The Leviathan at Birr Castle
2008 Whirlpool Star Party Summary
Quotes of the weekend
Ian Ridpath said that Deirdre and Sally were
"An explosive combustible combination" we took it as a compliment:-)
He also claimed to be our warm up act , he had a wry sense of humour.
Ian's presentation on the history of the constellations held everyone in tow for the first hour.
He delivered a very interesting comprehensive overview of how the constellations got their names.
After a short break our talk " A Tale of Two Skysketchers " was next. Sally Russell and I were very pleased with the response and interest from the audience. Our ppt was about our lunar and solar sketching adventures. We left out our messier objects, comets and planets as it would have been toooooooooooo long .
Sally Russell's Cloudynights Gallery link
Our class keep an eye on the lunar video
Frank Ryan Jr ponders Theophilus
We followed our presentation after lunch with a very well attended hands on workshop on astronomical sketching !!!
We had live video footage of the lunar surface (video by John Adair provided by Sally) showing a choice of craters and sketching targets. We offered printed photographs ( Sally originals ) a choice of black or white paper and many choices of
materials for our victims oh oops I mean our volunteers :-)
The workshop was Sally's idea and it was great to be part of it.
The hour long sketch session went by in a blink , we moved around in the crowd to answer questions and to suggest ways of dealing with the lunar images. Wonderful sketches were produced by our pupils and those sketches then became part of the Deadly Moon exhibition.
Sally Russell talks sketching with Jeff Young
Dee and Jeff discuss methods of solar sketching
Damian Peach showed his superb planetary and lunar images. He gave us a peep into how he achieves some of the best astro images on the planet. http://www.damianpeach.com/
Aaron Golden's after dinner talk The David Lunt Memorial Lecture was on filters.
Dr Niall Smith waxed lyrically about Blackrock Castle Observatory and its varied functions.
He gave quite an interesting look into the outreach and research aspects that are central to the BCO year.http://www.bco.ie/
Dr Lorraine Hanlon told us about ' Watcher " a robotic ground based telescope located in South Africa searching for Gamma Ray Bursts. The program will have an outreach element which should be worth getting involved in later on.
Professor Judith Pipher lit up the place with beautiful images from the Spitzer Space Telescope . Judith is an expert in infra red astronomy , she explained the breakdown of colors in a infra red photographic image very well indeed.She amazed everyone by admitting that the imaging chip on Spitzer was only 0.0065 Mega Pixels. http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_
Many thanks to Shannonside Astronomy Club for a wonderful Whirlpool
Whirlpool summary By Frank Ryan Shannonside Secretary