Skellig Star Party 2019

Roy Stewart, founder of the Skellig Star Party in County Kerry, Ireland, reports back on the 2019 event.

Astronomers celebrating a successful Skellig Star Party 2019. Credit: Roy Stewart
The 2019 Skellig Star Party was once again a huge success, with clear skies on both Friday and Saturday nights.
Friday, was a bit in and out, allowing those who had set up their amazing scopes and cameras to catch a glimpse of the truly awe inspiring Ballinskellig night sky.
As is usual for Skellig Star Party, Saturday started with our talks, which took place in Cable O’Leary’s function hall.
This year saw some really interesting and fun talks delivered expertly by our very knowledgeable speakers.
Pete Williamson during his talk on the Apollo missions at Skellig Star Party 2019. Credit: Roy Stewart
Pete Williamson during his talk on the Apollo missions at Skellig Star Party 2019. Credit: Roy Stewart
Our first speaker, Mr Ebor Benson, gave a very informative talk on astrophotography. This was Ebor’s first time speaking with us and although a little nervous, he completely knocked it out of the park.
After lunch we had a long time attendee and good friend of the Skellig Star Party, Mr Pete Williamson, give a really fun and captivating talk on the history of Apollo and the moon missions.
Our last speaker Mr Antonio Martin Carrillo, gave a fantastic talk on radio astronomy, blackholes, and the jaw dropping power of the stellar world.
An aerial view of Skellig Star Party 2019. Credit: Dave Kai Piper
An aerial view of Skellig Star Party 2019. Credit: Dave Kai Piper
Saturday evening (as like Friday) is making sure all our attendees are fed, and this is done each year with a fantastic BBQ in aid of Barnardos. The food was spectacular, with everybody happy and full.
As the evening progressed and the skies started to show their twinkling stars, everybody congregated outside to set up their scopes, cameras and anything else needed for a good night’s viewing.
This year’s skies (IMO) were the best I’ve seen in five years and six Skellig Star Parties.
The Milky Way was incredibly bright, and as we had lots and lots of rain early Saturday and into the mid afternoon, it made the seeing extremely good, giving our observers some truly spectacular views of the Gold Medal-awarded  dark skies in the region.
A view of the Milky Way over Skellig Star Party. Credit: Roy Stewart
A view of the Milky Way over Skellig Star Party. Credit: Roy Stewart

Viewing went on through the night into the wee hours of the morning, leaving all that attended Skellig StarParty 2019 going home with some amazing memories and new friendships.

I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who attended, to all those who so kindly sponsored our annual raffle, to our main sponsor Stephen Kershaw of Ktec Telescopes, to all the wonderful people of Ballinskellig who make us feel so welcome each year, Des Cronin, Steve Lynott, Cable O’Leary’s, and Freda at Skellig Lodge.
To all our speakers, thank you all so much. We hope we see you all again for Skellig Star Party 2020, 21-22 August.
From all the Skellig Star Party team, wishing you all clear skies.

Gallery: Skellig Star Party 2019

Roy Stewart is the founder and organiser of Skellig Star Party. For more information on the festival, visit skelligstarparty.com.
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