In a nutshell, comets are small bodies of ice and dust in orbit around the Sun. When they pass near the sun, they start to vaporize creating long tails of dust and gas. Even this small amount of information makes us ask so many questions about these members of our solar system.
Michael Burton, Director of the Armagh Observatory and Planaterium Monday January 21, 2019 – the last chance to watch a total eclipse of the Moon from Armagh for over a decade. Should we hold a special viewing session to give people the chance of seeing this celestial wonder?! Easy question, Read more…
Article written by: Heather Alexander, Education officer At the Armagh Observatory and Planetarium we have been having a look at all the things that are going to happen throughout the year and trying to select some of the events that we are most looking forward to. Needless to say this Read more…
21st January 2019, sky-watchers will witness a rare total eclipse of the Moon. This will be the last opportunity to view a total lunar eclipse from the British Isles for three-and-a-half years, until 16 May 2022.
Here we are, on the count down to Christmas, and we’re having a look at all the Astronotes that have been written for our blog this year. We’ve had input not just from the Education Team this year, but also the Academic Staff of the Armagh Observatory and Planetarium.
Christmas Eve of 1968 saw the arrival of the first humans at the Moon – the crew of Apollo 8. A truly momentous event in history, the arrival of humans to another world for the very first time.
The rapidly-approaching 2019 will let us mark a half-century since human beings took the first steps on a body other than the Earth, namely our own Moon. But, come the New Year, lunar exploration is likely to make the headlines for one other reason: a number of robotic spacecraft built by three different nations will attempt to repeat the feat accomplished by the Apollo programme and land on the Moon’s surface.
The long cold dark nights have well and truly settled in, and now that it’s December it’s officially acceptable to say the C word. Christmas, Christmas is coming! And so is Santa Claus! Decorations are going up, there’s mad panic to buy Christmas presents and families are organising who’s having dinner and where. Ahh I love this time of year.
Some seven months ago, a NASA spacecraft called InSight was launched atop an Atlas 5 rocket and headed to Mars (Figure 1). If all goes well, the spacecraft will land on the Martian surface at around 8pm UK time this Monday 26th November and begin its science investigation. InSight is a fixed lander (see Figure 2 below), a much simpler affair than the Curiosity rover that arrived in 2012 and continues its trek across the floor of Gale crater to this day. Mobility, is however, not required for the specific aim of the mission.