Astronomy in Ireland
“Astronomy”, a word that encourages fascination and makes us want to look up at the sky.
It is not only the study of the objects in the universe but it is also an encouragement to know about the universe even for the “non-astronomers”.
As we understand, cosmology is yet another field to study the cosmos, our whole universe. The universe is a vast space that is filled with all kinds of astronomical objects. Planets, stars, asteroids, comets, meteoroids, and much more. How much do we know about them?
Is it not important to know where and how the planet that we live in came into existence? The stars we see, the moon we fall in love with every time we see it; to study how their existence happened?
Astronomy and cosmology are taught all around the world but it is yet not taught in every college or university. In Ireland though, we do seem to have a path laid down towards this area of study.
All the top universities and colleges in Ireland have the subject drawn in a way that any interested and eligible student can apply to study about our universe.
There are many different aspects to study, even in these subjects, that a person can look forward to growing in. There is Astrophotography, Radio Astronomy, Planetary Geology, Meteorology, and the list goes on. With so many areas to explore, a person can move in whatever direction interests them the most.
Studying planetary objects is an excellent choice to move forward with. Ireland having its Astronomy club. The Irish Astronomical Society, founded in 1937, is one of the main examples of how much the country supports this study of the universe.
Cosmology, Astronomy, and other related fields are found to be more focused in the colleges here in Ireland. Within all counties, with big colleges and universities, these subjects are encouraged to be enrolled in.
University College of Dublin has the course Physics with Astronomy & Space Science under the department of physics for undergraduate whereas for postgraduate the course available is MSc. Space Science and Technology. Similarly, the University College of Cork has Radio Astronomy which is yet another field that teaches us about the radio waves on a particular object.
Like so, there are more colleges and universities encouraging students to apply for these courses. Schools make sure that the pupils follow their interests and that might be Astronomy for which they are encouraged to join the Astronomical Society of Ireland, Astronomy Ireland.
Astronomy Ireland is a nonprofit association based in Ireland, founded by David Moore in 1990. The association provides the students with classes, photography sessions, observations, lectures, seminars, and more.
It is open to people with an interest in astronomy and cosmology be it an adult or a youngster. People can register for a monthly magazine subscription which includes all their information, from joining the association to the organized sessions.
There are many Irish Astronomers as well who have looked past just the revolving of our planet. They have established telescopes, observations, books with their knowledge and which are still known. Ireland has always had a main focus on women astronomers since Agnes Mary Clerke, the first Irish women astronomer, who was also a writer who mainly focused on astronomy.
In the 19th century, being a woman polishing and enlightening others in a field such as Astronomy, was a remarkable job. Her best-known work, A Popular History of Astronomy during the Nineteenth Century, has received recognition even after it was first published in 1885. It highlights the astronomical works done in the 19th century. With her performance and recognition in the world of astronomy, a lunar crater is also named after her, Clerke.
As seen throughout the history of astronomy in Ireland, it is no doubt that the country has evolved itself and made progress in the field.
Just recently, the Irish Times in August 2020, covered that an international team, led by Irish scientists from Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (DIAS), have made a major discovery about how a star is born. The images were captured through their telescope. It shows the images of “stellar-baby” and the creation of its solar system.
Observatories and organizations are working in Ireland to explore deep in our universe. Dunsink Observatory in Dublin, as mentioned above, Astronomy Ireland, Crawford Observatory in Cork; colleges such as Trinity College Dublin, Maynooth University, the National University of Ireland in Galway and also Dublin Institute of Advanced Studies and many more are also a part of the community.
With such collaborations around the world, Ireland is not so far in achieving proper recognition for the astronomy and cosmology field.
Interested in Science? Read more:
- Chaos Theory
- Science Gallery of Dublin
The History of Astronomy in Ireland