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Festival Programme in detail...

(for the compact, downloadable 'Festival at a Glance', click HERE)

Opening Night Reception

PERFORMANCE

Opening Event - Music with Patrick Dexter

The Festival Opening Event takes place at 7pm on Friday 4 November 2022 in Ballycroy Visitor Centre. This event will include a drinks reception, a short performance by cellist Patrick Dexter and, weather permitting, some walking and stargazing outdoors. This launch event has no entry fee, but we are obliged to charge a small registration fee of €2.

Friday 4 November

Ballycroy Visitor Centre

19:00 (approx)

€2 Registration Fee
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Astrophotography Exhibition

EXHIBITION

Photo Exhibition

Stunning night-time photographs by Josh Matthews and Aisling McGuire will be on display in Ballycroy Visitor Centre throughout the festival weekend. Entry is free and no booking is required. Josh and Aisling will also be giving an astrophotography workshop at 12 noon on Saturday 5 November - places are strictly limited and must be booked in advance

Sat 5 and Sun 6 November

Ballycroy Visitor Centre

All Day

FREE
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Kevin Gaston

TALK

Pervasive Impacts of Artificial Light

Understanding of the occurrence and environmental impacts of artificial light at night is growing very rapidly. This talk will highlight how artificial light has become an increasingly pervasive impact on the natural world, how it needs to be considered in those terms rather than as simply having localised effects on some particular kinds of plants or animals, and how we need to respond accordingly.

Saturday 5 November

Mulranny Arts Centre

10:00

€7.50 (or buy 1-day/2-Day Pass)
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Conor Ryan

WALK/WORKSHOP

Seashore Safari

On this Seashore Safari you will explore the marine habitats at Mulranny Beach and learn
about the creatures that live there (weather permitting).

Meet your guide Conor Ryan at Mulranny Beach at 10am

PLEASE NOTE - children must be accompanied by an adult for the Seashore Safari

Saturday 5 November

Mulranny Beach

10:00

FREE
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Derek Dempsey

TALK

First Steps in Astronomy

For those of us just starting on our journey of discovery, Derek will introduce us to the wonders of astronomy. He will give an overview of some basic concepts in Astronomy, looking at the evolution of our universe and how stars and planets are formed, leading on to a star's life cycle and how stars' colours and distances are measured. Along the way, some famous astronomers, who have made significant contributions to these topics, will be mentioned. The talk will conclude with a look some practical aspects of getting started in Astronomy and being out there under the night sky.

Saturday 5 November

Hotel Newport

11:00

€7.50 (or buy 1-day/2-Day Pass)
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Planetarium Shows

PLANETARIUM

Planetarium Shows

The StarDome, BCO's portable planetarium will be making an appearance once again at our Dark Sky Festival!
Shows will run Saturday (11:30am, 12:30pm and 3pm) and Sunday (11:30am, 12:30pm and 3pm) and will give you and your family the chance to discover the wonders of the night sky in their inflatable dome.

​Each show lasts 20 minutes and is FREE. With a limited capacity of 25 people per session, we suggest getting there early. If you do miss a show or it is full, you can always come back for the next one!

There is plenty of free parking at Newport Nationals School.

Unfortunately the Dome is not wheelchair accessible

Sat 5 & Sun 6 November

Newport National School

11:30 | 12:30 | 15:00

FREE (no pre-booking necessary)
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Karen Weekes

TALK

Rowing the Atlantic: The night skies

Rowing 3,000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean in 80 days, meant 80 variable night skies and night rowing conditions. It is these memorable night skies that will be the main focus of this presentation

Saturday 5 November

Mulranny Arts Centre

11:30

€7.50 (or buy 1-day/2-Day Pass)
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Josh Mathews & Aisling McGuire

WORKSHOP

Practical Landscape Astrophotography Workshop

We'll be talking through the basics of landscape astrophotography. We'll cover what's good to photograph in Ireland, when to photograph it (including forecasting and planning) and basic setup. We'll give practical examples from our own experiences and talk a little bit about camera settings at the end. We'll leave time after the presentation so that if you like, you can bring your own camera and we'll look through the right astrophotography settings together.

Saturday 5 November

Ballycroy Visitor Centre

12:00

€10
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Guided Walks

WALK

Guided Walks at Ballycroy National Park

Michael will be your expert companion on the guided walks around Ballycroy Visitor Centre on Saturday and Sunday
Meet at the Visitor Centre at 2pm on Saturday 5th November or Sunday 6th November

Sat 5 & Sun 6 November

Ballycroy Visitor Centre

14:00

FREE
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Chasseurs de Nuits

EXHIBITION

CANCELLED Nightscapes of the 2022 Photo NightScape Awards

UPDATE 31 OCT - this event cancelled due to family illness

The Photo Nightscape Awards are one of the most important photo awards in the world. This 9th edition saw more than 500 photographs submitted from more than 20 countries. Any photographer can enter in the 5 categories offered: Nightscape, In Town, Black & White, Smartphone and Timelapse. For the first time, the winners are exhibited in Ireland at the Mayo Dark Sky Festival - the festival's official partner.
In 2023, the Chasseurs de Nuits association, which organizes the Photo Nightscape Awards, will celebrate its 10th anniversary, so follow us on our social networks and prepare your cameras, we have a lot of nice surprises in store for you!

Sat 5 & Sun 6 November

Ballycroy Visitor Centre

Open all Day

FREE
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Éanna ní Lamhna

TALK

Marine Life - blinded by the Light

Éanna will explore how changing light levels are affecting Ireland's marine habitats - full abstract to follow

Saturday 5 November

Mulranny Arts Centre

14:00

€7.50 (or buy 1-day/2-Day Pass)
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Brian Harvey

TALK

China in Space

China's space station circles the Earth, whilst its rovers travel across the plains of Mars and the far side of the Moon. This presentation records how China became a space superpower; describes its current projects; and outlines its future ambitions.

Saturday 5 November

Hotel Newport

14:30

€7.50 (or buy 1-day/2-Day Pass)
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Prof Mark McCaughrean

TALK

The James Webb Space Telescope: from first light to new planets

After more than three decades of development, construction, integration, and test, the
NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope was launched from French Guiana on Christmas Day 2021 before six months of complex deployment and commissioning in orbit around the Sun-Earth L2 point. In this talk, I'll give an overview of the scientific rationale for this astonishing machine, the technological challenges that had to be overcome in realising it, some insight into the early scientific results, and possible breakthroughs that it promises now that it is in full operation.

Saturday 5 November

Hotel Newport

16:00

€7.50 (or buy 1-day/2-Day Pass)
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Gala Dinner

DINNER

Gala Dinner

The Festival's Gala Dinner takes place in the GN Mulranny Park Hotel on Saturday 5 November 2022. There will be a drinks reception at 7:30pm in the hotel, followed by a three course dinner and entertainment starting at 8pm.

Saturday 5 November

GN Mulranny Park Hotel

19:30

€40
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Colin Guilfoyle

TALK

The potential for ecological restoration in Mayo Dark Sky Park

The UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration is currently running from 2021-2030, with the aim of stopping and reversing habitat degradation worldwide. Restoring ecosystems can have huge benefits, both for humans and biodiversity. My talk will discuss opportunities for restoration within the Park, focussing on the area known as the Nephin Forest, and how my PhD research will support potential restoration activities.

Sunday 6 November

Mulranny Arts Centre

10:30

€7.50 (or buy 1-day/2-Day Pass)
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Brendan Owens

TALK

Next Steps in Astronomy

Building on Saturday's talk 'First steps in Astronomy' by Derek Dempsey, Brendan will look in more detail at our own solar system, and also give some valuable pointers to those new to amateur astronomy on just what to look for and look at in the winter skies.

Sunday 6 November

Hotel Newport

11:00

€7.50 (or buy 1-day/2-Day Pass)
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Rebecca Senior

TALK

Who Owns the Moon? and other questions - an Introduction to Space Law

Law governs just about everything we do on Earth, but what about our activities in space?

Who owns the moon? * Who owns, or should own, material mined from an asteroid? * What is the extent of liability if a country acts negligently in space? * Whose laws apply on a spacecraft? * Is anyone bound to act to save an astronaut in need? * How does the law need to evolve in the face of the commercialisation of space?

These are just some of the questions which arise from the fascinating and ever evolving area of space law. Space law is the body of law which governs space activity encompassing a range of areas from public international law to specific areas of commerce. This talk will give you an introduction to the area and attempt to answer some of these questions.

Sunday 6 November

Mulranny Arts Centre

11:30

€7.50 (or buy 1-day/2-Day Pass)
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Miracle Puppets

WORKSHOP+SHOW

Silk Puppet workshop followed by Puppet show

Experience how a piece of silk and 5 wooden balls come to life. The WORKSHOP lasts approx one hour and costs 10 euros per child. Places are strictly limited to 10 children, and all children must be accompanied by an adult (but don't worry, accompanying adults go free!)
Afterwards children can dance their own puppet on the stage at the PUPPET SHOW, along with the Miracle Puppets cast of characters, including Hans, Ann Caithlin, Little Hans, Hugo and Reinhard.

WORKSHOP places are strictly limited, PUPPET SHOW open to all and free

Sunday 6 November

Mulranny Arts Centre

13:30 (workshop) | 15:00 (show)

Workshop €10 | Puppet Show FREE
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Prof Sera Markoff

TALK

Peering into the darkness: black holes in the Event Horizon Telescope era

The night sky may seem pretty dark and empty but it is full of billions of stars, galaxies and, perhaps most intriguingly, black holes. Black holes are one of the weirdest byproducts of Einstein's Theory of General Relativity: objects so compact that not even light can escape. Dormant black holes are a challenge to discover, however when they get lucky enough to capture and "harvest" nearby matter, whether dust or asteroids, or even planets and stars, they become not only visible but extremely bright, across the entire electromagnetic spectrum. The fact that they have an event horizon leads to a prediction that if we only had a good enough telescope, we should see a ring of light surrounding a dark "shadow" indicating that point of no return. In 2019 the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT), a planet-sized array of radio telescopes, managed to see exactly this for the solar system sized supermassive black hole in the M87 galaxy, and just this past May we revealed the supermassive black hole in our own Milky Way's centre! I will talk about the Universe's most bizarre characters (IMHO) and the EHT results, as well as answer your questions about black holes!

Sunday 6 November

Hotel Newport

14:30

€7.50 (or buy 1-day/2-Day Pass)
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Brother Guy Consolmagno SJ

TALK

“Catholic” Cosmologies?

From angels and demons to photons and quarks, we’ve always been curious about how the universe works. But every cosmology, from materialism to Catholicism, is based on assuming things that we may not even realize we are assuming: things we take on faith. And so our cosmologies can be as fun and quirky as the people who invented them! We’ll look into the stories behind how St. Paul, St. Augustine, Galileo, Kepler and Newton, and on up to Stephen Hawking, have all cast their own peculiar take on the big questions of the universe.

Sunday 6 November

Hotel Newport

16:00

€7.50 (or buy 1-day/2-Day Pass)
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Kerem Asfuroglu

EXHIBITION

Newport Lighting Plan

An overview of the Newport Dark Sky Masterplan project which will be completed in 2023.

Sunday 6 November

Hotel Newport

AFTERNOON

FREE
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Closing Event

WALK+MUSIC

Lantern Walk and Music with Dathanna

We close our 2022 festival with a fluorish! Festival goers will take part in a Lantern Walk from Hotel Newport up to the iconic 100 year old St. Patricks Church, where Kerem Asfuroglu will describe our ambitious plans for re-designing the lighting in Newport town to help it become the first Dark Sky Friendly town in Ireland.
Duo Datahann will then deliever a short performance with harp and clarinet in the church before we all say our goodbyes - until next year.

[This event is FREE for all festival ticket holders (so hold on to those tickets!) All others €5 at the door]

Sunday 6 November

St Patricks Church Newport

18:30

FREE for festival ticket holders
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