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Paul Evans Awarded Aidan P Fitzgerald Medal!

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martinastro
Martin Mc Kenna
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« on: May 02, 2010, 10:01:45 pm »

A big congrats to Paul Evans on this award! Here's more info from the IAA...





http://irishastro.org.uk/

The Aidan P. Fitzgerald Memorial Medal is the prestigious award of the Irish Astronomical Association, and is named in memory of one of its leading members back in the 40's and 50's. It is presented not more than once per year for "Outstanding Service to the Association" to someone usually, but not necessarily in a Council post.

Aidan Fitzgerald was born in Limerick, Ireland and had a keen interest in astronomy since childhood. Later he bought telescopes and other equipment and set them up in an observatory in his back garden. He became a leading light in the Belfast Centre of the old Irish Astronomical Society, and later became Chairman. He was also on the editorial board of the Irish Astronomical Journal. By profession, he was a principal officer in the Northern Ireland Ministry of Health and Local Government, and had been awarded the O.B.E. He never married, and died suddenly in the summer of 1964 from a heart attack, just short of his retirement.

In June 1954, the planet Mars was closer to earth than it had been for several years, but the most ideal conditions for observation were from the southern hemisphere. Astronomers from all over the world co-operated to make observations of the planet and a committee was set up under the chairmanship of Professor Earl C. Slipher from the Lowell Observatory in Arizona.

Slipher was probably the greatest authority on Mars and was to observe and photograph the red planet from the Lamont-Hussey Observatory at Bloemfontein, South Africa  using the great 27-inch refractor, (now dismantled)  Fitzgerald was invited to join him at the invitation of the National Geographic Society who sponsored the studies, which were to last some four months.

As to the medal itself, it is tastefully minted in bronze gilt, and on the obverse shows the profile of the famous "South Refractor" at Dunsink Observatory outside Dublin, while the reverse has the recipients name and date engraved inside a laurel wreath." (Many thanks to John C McConnell for the above words)

This year the Medal was awarded to IAA Webmaster Paul Evans for his work for the IAA including this website, the "10 minute" talks as well as talks at IAA events across Northern Ireland. Paul is pictured here with IAA President Philip Baxter - the medal itself was still being engraved at the time of the AGM!
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brianb
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« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2010, 01:10:55 am »

Congratulations Paul!
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markt
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« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2010, 01:38:42 am »

Congratulations sir!  Cool

*sends Paul a virtual beer to toast with*
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« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2010, 02:44:42 am »

Congrats Paul & thanks for the background info about the award Marin.
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Remember:- If all else fails, read the Instruction Manual! Grin
 


Andy
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« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2010, 02:20:41 pm »

Many Thanks all, and Thanks Martin for mentioning this. It is a great honour and I'm very flattered that the elders of the IAA chose to give me this award. For anyone interested in Astronomy in Northern Ireland I can't recommend membership of the IAA highly enough - over the last three years it has been a very fulfilling and educational experience for me and it has been a honour to give some of that back in terms of sharing the knowledge and experience I have collected along the way with other members of the Association. I shall be there for many more years to come.

Clear Skies,

Paul.
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