Sam Green)

During Irish National Heritage Week (18th – 26th August 2018), DIAS Dunsink Observatory (D15 XR2R) held two Public Open Nights on the Tuesday and Wednesday.  National Heritage Week is organised by the Heritage Council of Ireland and aims to build our awareness of our Irish Heritage so as to encourage conservation and preservation of our wonderful history.  Dunsink Observatory events included talks, stargazing and learning about the stars, planets and the history of Dunsink Observatory itself. (more…)

Annual public events and themed weeks

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.

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.

Dunsink Observatory becomes Ireland’s first European site of historical significance

Prof. Luke Drury; Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD; Prof. Vincent Cunnane, Chairman of DIAS; Dr. Eucharia Meehan, CEO of DIAS; Prof. Rüdiger Voss, President of the European Physical Society; and Mayor of Fingal Anthony Lavin at the Plaque unveiling.

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.