Space Week is Here! | Socialising Science

It’s National Space week Oct 3rd-8th! What better way to celebrate it than to give you a post dedicated to all things space happening around the country this week from the new Space Ambassador for Northern Ireland Niamh Shaw – Congratulations Niamh! Stayed tuned to HeadStuff too this week for all sorts of fun Space-related articles for you to enjoy.

Space Week!

Space Week is Ireland’s newest national STEM (Science, Technology, Engineers and Maths) week running in parallel with World Space Week in association with Science Foundation Ireland and European Space Education Resource Office (ESERO) Ireland.

Organised by CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory in association with Science Foundation Ireland and ESERO Ireland, Space Week is a week to focus on the wonders and realities of the Universe around us. Events will be taking place throughout Ireland to enable all people to explore how, as 21st century citizens under one sky, we can use the power of critical thinking, science, technology, engineering and maths to shape our understanding of life on Earth and our place in Space.

People will enjoy space themed events like stargazing, astronomy talks, MoonCycles and space related workshops and activities, predominantly all free, to celebrate this year’s festival theme of ‘Our Planet, Our Space, Our Time’. I’m looking forward to seeing you during Space week, the full programme can be found on but some of my personal highlights include:

Ireland in Space- a visual story of Astronomy

Space Week photos
Top Left: Space Art by Deirdre Kelleghan, artist, astronomer, educated. Bottom Left & Right: Emer O’Boyle Director Art in Science UCD, with David Murphy, Antonio Martin-Carrillo. Photos of Mount Teide Observatory Tenerife

All year, the Irish space community have been working together to create a special photography exhibition of stunning imagery from Ireland’s skies and from space. The final exhibition of 22 plates, which is currently on display at Cork Airport, is a celebration of Space week charting the impact of space on the past, present and future of Ireland.

CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory curated the exhibition of composite images selected from a wide variety of submissions from Irish research groups and observatories, earth observation companies as well as artists and amateur astro-photographers.

Personally, I think this exhibition is a highlight of Space week and well worth catching. You can see this visual story of astronomy in Ireland throughout September at Cork Airport and during Space Week, the exhibition will have a pop up tour at a number of events across the country. And if none of that suits your calendar, you can view the images on the Space Week website.

SpaceUp- a Space Unconference, October 8th

Space Week Space Up conference poster
Pic: SpaceUp Unconference (Credit Jonathan Faull, 2016)


SpaceUp is a day event suited for everyone with an interest in space: students, academics, professionals, general public and you! The idea behind this UnConference is to bring together space enthusiasts for a day of learning, sharing and networking about space in Ireland. Being an Unconference, means that anyone who attends is encouraged to give a talk, ask a question or show off something they know about space in Ireland.

There will also be some keynote talks from well-known space players, including Irish Physician and NASA Aquanaut Marc O Griofa coming to share his exciting underwater adventure when he lived some 20 metres under the Atlantic Ocean as part of the NASA extreme environment mission operations (NEEMO) project.

SpaceUp takes place on October 8th at the Cork Institute of Technology, tickets cost €25 which includes lunch – I’ve heard that the goodie bags are pretty great too

For more information and to register visit You can also follow SpaceUp on Twitter and Facebook!

Bright Club, Cork, October 7th 7pm

bright club
Pic: Bright Club Cork (Credit: Jessamyn Fairfield 2016)

Jessamyn’s Fairfield’s variety night for lateral minds, aka Bright Club, will make its debut in Cork on October 7th at Blackrock Castle with a special ‘Space-themed’ line-up of contributors. Our headliner is Australian comedian and Mars One finalist, Josh Richards with an abridged version of his show ‘Cosmic Nomad’ currently touring internationally. And I will be your MC for the night, whats not to love? Further details including booking are available here.

Dream Big, Millennium Theatre Limerick, October 5th 8pm

Space Week Dream Big poster
Pic: Dream Big (Credit Niamh Shaw 2016)

I will be hosting this special Limerick event for Space week on October 5th at Millennium Theatre and I’d love it if you could join us. Chatting with space tourist Cyril Bennis and NASA Astronaut and Patron of Lough Gur Development Al Worden, they will share their stories of getting to space, personal archival footage and photography, the sacrifices they have made, their highs and lows, their strong Limerick connections and the significance of seeing the earth from a distance.

What does it take to achieve your dreams?

Its the 1960’s and in Limerick, 9 year old Cyril Bennis is sitting in his classroom as a man walks in that changes the course of his life forever. That man was John Glenn, NASA astronaut and the very first American to orbit the earth. Meanwhile, across the Atlantic ocean, as Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins are about to land on the moon, fighter pilot and young NASA astronaut Al Worden watches in the sidelines and wonders if his time will ever come.

He didn’t have to wait long because in 1971 Colonel Worden, orbited the moon as part of NASA’s iconic Apollo programme. And thanks to that fateful school visit, Cyril will be one of the first Irish people to orbit earth on XCor’s commercial spacecraft Lynx II in the coming months.

A family event for space enthusiasts of all ages this special evening celebrates Limerick’s involvement in space exploration past, present & future which will encourage us to never give up on our dreams. Tickets are €5/3 and booking at Millennium Theatre, Limerick

With so many science & curiosity-themed events happening regularly across the country and abroad, we try to capture them on ‘Socialising Science’ with video and a few words. And if you have an event you’d like to include, email [email protected] with ‘Socialising Science’ in the Subject line.

Main Image: HeadStuff Space Week logo by Aoife Flynn.