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"Clouds at the Edge of Space:

An insight to their History, Formation & link to Solar Minimum"

by Ronan Newman 8th April

About the Lecture


Noctilucent Clouds (NLC) also known "night shining clouds," are some of the strangest cloud formations you can see with their characteristic blue colour. These clouds are normally too faint to be seen by the human eye-unless illuminated by sunlight from below the horizon while the lower layers of the Earth's atmosphere are in Earth's shadow. They are, in fact, the highest clouds on Earth, forming on tiny crystals of water ice and dust particles near the edge of space some 50 miles above our planet's surface.
  In the talk the speaker Ronan Newman will be a giving a serious examination from an amateur astronomers standpoint into the various manifestations that have to come together to make a Noctilucent cloud display.
To start he will look at possible NLC observations in the mid 19th century and will go on to examine the giant volcanic eruption of Krakatoa in 1883 and how this affected the upper atmosphere as well as examining NLC's and there connection to greenhouse gases & Climate change. 
Other topics will include the how the Solar cycle affects NLC formation, a possible upcoming Deep Solar minimum, similar yet strange high atmospheric phenomena and finally a look at recorded observations of NLC displays at meteorological stations throughout Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland from 1965 to 1975.

About the Lecturer


Ronan Newman is an experienced amateur astronomer and a native of Claremorris, Co Mayo. Starting in his childhood he first became interested in rockets but quickly developed an interest in Astronomy. During the 1980's he recalls witnessing the spectacle of the Aurora Borealis several times from his parents back garden.

In later years he bought a Meade LX10 telescope and spent many nights trawling the heavens for star clusters, nebulae, galaxies and Comets.

He has been very active in Galway Astronomy club and was one of its founding members in 1998. He served on its committee continuously for 17 years in the roles of Secretary and Chairperson and was the main organiser of the annual Galway Astronomy Festival.

For the past fifteen years and as an amateur astronomer his passion has been chasing and documenting displays the Aurora Borealis from the West of Ireland and he now manages his own Face book page entitled ?Irish Aurora Hunters Homepage? where in the past before the onset of Aurora Apps he frequently gave out Aurora alerts.

In 2012 he was awarded the title of "Irish Astronomer of the Year" by the Irish Federation of Astronomical Societies. While in his spare time he enjoys giving talks to various clubs and organisations around the country to share his enthusiasm for astronomy as a whole and to get young people interested in this highly rewarding hobby.


After the lecture there will be a social reception in The Lombard and we encourage all of you to come along for a chat.
All are welcome to attend and free food will be kindly provided by The Lombard.

Keep up to date on our Facebook and Twitter sites - links on the left.

A prize draw will be held after the lecture.

Booking Information

Date Monday 8th April
Time 8:00p.m.

Physics Bldg, Physics Department , Fitzgerald Building, Trinity College Dublin.
There is an entrance on Lincoln Place (not far from the Merrion Square end of TCD). If you get the DART or bus to Pearse St, or drive. Use the Science Gallery entrance on Pearse Street (near the corner with Westland Row) There are maps here:  Here

Parking: Mark Street , Marks Lane , Lombard St. East .

Free Parking on the above streets after 7pm
Click HERE for a building map of Trinity College campus
Click HERE for Map of area

Admission €10 (€5 Astronomy Ireland members and concessions)
Tickets where possible should be booked in advance. Tickets can also be purchased at the door on the night, please come along 15 minutes early to accommodate.

Book online below

Call 086 06 46 555 to book tickets over the phone using Debit/ Credit Card
Send a cheque/ PO/ Draft, made payable to Astronomy Ireland to PO BOX 2888, Dublin 5.


This lecture is also available to people nationwide on DVD.
To order a copy of the DVD simply:
Order by credit/ debit card online below OR
call 086 06 46 555
Alternatively post a Cheque or postal order to: Astronomy Ireland, PO. Box 2888, Dublin 5.
Cost: DVD's cost €10 each incl P&P (€5 Astronomy Ireland members)

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Acknowledgment: Astronomy Ireland would like to thank the TCD Astrophysics Research Group for hosting AI public lectures in Trinity College Dublin.









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