Events at Armagh Observatory

Armagh Observatory and Planetarium is hosting two education and public outreach events on St Patrick’s Day Friday, March 17.

At 11.15am there will be a free public lecture in the Studio Theatre, The Market Place, Armagh: ‘Discovering Stars, Our Milky Way and Our Place in Space.’

The lecture, will be given by Professor Michael G. Burton (Director, Armagh Observatory and Planetarium).

The public lecture will be followed by a two hour afternoon guided tour of Armagh Observatory and its grounds, Astropark and Human Orrery.

An explanation of the Observatory’s Sonic Art exhibit ‘AroundNorth’ will also be provided. The tour starts at 2.30pm and will end around 4.30pm.

Professor Burton is the first director of the newly merged Armagh Observatory and Planetarium. He arrived in August last year from Australia to take up the appointment, coming from the University of New South Wales in Sydney where he was Director of Teaching in the School of Physics.

His research focuses on the life cycle of the interstellar medium, from which new planets and stars are born and into which the waste products of stellar evolution are expelled.

The interstellar medium forms a key part of the great ecosystem that drives the evolution of our Galaxy.

The tour of the Observatory at its grounds, Astropark and Human Orrery starts outside the main Observatory building at 2.30pm.

Visitors should note that because much of the tour will be outside, they should wear appropriate clothing in case of cold or inclement weather.

Professor Mark Bailey, Emeritus Director of the Observatory, said: “These St Patrick’s Day events provide a great opportunity for visitors to hear about some of the most recent discoveries in astronomy whilst also learning something about the Armagh Observatory, which has a unique heritage of astronomy stretching back more than 225 years.”

Those who wish to attend the free public lecture in the Market Place Theatre should contact the Box Office on 028-3752-1800 or online at

Tickets for the afternoon tour (£7 per adult) are also available from the Theatre Box Office on 028-3752-1800, or online at Access to the Observatory is from College Hill by the driveway shared with the Armstrong Primary School.