In many parts of Mayo the night sky is still experienced as pristine and unfiltered due to low levels of man-made lighting. An exciting and special event this October Bank Holiday weekend marks this fact. The Mayo Dark Sky Festival 2017 runs from 27th to 29th October in Mulranny, Newport and Ballycroy National Park. Organised by Mulranny Tourism, the community of Newport, the Friends of Mayo Dark Skies and Ballycroy National Park, the event programme offers a great variety of activities, workshops and lectures for those who are passionate about Mayo’s dark skies.
The festival’s eclectic programme celebrates the natural nightscapes of Mayo with stargazing and observing sessions, cultural workshops, educational talks and activites for all the family to enjoy. Many events are free of charge such as accompanied star-gazing at Burrishoole Abbey on 27th October. Several events, including Planetarium Shows in Mulranny on 28th October, are specially designed for children or young adults. A full festival programme is listed below.
27 October (7PM) – 29 October (5PM)
Locations: Newport, Mulranny, Ballycroy
A full programme of events is available here or at the bottom of this page.
Descriptions of each event may be consulted here.
TO BOOK: mayodarkskyfestival.ie (booking in advance is strongly recommended)
For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Mayo Dark Sky Festival 2017 features a line-up of speakers from Ireland and abroad, who are highly regarded in their fields of expertise. Their words will help bring to life the magic of our natural dark skies and give an insight into how they are important from the point of view of science, culture and the environment.
Among the amazing group of speakers at this year’s event are Luis Flores Castillo, Susan McKenna Lawlor, Duncan Stewart, Deirdre Kelleghan, Michael Burton, Antonio Martin-Carillo, Aoibhinn Ní Shuilleabháin, Jon Bennie and others.
Luis Flores Castillo
Physicist and researcher at CERN, Switzerland
Talk: ‘From the night sky to the Higgs boson – and back’
Dr. Luis Roberto Flores Castillo, professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, is a distinguished researcher who has participated in the ATLAS (A Toroidal LHC Apparatus) experiment with CERN in Switzerland for over ten years. He is also recognized for his participation in the discovery of the Higgs Boson, often called “The God Particle”.
In 2012 he was acknowledged with the Scientific Research Prize by the Mexican Physical Society. His research interests include the measurement of the properties of the Higgs Boson, the search for dark matter particles, and searches for new high-mass particles.
CEO of Space Technology Ireland Ltd. and Professor Emerita at Maynooth University
Talk: ‘What did we learn thus far from the Rosetta Mission and its Lander Philae’
Susan in the 1980s was the Principal Investigator for an experiment on the ESA’s Giotto mission to Halley’s comet. She founded the high-tech company Space Technology Ireland Ltd. (STIL), which manufactures instruments and sub-systems for space applications.
Over the years, Space Tech. has successfully provided instrumentation for many flagship missions flown by ESA and NASA, as well as by the Chinese, Indian and Russian Space Agencies. Most recently, STIL’s Electrical Support System (ESS) constituted mission critical hardware for ESA’s Rosetta Mission, forwarding commands to, and received pioneering data back from, the Philae Lander located on the surface of comet 67P/ Churyumov–Gerasimenko.
(photo: Beta Bajgar www.betaphotographer.com)
Aoibhinn Ni Shuilleabhain
Broadcaster and Academic
Talk: ‘A Career in Science’
At Mayo Dark Sky Festival 2017 Aoibhinn will discuss her career path and how the night sky in her home county of Mayo inspired her to pursue a degree in Theoretical Physics. She will also discuss her research work in mathematics education and highlight how parents and students can strengthen attitudes towards and confidence in their mathematical ability.
Aoibhinn is an Assistant Professor at the School of Mathematics and Statistics, University College Dublin (UCD). She studied Theoretical Physics in UCD and conducted her PhD research at Trinity College Dublin. She has actively promoted the subjects of mathematics and physics on TV, radio and social media. In 2017 has been named as one of the ’40 under 40′ European Young Leaders.
Architect and Environmentalist
Talk: ‘The Importance of Night Time Preservation’
An award-winning architect and television producer, Duncan has been a leading Irish advocate for environmental, health and conservation issues for over 40 years.
His early shows ‘Our House’ and ‘About the House’ leaned on his architectural background as he promoted the values of craftsmanship, efficient and sustainable materials and the value of energy conservation. Duncan’s current television programme ‘Eco Eye’, now in its sixteenth series, is driven by his interests in the protection of our environment, Ireland’s biodiversity, supporting local communities and the communication of climate issues.
And other amazing speakers
Ireland’s first International Dark Sky Park is in Co. Mayo. It showcases some of the darkest, most pristine skies in the world. The Mayo Dark Sky Park is nestled between the Nephin Mountain Range and the Atlantic coastline and it extends across an area of 150km2. It encompasses both Ballycroy National Park and Wild Nephin Park.
On a clear night in Mayo, we can see over 4,500 stars, along with other planets in our solar system, The Milky Way and even meteor showers with the naked eye. The Mayo Dark Sky Park has committed to keeping the skies above its location naturally dark for present and future generations to enjoy these wonders of the night sky.
For more information about Mayo Dark Sky Park call 086 8595166 or email email@example.com