Podcaster: Frances McCarthy

Title : What Is The Stars – Sunspots

Organization: CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory for ‘The Blue of the Night’on RTÉ Lyric FM, copyright RTEì Lyric FM

Link : and

Description:  On this week in 1947 the largest recorded sunspot was observed. Daily sunspot records have been kept by most major observatories since the mid-1800s and there are records going back thousands of years of these dark areas on the Sun’s face.

Produced by Eoin O’Kelly for The Blue of the Night on Raidió Teilifís Éireann’s RTÉ Lyric FM. From April 16, 2012.

What is the Stars was originally broadcast weekly between 2010 and 2012 on ‘The Blue of the Night,’ RTÉ Lyric’s evening radio programme. It was aimed at a “thinking-adult-late-evening audience.” Broadcasts were planned to be topical, yet with a spacey/astronomical theme. Scripts were written and delivered by Frances McCarthy of CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory, Cork, Ireland. Frances completed a BSc in Physics and Astronomy from the University of Toronto before exoplanets had been confirmed and still cherishes the two pieces of fan-email she received from listeners!

What is the Stars is a line from The Plough & the Stars, a play by the Irish writer Seán O’Casey.
Bio: Frances McCarthy, astronomer and education officer at Cork Institute of Technology’s Blackrock Castle Observatory guides our eyes heavenwards to explore the myths, stories and science of the constellations.

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365 Days of Astronomy
The 365 Days of Astronomy Podcast is produced by Astronomical Society of the Pacific. Audio post-production by Richard Drumm. Bandwidth donated by and wizzard media. You may reproduce and distribute this audio for non-commercial purposes. Please consider supporting the podcast with a few dollars (or Euros!). Visit us on the web at or email us at This year we will celebrates the Year of Everyday Astronomers as we embrace Amateur Astronomer contributions and the importance of citizen science. Join us and share your story. Until tomorrow! Goodbye!

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