Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies contact@dias.ie 00353 (0) 16140100

Education and Outreach

Education and Outreach

Open Nights

Open Nights are held on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of each month during the winter months (October-March). Weather permitting, visitors can view celestial objects through the historic Grubb Telescope and two smaller telescopes. Visitors can also attend audio-visual presentations and lectures on a wide variety of topics in astronomy. There is also a question and answer session on all your astronomy related queries. Open nights are free of charge.

If you wish to attend, please register for a free ticket.

For more information on open nights contact Hilary O’Donnell, Tel: 087-6294966, E-mail.

Introducing Astronomy to Youth/Family groups

From time to time Dunsink Observatory holds a special evening for parents and children who want to learn more about astronomy and space. This family event evening kicks off at approximately 7:30 pm with a short presentation, followed by live stargazing (weather permitting) and a lively question and answer session. The evening  presents an exciting opportunity for parents and children to meet a real astronomer and explore the night sky together.

For more information or to register for the next  family event please contact Hilary O’Donnell,

Tel: 087-6294966, E-mail.




  • Schools and Colleges

    School/College trips to Dunsink Observatory can be arranged if booked beforehand. These trips can be organised for day or evening time.

  • Science Week – Astronomy Watch (8th-15th November 2015)

    Astronomy Watch is an outreach programme run by the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies to coincide with Science Week Ireland.

    During Science Week, a number of Secondary Schools are invited to visit Dunsink Observatory and take part in Astronomy Watch. Lectures on a wide variety of topics in astronomy are held, and weather permitting, students are given the opportunity to look through the Grubb Telescope located in the South Dome at Dunsink Observatory.

    The aim of this programme is to promote science as a career path for school students and as a source of interest and excitement for everyone.

    For more information on these events or to request an invitation for your school, please contact
    Hilary O’Donnell, or Anne Grace.

For details on upcoming events: fb2



Astronomy Trail

The Astronomy Trail is a major initiative led by The Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (DIAS) to establish an astronomy tourism trail covering observatories, visitor centres and astronomical research institutes across the Island of Ireland. This initiative aims to establish a link between Science and Culture and to promote heritage and cultural tourism on a trail that can be followed, in whole or in part, by individuals, families, groups or organized tours.
Proposed by Prof. Luke Drury, Director of the School of Cosmic Physics, DIAS, and inspired by the French “Routes des Observatoires”, it is intended that the Irish Astronomy trial will be integrated into other European astronomical heritage and outreach projects.
The trail includes sites of astronomical interest including megalithic monuments such as the passage tomb at Newgrange, Birr Castle and its mighty reconstructed telescope, and the observatories at Dunsink and Armagh. While astronomers may be aware of some of the sights to seen on the trail, it is hoped that the website and information will make it easier for people to appreciate the cultural heritage of Ireland and to visit the less well-known places.


Universe Awareness and Space Scoop

unawe UNAWE is an International Astronomical Union (IAU) endorsed programme that uses the beauty and grandeur of the Universe to encourage young children, particularly those from an underprivileged background, to have an interest in science and technology and foster their sense of global citizenship from the earliest age. UNAWE was founded five years ago and is already active in 40 countries comprising a global network of almost 500 astronomers, teachers and other educators.


Universe Awareness has started a collaboration with the European Southern Observatory (ESO) to produce the astronomy news service Space Scoop — versions of ESO Science and Photo Releases that are written specifically for children aged between 7 and 11 years old. Space Scoop is meant to feed children’s curiosity about the Universe, by allowing them to access ESO releases. Space Scoop will be available online at the same time as the original version of a release, so children can learn about the latest developments in astronomy as they happen.