By Marie-Claire Byard, who featured previously here. Orion image above by Tom O’Donoghue

The IAS (Irish Amateur Astronomers) and IFAS (Irish Federation of Astronomical Societies) have organised this first major photographic exhibition by Irish Astronomers. Sponsored by Canon Ireland.

This exhibition of astronomical images were captured by amateur astronomers from all over Ireland, for the first time, giving them a platform to showcase their amazing work. Images of the Stars, the Galaxy and the Solar System are on view in the National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin, Dublin.

I had the pleasure of attending the intimate launch on Monday 1st February. The exhibition is housed in a beautiful space above the main reception that over looks the gardens. It is on until 21st February, well worth checking out, especially as children are encouraged to foster an interest in astronomy at a young age.

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Recent advances in digital photography have meant capturing beautiful images such as these is within the reach of amateur photographers, from their own back gardens.

Leo Enright in his opening address at this event commended the Irish Astronomical Society for making this extraordinary exhibition happen and thanked Canon for their sponsorship of this event, without out their support this exhibition could not have happened.

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He went on to say that we should not loose sight of the importance of the skill of printing these remarkable pictures along with the hours that go into producing these pictures, you then you need the experts of fine photographic printers to bring the images to life.

This image by Tom O’Donoghue was 4 years in the making using 100 night photographs. If you look closely you will see several red dots in the picture, they are not blemishes, they are particular classes of star, such is the details in the image capture and print quality.

Speaking with Val Dunne from the Irish Astronomical Society he explained that they are a voluntary society established in 1937 with the aim to foster an interest in astronomy and to encourage members and friends to observe, photograph and enjoy the cosmos.

They provide FREE monthly astronomy talks from September to May and they give talks to school as well and host observing’s from Martello Tower, Sandymount and also in Clontarf yacht club. See more here:

Artist and Astronomer Deirdre Kelleghan has a few pieces of her amazing work on display at the exhibition – prints of her work which is originally done on black paper with soft pastels.

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