Ireland day 0724. Friday 22 September 2023- Visitors Leave & Dunsink *

Ireland day 0724. Friday 22 September 2023- Visitors Leave & Dunsink
Today’s summary Took our visitors to see Val in the museum, then quick stroll in the demesne, lunch and drop off at airport.   As its Culture Night I went to the Dunsink Observatory and Val worked late at the museum
Today’s weather Bright and breezy with plenty of sun and the occasional shower.   Moderate north westerly wind.   Appx 15C
Today’s overview location
(The blue mark shows the location of our route)
Close-up location
(The blue line shows where we walked)
(No GPX today)

(Summary blog only.   Last full blog was Day 0368).

Our visitors had an afternoon flight back to the UK today, so first thing I took them across to the Casino Museum to introduce them to Val’s model railway.   It was looking delightful today!   There was just time for a quick stroll in the demesne before a light lunch then we jumped in the car and I took them back to the airport.   We really enjoyed having them to stay, and Dublin has been looking its best while they were here.

The other big event of the day today was “Culture Night”.   It’s an event when public sector buildings are opened up for everyone to come along and have a look round, and on my agenda tonight was the Dunsink Observatory.   (Sadly, Val couldn’t join me as she was working on her own Culture Night event at the Model Railway Museum).

We had driven round to take a look at the observatory from the outside a few months ago, but couldn’t actually go inside.   Tonight was the opportunity to have a look and it was absolutely fascinating.

The observatory is situated in an odd place, a green oasis of fields, sandwiched between the M50 motorway and the local dump.   A dark and decrepit road – littered with fly-tipped washing machines and burnt out cars – makes an unprepossessing approach, but the site itself is a real gem.   Fifteen astronomers work there full time, and there is a beautiful, fully operating 12″ refractor telescope, is still on site.   Sadly the weather is too poor in Dublin to do much direct observation from Dunsink, so most of the researchers’ data comes from remote sources – including the James Webb Space Telescope.   I chatted to one PhD student, working exoplanetary weather.  Amazing!

I spent an hour having a good look around, then headed back round the M50 to Malahide, to join Val for a quiet evening at home.   Very much looking forward now to having a nice beer to round off a remarkably full-on but very successful week.

Today’s photos (click to enlarge)

In the Casino model railway museum this morning In the Dunsink Observatory grounds – an amazing oasis which feels miles from anywhere, apart from the continuous roar of the motorway
The “Meridian Room”.   Lots of exhibits about Dublin Mean Time in here.  DMT was 25 minutes ahead of GMT.   It only moved to GMT in October 1916 Round the back of Observatory House – where the scientists all hang out
The 12″ South Refractor (named after Sir James South, not the geographic location).   It’s in full working order and it’s absolutely beautiful.   A real work of art The telescope was made by Grubb.   they later merged with Parsons (of Birr) and Parsons Grubb made one of the main modern telescops at La Palma, in the Canary Islands
Observatory House
Interactive map

(No map today)

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