skip to main content
Prev April 2024 Next
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
31 01 02 03 04 05 06
07 08 09 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 01 02 03 04

From Space Rocks to Distant Solar Systems, a Backyard Adventure

As part of Irish Astronomy Week,

Mike Foylan will take us on a cosmic journey starting within our own Solar system on how you can image and measure asteroids using off the shelf common equipment found in many amateur astronomers’ backyards. Together we will explore the Irish connections past and present to these overlooked small worlds.

We will also explore meteors and talk about the Irish meteor monitoring network. We will then leave our solar system behind and explore distant solar systems, in particular, binary star systems and how these also can also be imaged and measured from ones backyard using modest equipment and how the amateur astronomer can contribute so much to the science of astronomy.

Minors must be accompanied by an adult. 

Booking via TickeTailor is required.

This event is part of Irish Astronomy Week.




Mike Foylan became interested in Astronomy at the age of 5, receiving his first telescope as a gift from his father at the age of ten. Since then he has become a keen amateur astronomer establishing in 2010, Cherryvalley Observatory based in the small village of Rathmolyon.

The observatory was awarded a recognized observatory code (I83) by the IAU (International Astronomical Union) and MPC (Minor Planet Centre) in 2011.

Its work primarily focuses on astrometry (position measuring) and photometry (light measurements) of minor planets (asteroids). He is also a member of the British Astronomical Association, Meath Astronomy Group and has affiliations with Kingsland Observatory based near Boyle County Roscommon Ireland and Spain which carries out primarily solar system studies and developing instrumented technologies for SETV research (Search for Extraterrestrial Visitation).

Cherryvalley observatory is also affiliated to NEMETODE (Network for Meteor Triangulation and Orbit Determination) which undertakes research into the nature of meteors using off-the-shelf equipment, a joint venture among amateur and professional astronomers across the UK and Ireland.

Cherryvalley observatory has a number of authored and co-authored peer reviewed papers published in the Minor Planet Bulletin, Journal of the British Astronomical Association and the WGN, the Journal of the International Meteor Organization (IMO) in collaboration with colleagues and friends from the UK, USA, Italy and Ireland.

The Observatory’s main instrument is an 8-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope (SCT) fitted with an SBIG-STL 1301E CCD Camera and Optec robotic focuser with photometric filters on a modified Celestron CGE EQ mount.

In his spare time he help’s out as a volunteer citizen scientist at Dunsink Observatory Dublin, now part of the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies as part of their program of public educational outreach regarding meteors.


Cherryvalley Observatory FaceBook Page:

Cherryvalley Observatory | Facebook

For further information:

Meteors 2020: Interview with Mike Foylan – DIAS Dunsink Observatory


Not a Library member? Join for FREE here Register | Kildare Library Service ( . It takes 2 minutes!

Dates: 23 March 2023 - 6.30-7.30pm
Venue: Kilcock Library, W23 AD66

Organised by Kilcock Library
Contact Details: T 01 6284403 E:

Audience: Young adults and adults. Minors must be accompanied by an adult.