5 Interesting NGC Objects!

NGC stands for the New General Catalogue of Nebulae and Clusters of Stars, which is an astronomical catalogue of deep sky objects and was compiled in 1888 by the 4th director of the Armagh Observatory John Dreyer. To this day the NGC catalogue is still used by Astronomers all over the world and remains one of our many claims to fame! The catalogue contains 7840 objects Read more…

COVID Astronomy: Watching a bus-sized asteroid whiz by Earth during a pandemic

by Galin Borisov and Apostolos Christou This September, we had the first opportunity to make astronomical observations while physically present at the telescope since the start of the COVID19 pandemic. Our instrument of choice was the 2-m RCC telescope at Rozhen Observatory on the Rhodope mountains in SW Bulgaria. So here we are at 1700m above sea level with a forecast for good weather and ready for new discoveries! One Read more…

How to name an Asteroid

The first asteroids discovered in the early 1800’s were named after Roman and Greek mythological figures like Ceres, Pallas, and Vesta. Today, most asteroids are named after people, both real and fictional, places, animals, plants, and other natural phenomena. The discoverers of asteroids are responsible for proposing the name however Read more…

IAU puts the Hubble-Lemaître Law to the Vote – an update!

As an earlier Astronotes article reported on, during its XXX General Assembly in Vienna, held in August 2018, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) put forward a draft resolution to rename the Hubble law as the “Hubble–Lemaître law”. The resolution was proposed to recognise Lemaître’s research on the expansion of the Universe, and to pay tribute to both Lemaître and Hubble for their fundamental contributions to the development of modern cosmology.

Exo-Moons and Goblins

The discovery of planets orbiting around other stars has been one of humankinds greatest achievements. The existance of these ‘exo-planets’ can challenge our perception of our place in the universe. Since the first confirmed detection of a planet around another normal star (51 Peg) in 1995, many thousands of planets have been discovered. Indeed, it is likely that most stars will have their own system of planets. It is important in answering the question – is there intelligent life out there?

Hydrogen-Deficient Stars 2018 – Armagh Observatory and Planetarium

September 2018 will see over 50 astronomers from around the world gather at the Armagh Observatory and Planetarium to discuss the latest news about hydrogen-deficient stars. These stars have lost nearly all the hydrogen from which they were made, to leave only nuclear ash. Astronomers want to learn how these rare and short-lived remnants formed, and what drives their spectacular changes in brightness. 

Measuring the Universe – 150th birthday of Henrietta Swan Leavitt

July 4, 2018 saw the 150th birthday of Henrietta Swan Leavitt (1868 – 1921), one of the most important astronomers of the 20th century. Born in Lancaster, Massachusetts, Leavitt graduated from Radfcliffe College, Harvard, in 1892. She then stayed on at the Harvard College Observatory as a volunteer research assistant. Whilst attempting a graduate degree in astronomy and travelling in Europe, she became ill with grave consequences for her hearing. In 1902, then director, Edward Pickering, invited Henrietta to join the permanent staff at Harvard, where she was assigned to study “variable” stars.

Celebrating the Planetarium’s 50th Anniversary: Lindsay’s great legacy

Article written by: Professor Michael Burton, Director of Armagh Observatory and Planetarium The city of Armagh lays claim to a remarkable history that belies its small size. A history stretching from the neolithic era, and the mythology of Emain Macha (the ancient capital of Ulster), through the City’s Christian foundation Read more…