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Event: First Fridays at the Castle > Moon Stories > 4th Sept

Friday, 04 September 2009

  Enjoy September’s Back to School Full Moon with a unique family programme under the stars at Blackrock Castle Observatory. BCO hosts open nights on the first Friday of the month with astro-related activities for visitors of all ages: lectures by visiting scholars, Star Parties, night observing & star counts and activities for children.

6 - 8pm Hands on Pocket Solar System Workshops (every half hour for children aged 9-12)
8 - 9pm Public Talk with Deirdre Kelleghan. Our Moon, some Moon Stories and Moon News
9.30pm Constellations by Moonlight. Enjoy a guided laser pointed show with professional astronomers. This is clear sky dependant!

  This talk is about that wonderful rock in our sky: What is it? Why is it important? What are its features? Who went there? Who is buried there? Will we go again? How will we live on the Moon? How do we get to know the Moon? A little reminisce about Apollo 11 forty years on from the first Moon landing. For moon lovers of all ages. 

Deirdre Kelleghan is Outreach Coordinator for the The Irish Federation of Astronomical Societies.

Deirdre is both an artist and an amateur astronomer. In combining these two passions, her work in astronomical sketching has gained her both national and international acclaim. Her lunar sketches have been featured in Irish, UK and US astronomical publications. Deirdre's pastels and mixed media paintings have been exhibited in Dublin, Birr Co Offaly, Blackrock Castle Observatory  Dunsink Observatory and Hofstra  University in New York.  She has developed and run many drawing workshops for schools and other groups which involve producing astronomical and space images through art for community exhibitions.

Deadly Moons one of the workshops has been embraced by UNAWE Universe Awareness for Young Children - a cornerstone project for the International Year of Astronomy, IYA 2009.
Her lunar sketches have been honored as Astronomy Picture of the Day and Astronomy Sketch of the Day several times and have also been published on Spaceweather and in several books.
She works with children to encourage them to celebrate the night sky through art. Deirdre enjoys creating works that combine art, learning and astronomy.
Deirdre was recently invited to New York to speak and present her Deadly Moons workshop at ALCON 2009, the Astronomical Leagues annual convention. ALCON is the world’s largest organisation for amateur astronomers. Her talk subjects, Galileo, and Astronomical Sketching was very successful, travelling cross culturally and entertaining and educating bringing fun to the children of Long Island .

The Amateur Observers Society of New York was the host for the events and Hofstra University Long Island was the venueThe Astronomical League presented Deirdre with the Leagues Master Outreach Award. This award was one of only 25 to be presented in IYA 2009, it was also the first award presented internationally.

The moons created by the New York children will hang alongside the moons of Irish children and many many moons from a rainbow of nationalities in Birr Castle Science Centre. The exhibition is titled In the Footsteps of Galileo and will open on September 18th 2009 at 6pm running until November 2nd. This exhibition includes sketches from Sir Patrick Moore and many other astronomers in Ireland and abroad.

The award winning exhibit Cosmos at the Castle will be open late and free to the public. The popular Castle Bar and Trattoria will be open. There is ample parking riverside.

2009 is a global celebration of astronomy and its contributions to society and culture, with a strong emphasis on education, public engagement and the involvement of young people, with events at national, regional and global levels throughout the whole of 2009.

The Cork Institute of Technology manages Blackrock Castle Observatory and the facility is open 362 days with expected throughput of 50,000 visitors in 2009 confirming BCO as the premier public astronomy centre in the country.

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