By Elaine Murphy
Space Week, Ireland’s newest national STEM Week, will take place nationwide in parallel with World Space Week from October 4-10, and there are lots of events happening in Cork.
Now in its second year, Space Week is designed to encourage people to explore our incredible Universe and raise public awareness of the benefits, challenges, and inspiration of space exploration and Earth observation. This year’s theme ‘Our Planet, Our Space, Our Time’ and events series will explore how, as 21st century citizens under one sky, we can use the power of critical thinking and STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) to shape our understanding of life on Earth and our place in Space.
National organisers for this prestigious event are Blackrock Castle Observatory (BCO), in association with Science Foundation Ireland and European Space Education Resource Office (ESERO) Ireland.
With over 100 events in 19 counties, many of which will be hosted by world-leading experts, this promises to be an exceptionally exciting and engaging programme with something for everyone.
Participants will enjoy stargazing, astronomy talks, workshops, mobile planetarium shows, rocket launches, fun space experiments, they will hear about space careers and they will learn about the Life of an Astronaut. Or discover the Universe from your own home using the fun space activities on spaceweek.ie. Schools are encouraged to Book a Space Speaker for the Classroom and take advantage of a wide range of experts who will share their stories on video throughout Space Week.
The jam packed schedule of events taking place in Cork over the course of the week is sure to excite both adults and children alike
Diary of a Martian Beekeeper
CIT Cork, Friday 4-7 October
Space and theatre enthusiasts alike are in for a treat with the world premiere of Dr. Niamh Shaw’s new show. It’s set in the future in 2036. Niamh is on Mars and is a member of Crew 173, on a long duration mission to investigate new ways of growing food in this arid foreign land. As their 2-year mission comes to an end, one crucial experiment remains for Niamh. But will she overcome her personal struggles or put the whole crew and the mission in danger? Anyone interested in getting a better understanding of the detail that goes into getting someone to Mars will be fascinated by this show.
Ireland in Space – A Visual Story of Astronomy
Youghal, Mitchelstown, Mallow,Ballincollig and Bantry Libraries, 9.30am
‘Ireland in Space’ charts the impact of space on the past, present and future of Ireland.
The exhibition showcases stunning imagery from Ireland’s skies and from space, with submissions by Irish research groups and observatories as well as amateur astro-photographers. We will be displaying this for the duration of Space Week.
Blackrock Castle Observatory Cork, 6pm
Open Night at CIT’s Blackrock Castle Observatory; free screening of The Farthest, an incredible Irish documentary that tells the tale of the amazing Voyager spacecraft now more than 12 billion miles away, about to leave our Solar System and enter deep space – the first human-made object ever to do so. stargazing, launch of art exhibits by CUIG, Mayfield Arts Centre, Jackie Manley and Sarah Roseingrave.
Cúig Artists Reach for the Stars
CIT Blackrock Observatory, Blackrock,7pm
Cúig artists based at Mayfield Arts Centre ‘Reach for the Stars’ as they’re work looks towards space.
‘Reach for the Stars’ – Cúigs detailed drawing exhibition will be opened by Orla Flynn,CIT Vice President For External Affairs during the Open Night at Blackrock Castle Observatory.
Space Themed Storytime at Cobh/Carrigaline Library
Cobh Library, Arch Building, 3.30pm/Carrigaline Library, 3pm
During Space Week, a number of space themed storytimes will take place, in a number of branches throughout the county! Join in the fun for a wide range of stories from “Aliens in Underpants” to ” By the light of the moon” to ” Goodnight Spaceman”!
Stargaze in Castlelyons
Fr. Ferris Park, Castlelyons, 6.50pm
The event will include a workshop which is designed to raise awareness and engage
members of the public in the GLOBE at Night citizen-science campaign. The workshop will
inform participants on how to measure their night sky brightness and report their
observations to a website from a computer or smart phone. Light pollution threatens not
only our “right to starlight”, but can affect energy consumption, wildlife and health.
Members of Cork Astronomy club will be on hand for some interactive observing of the
night sky and to hone your skills to recognize some of the stars and galaxies. As well as
the workshop and interactive observing of the night sky there will be short inputs on the
effects of light pollution on our ability to observe the night sky and on the health of wildlife
This is intended to be an informal relaxed event which is open to members of the public,
including children. The meeting point will be Fr. Ferris Park adjacent to Castlelyons
National School at 6.50 pm. From here we can either walk or drive to the event (5 minute
walk away). Appropriate warm clothing and footwear is advised.
Dive into Space
Leisureworld Bishopstown, CIT Cork, Saturday 7 October
Get a spectacular chance to dip your toes into the deep world of space! The Irish Underwater Council (IUC) and Science Foundation Ireland are running this event which combines space, weightlessness and diving. Following talks by experts in extreme environment living Ireland’s top SCUBA instructors will be on hand to bring you through the experience of weightlessness in the safety of the Leisureworld Bishopstown pool. The talk is free to attend and tickets for scuba diving are only €5. Booking is essential. Please note the scuba diving element is available of over 14’s only. Snorkeling is available for all age groups.
Junior Space Camp
Blackrock Castle Observatory, Cork, 12pm
Junior Space Camp is amazing science with an intergalactic twist!
We’re going to take a journey into Space and give our budding space enthusiasts a chance to explore and experiment with science that they can amaze their friends with.
For Space Week you’ll learn about the Moon and Earth using playdoh, make Jupiter clouds and Moon craters and design your own mission patch! Registration: Booking is required. Junior Space Campers pay €10 for their space adventure and can bring their parents for free! (One parent per child/group of children is required).
Call 021-4326120 to book your space.
Pushing Human Limits to the Extreme at Blackrock Castle (Adult Audience)
Blackrock Castle Observatory, Cork, 7.30pm
Blackrock Castle Observatory will be hosting Dava Newman and Gui Trotti for a night of discussion around pushing the boundaries of human exploration. Dava is a former Deputy Administrator of NASA, and Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Engineering Systems at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She will be discussing her quest for the perfect space suit with the goal of human travel to Mars.
Gui, the president of Trotti & Associates, Inc., an architectural and industrial design firm working on Space and Earth projects. He will discuss his work in designing for extreme environments like his designs for Antarctica and concepts for expeditionary lunar rovers.
From 19:30, Dr Niamh Shaw will be talking about her latest adventure to Star City in Moscow, where she trained at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre and participated in a Zero Gravity (or weightlessness) flight.
Join us for a night of lively discussion centered around the future of human space travel!
Pushing Human Limits to the Extreme at CIT – 2nd Level Students
CIT Rory Gallagher Theatre, 11.30am
CIT will be hosting two incredible adventure seekers and prominent figures in the world of space science, Dava Newman and Gui Trotti, for an afternoon of discussion on how to push the boundaries of human exploration.
Dava is a former Deputy Administrator of NASA, and Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Engineering Systems at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She will be discussing her quest for the perfect space suit with the goal of human travel to Mars.
Gui is the president of Trotti & Associates, Inc., an architectural and industrial design firm working on Space and Earth projects. He will discuss his work on designing for extreme environments like his designs for South Pole Station in Antarctica and concepts for expeditionary lunar rovers for NASA.
“The American eclipse – what actually happened? And what was it like being there?”
UCC’s Civil Engineering Building, 8pm
Cork Astronomy Club members talk about experiencing the solar eclipse of 21/8/17 in Salem, Oregon, with an introduction on the mechanics of solar eclipses. This is Cork Astronomy Club’s monthly meeting. All welcome, admission free. Ask about joining.