STARSTUFF – Lectures for Junior Cycle Science Teachers

StarStuff – A Lecture Series at CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory   


“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.”Carl Sagan


StarStuff is a series of talks exploring the fundamentals of Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology hosted by CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory’s Dr Niall Smith and Frances McCarthy.  

These talks are designed for those teaching the Earth and Space strand in Junior Cycle Science and to feed our curiosity about the Universe, our own solar system and our place in it.   

Where weather allows, lectures are preceded by 1st Quarter Moon viewing in the courtyard at Blackrock Castle.  


Public Moon Observing from 6pm  

Talks from 7- 8pm  


Tickets are free of charge, available from Eventbrite.  

Talks are for second level educators / adult audience and will be recorded for sharing with the teaching community. 


Spring 2019 program:   

February 11, 2019  7pm 

“Our Universe – What we know”

Dr. Niall Smith introduces us to thinking about the size, scale, and origins of our Universe.   This talk gives an overview and refresh to support Learning Outcome 1 and 2 of the Earth and Space Strand. 


March 15, 2019   7pm

“Hello Moon” – On the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission that landed humans on the Moon, Frances

McCarthy brings us on a journey of the Lunar orbit exploring phases, eclipses, and the wonderful dance of the Sun, Moon, and Earth.




April 12, 2019  7pm

Celebrating Yuri’s Night

Dr. Niall Smith takes the anniversary of the first human orbit of Earth as a starting point to discuss humanity’s relationship with space exploration. What have we learned since Yuri Gagarin made that first orbit on April 12, 1961, and where will current technology and research take us?   


Queries please contact