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DIAS Scholar wins 2017 Earnshaw Medal

Congratulations to Anton Feeney-Johansson on being awarded the Earnshaw medal for best undergraduate physics thesis in Ireland for 2017.

Anton carried out his undergraduate project at the school of Cosmic Physics in DIAS and was mentored by Irish Research Council scholar Dr. Eamon O’Gorman. Anton’s work focused on measuring the temperature of the atmosphere of the famous red supergiant, Antares. To do this he used data from the Very Large Array in New Mexico, which is one of the most powerful radio telescopes in the world. Anton is due to start his PhD in radio astrophysics at DIAS in September 2017 and we’re looking forward to have him on board.

The Very Large Array radio telescope in New Mexico

Dunsink Observatory – Culture Night 2017

Dunsink Observatory is joining in the celebrations of Culture Night on Friday 22nd September 2017.

Address : Dunsink Lane,     Castleknock,  D15 (location)
Phone   : 087- 6294966

The Observatory will be open from 7:00pm to 11:00pm and during the evening, visitors will be able to view the historic observatory building, which were once the home of Sir William Rowan Hamilton, world renowned mathematician and scientist.

Visitors will also be able to see the historic Grubb telescope and hear the remarkable story of the Dublin company that became one of the greatest telescope makers in the World. Weather permitting, there will be various smaller telescopes on display for star-gazing.

There will be two talks given by astronomers from DIAS, and  advance booking is essential  for these talks.

The talks  are not suitable for children under 12.

Time: 7:30 pm
Title: Winds On Earth, The Sun, And Other Stars


Time: 9:30 pm
Title: Imaging Stars And Searching For Exoplanets At Radio Wavelengths
Speaker: Dr Eamonn O’Gorman


2017-8-10 – Seminar by Prof. Balz Kamber (TCD)

10 August 2017Seminar

When: 16:00 on Thursday, 10th August 2017
Where: DIAS, Geophysics Section, 5 Merrion Square, Dublin 2, (library)

Speaker: Prof. Balz Kamber (Department of Geology, Trinity College Dublin)
Title: Why Archaean cratons differ from younger continental lithosphere.


The most outstanding features of Archaean cratons are their extraordinary thickness and enduring longevity. Seismically, Archaean cratonic fragments are sharply-bounded deep roots of buoyant cold lithospheric mantle, clearly distinguishable from non-cratonic lithosphere. The age of diamond inclusions and the Os-isotope composition of deep cratonic xenoliths support a model of coeval formation of the crustal and residual mantle portions.
Archaean and post-Archaean crust also differ, not in bulk composition, but in crustal architecture. Key drivers of crustal rearrangment were the radioactive heat-producers U, Th and K. In the early Earth, high radioactive heat production led to self-organisation into evolved, potassic upper and refractory lower crust. The lag time between crust formation and re-organisation was much shorter than today. An additional factor contributing to cratonic restruc-turing was the emplacement of dense supracrustal rocks in ensialic greenstone belts, leading to gravitational inversion. The dome and keel architecture of Archaean cratons was thus driven by crustal radioactive heat and high temperature mantle melting, yielding dense, low viscosity lavas piling up at surface.
A pleasing complementary observation from cratonic mantle roots is that refractory mantle nodules also suggest very high degrees of melting and extraction. Thus, the most logical conclusion seems that the komatiite mantle source was up to 500ºC hotter than modern astheno¬sphere. With higher degree and depth of melting, a thicker and severely depleted bouyant cratonic residue was formed, perfectly equipped to preserve the Archaean crustal record.
However, there are significant inconsistencies in this otherwise convincing line of reasoning. They include: Archaean crust is not especially thick, the dunites expected after very high degree melting are rare, many cratonic harzburgites are much richer in orthopyroxene than predicted [1], and cratonic harzburgites often contain garnet. Finding a solution to these issues has important ramifications for secular evolution of the continents and thermal evolution of the mantle. In this presentation, I will contrast the various proposed solutions, including purging of surprisingly carbonated ancient mantle [e.g. 2], onset of plate tectonics, a Neoarchaean superplume event and collapse of Hadean cumulate barriers.
[1] Boyd (1989) EPSL 89, 15-26
[2] Herzberg (2016) J. Petrol. 57, 2271-2288

Modern Physics Letters A – Samuel Kováčik (STP) Published Paper

Samuel Kováčik – School of Theoretical Physics, DIAS

We study a black hole with a blurred mass density instead of a singular one, which is caused by the noncommutativity of three-space. Depending on its mass, such object has either none, one or two event horizons. It possesses properties, which become important on a microscopic scale, in particular, the Hawking temperature does not increase indefinitely as the mass goes to zero, but vanishes instead. Such frozen and extremely dense pieces of matter are good dark matter candidates.

Earthquake Donegal, 2nd August 2017, M1.5

On the 2nd August at 05:46 UTC (06:46 local time) an earthquake of magnitude 1.5 occurred in Donegal (NE of Milford on the Fanad Peninsula). Location 55.11N, 7.59W, see figure below.

There are reports of this event having been felt in the area around Milford. Events of this nature are not uncommon in this region. The largest event recorded in this area was a magnitude 2.2 which occurred near Clonmany on 21st November 1994.

The event was recorded at stations of the Irish National Seismic Network (INSN) and the BGS, see seismic traces below.

Fri 22nd Sept- Culture Night 2017


Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies will participate in Culture Night again this year on Friday 22nd September.

Programme for Geophysics Section, 5 Merrion Square, Dublin 2

Programme for Dunsink Observatory

#CultureNight #LOVEculture

31st July – Visit to DIAS by Mr George Zurabashvili, Chargé d’Affaires of the Embassy of Georgia to Ireland

Mr George Zurabashvili, Chargé d’Affaires of the Embassy of Georgia to Ireland, visited Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies yesterday & met with Dr Eucharia Meehan, the Registrar and CEO of DIAS.

School of Celtic Studies Tionól 2017 – Call for Papers

This year’s Tionól will take place at the School of Celtic Studies, 10 Burlington Road, Dublin 4, on 17 and 18 November. Papers will relate to any aspect of Celtic Studies, and will be 30 minutes in duration.

We would be grateful to anyone who intends offering a paper for this Tionól if they would submit details of the following:

  • proposed title of paper
  • abstract of paper (in writing or as an email attachment)
  • notice of any lecturing aids that may be required

The programme for the Tionól will be finalised in the autumn, and will then be circulated, and will appear on the School’s website.

The deadline for submission of papers is Friday 22nd September.

Submissions should be marked for the attention of Tionól, School of Celtic Studies, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, 10 Burlington Road, Dublin 4, or emailed to tionol@celt.dias.ie.

28th August 2017 : Workshop on Cherenkov Telescope Array – Ireland

Workshop to discuss participation in the Cherenkov Telescope Array project in Ireland.

Funded by the Irish Research Council New Foundations scheme

Venue: DIAS, 10 Burlington Road, Dublin 4

Date: Monday August 28, 2017, 10am – 5pm (approx.)

The Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) (https://www.cta-observatory.org) is a multinational, worldwide project to build a new generation ground-based gamma-ray instrument with an order of magnitude improvement in the sensitivity compared to the current instruments and extension of the accessible energy range to above 100 TeV. There are two sites for CTA, one on La Palma in the Canary Islands, the other in Chile close to the ESO VLT and ELT telescopes.

This workshop will continue the discussion started during the January meeting in Armagh which  focussed on opportunities for scientists across the island of Ireland to engage in the CTA. During that meeting it was decided to establish a CTA-Ireland association. The objectives of this association are to promote participation by Ireland in the CTA Consortium at all levels, scientific, industrial and political, and to engage in public outreach activities in support of CTA. Irish scientists from 6 institutes have already signed an agreement to become members of the CTA-Ireland association.

Currently scientists from Dublin are involved into the scientific simulations needed to define best observational strategy. Scientists from Armagh are working on the provision of the maps of the distribution of molecular clouds for the CTA observatory, needed to interpret the data produced primarily by these telescopes. These efforts could be joined and expanded for full involvement in the CTA project. In particular, the expertise of Irish scientists could be important to address one of the main challenges with CTA – the acquisition and processing of the enormous volumes of data it will produce. CTA will handle up to one hundred telescopes, each producing data in parallel at rates ranging from a few megabytes to several gigabytes per second. Besides the raw data streams, the telescopes will also produce high volume control and engineering data streams. This requires the development of new data management techniques. Our joint efforts could contribute to several key packages to aid the CTA data effort.

Undoubtedly there are other opportunities. For instance, in the exploration of the time domain for high-energy astrophysics and the need for complementary observations at other wavelengths to detect and interpret sources.

The CTA will explore our Universe in depth at very high energies and investigate cosmic nonthermal processes. CTA will serve as an open observatory for a wide astrophysical community, and will be the principal instrument that will provide deep insight into the generation of the most energetic particles in nature.

The CTA Consortium consists of over 1200 members working in 200 institutes from 32 countries. CTA is included in the 2008 roadmap of the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI). It is one of the “Magnificent Seven” of the European strategy for astroparticle physics published by ASPERA, and highly ranked in the “strategic plan for European astronomy” of ASTRONET.

The aim of this workshop is to bring interested scientists together from across Ireland to discuss these opportunities and explore routes for collaboration and further engagement in the CTA. We will have representatives from CTA as well as the CTA-UK consortium present in the meeting to provide a broad perspective on the CTA project and its needs and challenges.


If interested in attending please email Masha Chernyakova (masha.chernyakova@dcu.ie) at DCU. If interested in giving a presentation, for instance related to possible opportunities or relevant expertise that you might be able to contribute to CTA, please let her know.


Sediments make the colour: Dr. Eva Eibl’s photo/post on EGU Blogs

Imaggeo on Mondays: Sediments make the colour! Read Eva’s piece on EGU Blogs

Imaggeo on Mondays: Sediments make the colour