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Star-B-Q 2018 and Mars Festival

A Barbecue Under the Stars
for Everyone in Ireland North & South

Saturday 8th September 2018 - Gates open at 5pm and event starts at 6pm

No knowledge of science or astronomy is required to attend the event.
It is ideal for beginners, family, budding astronomers, everyone!

This year because of its proximity to Earth we are celebrating MARS!

Book Now!

Please Note: We do not post out tickets.
Please bring along your confirmation with you as your E-Ticket


Book Tickets Star-B-Q 2018
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'Star-B-Q' is Ireland's biggest annual TELESCOPE FESTIVAL for the general public (and Astronomy Ireland's biggest annual fundraiser.)

**This year we are celebrating Mars on the occasion of Mars being at its closest in a 32 year interval! (2003-2035)!!

LARGE TELESCOPES: You will get to see the WONDERS OF THE UNIVERSE from the dark skies of Roundwood in Co. Wicklow, Ireland's highest village, with some of the most powerful telescopes in Ireland!
(This is an event unique to Ireland, visitors from abroad are welcome too!)

BARBECUE: A professionally catered barbecue will be served up earlier on in the evening. You can enjoy some fantastic barbecued food (vegetarian option available - let us know by saying so in the comments box when you book) with side salads and soft drinks.

GREAT TALKS: There are also TALKS (aimed at the public, no knowledge of science needed).

LOTS TO SEE IN THE HALL: display, trade stands, advice, magazine.

LOTS TO SEE IN VERY DARK SKIES: learn the constellations when pointed out with Ireland's most powerful hand-held laser (40km beam!), binocular classes (also with the laser.)

Gates open at 5pm, and the event starts at 6pm.




Take a look at this photo from a dark sky site like Roundwood which is hopefully what you will see in the telescope when one year we had a comet on view! here


Talks on the night

"Mars" Our main speaker this year is Kevin Nolan from the IT in Tallaght. Kevin is an excellent communicator and a well known expert on everything to do with Mars. He has written a book called "Mars a Cosmic Stepping Stone" and is also the Planetary Society coordinator for Ireland.

He will be talking about exciting new evidence discovered by NASA scientists of past life on Mars.

"From Ireland to Space - a personal journey to the stars" by Norah Patten who plans to become Ireland's first astronaut. Norah, who has a PhD in Aeronautical Engineering is founder of 'Planet Zebunar' and recently completed Project Possum ( (Polar Suborbital Science in the Upper Mesosphere) which was designed to teach candidates the skills required to conduct research on the next generation of space vehicles. She is a passionate promoter of space travel. Her presentation will be very visual designed to appeal to young and old alike.

"The Universe" by David Moore, a mini-version of his one-man stage-show selling out theatres across Ireland this year and last year David Moore is Ireland's best known astronomer regularly broadcasting on TV and radio. He also edits our monthly magazine "Astronomy Ireland".

More talks to be announced!

Photo: Star-B-Qers gather to watch a 'rocket launch' that opened Star-B-Q last year.

"Clear Sky Guarantee"

Even if it is not clear on the night the event will go ahead with talks, barbecue, displays, stands, and telescopes on display indoors. However, we will also set up the giant telescope on the following Friday or Saturday nights (when a clear sky is forecast). This way we can GUARANTEE you a view of the wonders of the universe! So keep the following weekend(s) free to be certain of a view of the universe that very few people in the world will ever get.

Some of the sights you will see at the Star-B-Q


What You Will See

  • Galaxies
    These distant cities of stars have fascinated astronomers since they were first discovered, and can contain trillions of stars.
  • Clusters
    Giant groups of young stars and old stars, and some with millions of stars.
  • Dying stars
    The glowing embers of giant dead stars dotted throughout the galaxy.
  • Planets
    See Saturn, Mars, Uranus and Neptune this year!

    Star-B-Q: The Movie


    Book Now!

    Please Note: We do not post out tickets. Please bring along your confirmation with you as your E-Ticket.


    Book Tickets Star-B-Q 2018
    Menu Options
    Enter Phone Number

    On the night:

    • Professionally catered food by a leading caterer (vegetarian option available - let us know by saying so in the comments box when you book)
    • Night sky guide
    • Binocular masterclass: bring yours, and we'll show you the secrets of the sky with a special laser show!
    • Learn the constellations
    • Door prizes

    Book your tickets now!

    Tickets are only:

    • Adult tickets: €29
    • Child tickets: €29 for under-16s
    • Family rates are: full price ticket for two adults and first child (€29+€29+€29), €20 per child thereafter ( call (086) 06 46 555)

    Note that ticket prices at the gate on the night are €50 per person, so be sure to book your ticket in advance.

    Alternatively, call (086) 06 46 555 with your credit card details

    Gates open at 5pm and the event begins at 6pm. Please Note: We do not post out tickets. Please bring along your confirmation with you on the night as your E-Ticket.


    Weather and Clear Skies
    Star-B-Q 2018 goes ahead regardless of weather on Saturday 8th September. If the sky is overcast on the night, a separate, telescope-only event will be organized for the following weekend, where you will still get to see the wonders of the universe!

    The night is packed full of events to ensure that everyone has a great time, and we even have a number of backup talks and presentations planned in case the weather stops us seeing the sky.

    Public Transport and Accommodation:
    The Star-B-Q will take place at coordinates: N: 53.060, W: 6.230 (the green arrow below).

    How to Get There
    The GAA grounds are located just a couple of hundred metres outside Roundwood village on the R755. You can view a map of Roundwood below, with a guide on how to get to the GAA grounds.

    View Larger Map

    Taxis can be used to get you to or from the Star-B-Q. Alternatively St. Kevin's Bus service goes from opposite the Mansion House on Dawson St. to Roundwood. Fares and times are listed on their website.

    There are a number of B&Bs in the area, and we recommend Roundwood Caravan and Camping Park for your overnight stay with tents, motorhomes, and caravans. Phone or email them at (01) 281 8163 or info@dublinwicklowcamping.com

    All enquiries about bookings to office@astronomy.ie