Events in Ireland

    • Podcast CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory's Frances McCarthy new astronomy series "What is the Stars?" on the national broadcaster RTE Lyric FM: 
      The slot is broadcast twice a week at 11.45pm on Blue of the Night, Mondays and Fridays.

    • GGZ opens at First Fridays at the Castle, Blackrock Castle Observatory, Cork, Ireland.
      5 March 2010
      On Friday March 5 Cosmos at the Castle presents a new interactive exhibit from the European Southern Observatory. ESOs Giga Galaxy Zoom connects the sky as seen by the unaided eye with that seen by hobby and professional astronomers. The project reveals three amazing, ultra-high-resolution images of the night sky that online stargazers can zoom in on and explore in an incredible level of detail. Giga Galaxy Zoom is online at the Forum at Blackrock Castle Observatory and enhanced by a wall exhibit which showcases the 3 giant high-resolution photographic images.
      Press release (.doc 100 KB)

    • First Fridays at the Castle
      5 March 2010

      Launch of Giga Galaxy Zoom images at Blackrock Castle Observatory, Cork, Ireland.

    • Fantastic Galactic Imagery and a Celestial Extravaganza at the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition 2010.
      12-16 January 2010

      In its 46th year the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition is much more than a competition; it is an unforgettable experience of a lifetime for the students who take part. The exhibition itself is the final stage in the competition which is open to all second level students from Ireland, both North and South. As well as the 500 student projects on display, there are a further four exhibition halls filled with science and technology based exhibits and entertainment, making it a thrilling event for those who enter and for general visitors too.

      At this year's event, astronomy and space science once again has star billing with the spectacular GigaGalaxyZoom images on display and a 3D Celestial Extravaganza. The European Southern Observatory's (ESO) GigaGalaxy Zoom project connects the sky as seen by the unaided eye with that seen by amateur and professional astronomers. The project reveals three amazing, ultra-high-resolution images of the night sky that stargazers can explore in an incredible level of detail.

      The GigaGalaxy Zoom project is true to the vision of International Year of Astronomy 2009 (IYA2009), which is to help people rediscover their place in the Universe through the day- and night-time sky.

      The Celestial Extravaganza show merges gaming technology with the latest 3D stereo animations from the European Southern Observatory to create a cosmic voyage of discovery. Along the way the audience visit the planets of the Solar System, a myriad of beautiful and mysterious objects in the Milky Way galaxy and travel through space and back in time to observe the sheer scale and size of the universe.

      The show is produced by the Northern Ireland Space Office and LearnIT3d Ltd with support from BT, the Dublin Institute of Advanced Studies and the European Southern Observatory.

      The BT Young Scientist and technology Exhibition takes place at the RDS Arena and showgrounds and will be launched on Wednesday 13th January and open to primary schools on 14th, Secondary schools on 15th and the general public on the 16th. More information on the exhibiton can be found at A press release which name checks ESO for the BT Young Scientist 2010 is here.

    • Galilean Nights ALL WELCOME
      Oct 24th 2009 Blackrock Castle Observatory

      People are welcome to join a global Star Party on Saturday OCTOBER 24th under a crescent moon at Cork Institute of Technologys Blackrock Castle Observatory.

      Four hundred years since Galileos telescopic observations revolutionised our view of the Universe, the public will once again be turning their attention to the Heavens.

      On 22nd -24th October 2009 the International Year of Astronomy 2009 Cornerstone Project Galilean Nights will see amateur and professional astronomers, enthusiasts and the public taking to the streets all around the globe pointing their telescopes to the wonders that Italian astronomer Galileo observed 400 years ago.

      The focus for Galilean Nights is the objects that Galileo observed, including Jupiter and the Moon which will be well positioned in the night sky for observing. Enjoy a guided laser pointed show with professional astronomers from Blackrock Castle Observatory and members of the Cork Astronomy Club from 8 to 11pm for a guided astronomy viewing session to the sweet sounds of Stargazers. (Observing is clear sky dependant.)

      Stargazers, guitar/harmony swing trio, familiar faces and voices from Cork, will appear at The Castle Bar and Trattoria, Blackrock Castle Observatory, on Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th October, (9PM each night), as part of the Cork Jazz Festival featuring songs from Johnny Fang and Chris Aherns recently released album, Apollonia.

      Seduced out of retirement for CIT Arts Fest 2009, the trio followed with a stellar reception at a Blackrock Castle Observatory gig. A beacon of light on the Cork music scene, Stargazers at BCO will provide a weekend of live performances not to be missed. Tickets are available at Pro Musica, Oliver Plunkett Street, Cork.

      Be part of a Global Star Party and look through a telescope like Galileo first did 400 years ago. This is a free event with the background sounds of Stargazers celebrating the imagination, creativity and innovation that link the arts and science.
      In recent times the two areas are seen as quite separate, but creativity, exploration, discovery and imagination are, in fact, equal traits of the artist and the scientist.

      Clair McSweeney,
      Facilities Manager, Blackrock Castle Observatory, Blackrock, Cork.
      Tel 021-4357917,

      Blackrock Castle Observatory has a mission to provide the people of Cork city and Ireland with a centre of excellence in science by fostering interest in science, engineering and technology through the medium of astronomy.
      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. (for list of local events in Ireland celebrating the Galilean Nights please go to: )

  • Discovery, Corks Interactive Science Exhibition
    Oct 14-18th 2009 City Hall, Cork

    Blackrock Castle Observatory presents images from the European Southern Observatories and shows at the StarDome, a portable planetarium in association with Armagh Planetarium. More details

    (l-r) Clair McSweeney, Facilities Manager, Blackrock Castle Observatory; Billy Kelleher TD, Minister for Trade & Commerce; Lord Mayor of Cork, Dara Murphy; Ted Owens, Cork VEC; Sarah Murphy, Blackrock Castle Observatory; Marcela Whelan, Discovery 09.