Update on May 22nd: General information on the conference dinner and excursions now available, see under “Social Programme/Excursions”.
We are pleased to announce that the 42nd European Symposium on Occultation Projects will be held at Armagh Observatory and Planetarium on 16th – 17th September 2023. To indicate your interest in participating, please send an email with your name, institute and email address to firstname.lastname@example.org
Armagh is a town of circa 25,000 in Northern Ireland – one of the four UK nations – located some 20 mi from the border with the Republic of Ireland (RoI). Armagh is considered the ecclesiastical capital of Ireland, was given city status in 1994 and is home to two cathedrals (both named St Patrick’s!). Travel to and from Armagh is served by three major airports, Dublin International (DUB; 90 min by car), Belfast International (BFS; 45 min by car) and Belfast City (BHD; 70 min by car). Many low-cost flights are available to these airports. Regular bus services exist between Armagh and Belfast or Dublin.
A social programme will be available following the meeting.
Occultations and eclipses – when a body or its shadow appear to move in front of another body – have played a pivotal role in the development of astronomy and continue to do so in the professional era e.g. the 1919 solar eclipse that confirmed Einstein’s theory of relativity. Nowadays, eclipse and occultation phenomena act as catalysts for advances in solar and stellar physics, exoplanet research and the study of rings, planetary atmospheres and small bodies in our solar system.
Due to the time- and location-sensitive nature of occultations, acquisition of research-grade data often relies on a network of highly-motivated amateur astronomers. The need to coordinate this global resource for astronomy led to the establishment of the International Occultation Timing Association (IOTA), a worldwide amateur-professional organisation focusing on occultation & eclipse phenomena within the solar system.
Founded at about the same time, the European Section of IOTA (IOTA-ES) is a non-profit organisation “..open to all people interested in occultation astronomy, either as a technology expert, observer, researcher or just a person who loves this special kind of nature in the solar system.”. At every year since 1981, IOTA-ES has been holding a meeting, the European Symposium on Occultation Projects (ESOP), to foster interaction and collaboration between amateur astronomers and between amateurs & professionals. AOP will be hosting the 42nd ESOP in the City of Armagh, the first to be held in the island of Ireland.
Welcome to ESOP 42!
Some preliminary information about the meeting can be found in these presentation sides.
Registration and deadlines
- Please register for the conference here.
- Please pay here to complete your registration for ESOP 42. The promo code to be used for this meeting is CONFAOP23
- Please submit your contribution title and abstract here.
Early registration: July 16th.Abstract submission (talk/poster): July 16th. Hotel Reservation (Armagh City Hotel discounted rate): August 15th. See under “Accommodation” tab for more information.
The conference programme will appear here.
Venue and Travel
The conference will be held at Armagh Observatory and Planetarium in the cathedral city of Armagh in Northern Ireland. AOP combines a 230-yr old historic Observatory, home to the Dreyer New General Catalogue and the Shelton “Regulator” clock used by His Majesty King George III to time the 1769 Transit of Venus, with a modern astronomical research department and a state-of-the-art Planetarium facility dedicated to exposing and educating its approx. 15,000 annual visitors to space and astronomy. AOP is one of three historical observatories in Ireland, the others being Birr Castle (Co. Offaly, RoI) and Dunsink Obs. (Co. Dublin, RoI).
In addition to these sites of astronomical interest, the island offers a wide variety of sightseeing destinations to the casual visitor, such as the Antrim coast and Giant’s Causeway, the Titanic Quarter in Belfast or the Sperrin & Mourne Mountain ranges.
For further information about local places of interest, visit:
Armagh is served by three airports:
- Belfast International (BFS)
- Belfast City (BHD)
- Dublin International (DUB)
Travel to Armagh from the airport is via bus, taxi or rented car. There is no train station in Armagh. The nearest one is in Portadown (approx 15 min from Armagh by car).
Visas and other Authorisations
Participants are responsible for ensuring their own eligibility to enter the UK and, if required, for obtaining the appropriate visa.
The organisers can issue a formal letter of invitation to potential participant that require such a letter for visa or funding purposes. If required, please write to email@example.com (Subject: esop42 invitation) and provide your full name, institute, and contact details.
A block of 40 rooms has been reserved for the nights of Friday 15 – Tuesday 19 September at the Armagh City Hotel. The room booking is inclusive of full breakfast, free wifi, use of the leisure club, complimentary car parking, and VAT. To book a room, delegates must contact the hotel’s Central Reservations office on (+44)28 3751 8888 and choose option 1, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. A credit/debit card number will be required to guarantee the booking. Please quote “Armagh Observatory” at the time of booking to qualify for the discounted rate. The block reservation will expire on the 15th August. Delegates wishing to stay additional nights should book early to avoid disappointment.
The Visit Armagh webpages offer more recommendations for accommodation, including self-catered options. You may find other options not listed on the above websites from Airbnb and booking.com.
Four low-cost rooms are also available onsite at AOP. These will be allocated strictly on the basis of financial need. Enquiries and circumstances should be sent to Aileen McKee (email@example.com) before June 11th.
The following people have registered for ESOP XLII:
(listed in alphabetical order of the surname)
Name Organisation Country Talk / Poster Title Maciej Borkowski Occultation Section of Polish Amateur Astronomers’ Society; IOTA-ES Poland T – Wojciech Burzynski+3 Occultation Section of Polish Amateur Astronomers’ Society Poland T – Juliana Grell Stiftung Planetarium Berlin Germany – – Konrad Guhl+1 IOTA-ES; Archenhold-Sternwarte, Berlin Germany T Planned Observation of the occultation of Betelgeuse by (319) Leona Tim Haymes BAA; IOTA-ES UK T – Oliver Klös+1 IOTA/ES Germany – – Alex Pratt BAA; IOTA-ES UK T – Frank Schaeffer IOTA-ES; Archenhold-Sternwarte, Berlin Germany T Validation of Asteroid Models by Occultation Results Andreas Tegtmeier+1 IOTA-ES Germany – – Derrick Ward+1 IOTA UK – –
Social Programme / Excursions
The conference dinner will take place at at the Charlemont Arms Hotel, 7:30 PM on Saturday 16th September.
Evening of Sunday 17th: Short visit to Navan Fort (2 miles from Armagh).
Monday 18th: Walking tour of Armagh City incl. a tour of the Observatory.
Tuesday 19th: Coach bus tour of Northern Ireland, exact itinerary TBD.
Scientific Organising Committee: Apostolos Christou
Local Organising Committee: Heather Alexander, Apostolos Christou, Simon Jeffery, Gavin Ramsay, Marc Sarzi, Sinead Mackle, Laura Scott, Aileen McKee, Ceara Ryan
The LOC and SOC can be contacted by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org