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There's an inflatable star dome coming to Co Antrim

8th Nov 2017

An inflatable star dome is coming to Co Antrim as part of an exhibition of award-winning photos of the night skies across Northern Ireland and beyond.

‘Heavens Above’, which will open at Carrickfergus Museum this month, is a collection of photos taken by the Irish Astronomical Association. The inflatable star dome will bring an added element of fun.

This mobile planetarium will feature captivating star shows throughout the opening weekend.

If the sky is clear, visitors will also be able to use real telescopes to view the night sky, while virtual reality headsets will also give visitors a taste of the great beyond.

This is the last chance to catch a glimpse of the exhibition as its yearlong tour comes to an end.

Visitors to the exhibition will have a unique opportunity to see real meteorites and vintage astronomical instruments from the Armagh Planetarium and Observatory.

These objects include a lunar globe once owned by Sir Patrick Moore and a 19th Century refractory telescope which have never been on loan for public viewing before.  

The event will feature talks by Dr Mike Simms on Meteorites and by IAA President, Paul Evans on Night Sky photography.

The exhibition at the Carrickfergus Museum has been co-ordinated by IAA members Terry Moseley, Paul Evans and professional photographer, Bernie Brown. Bernie and Paul have a number of images being showcased.

Paul said: "The starry heavens are a broad tapestry against which a variety of beautiful and stunning events can be witnessed. Many of these are transient and short-lived and to photograph them, it can provide moments of inspiration, vibrant colour and sometimes art.   

"The flash of a meteor, the incredible band of the Milky Way with its myriad of stars, or the awe of a total solar eclipse have all been captured in these images. Covering a range of subject matter from the mysterious clouds of the Milky Way, through to the electric colours of the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights), this exhibition is a must-see for everyone."

Some of the pictures in this exhibition have been taken with specialist equipment from exotic locations, as well as Northern Ireland, in order to capture the very best starlight possible.