Stars Archive

  • Have you ever been worried about the impact of an asteroid wiping out human life? Well, I have some disturbing news for you: there is another possibility involving the explosion of a massive star that gives rise to a gamma-ray burst (called by astronomers simply a GRB), when the star ends its life producing a black hole.

    How Iron Keeps Us Safe

    Have you ever been worried about the impact of an asteroid wiping out human life? Well, I have some disturbing news for you: there is another possibility involving the explosion of a massive star that gives rise to a gamma-ray burst (called by astronomers simply a GRB), when the star ends its life producing a black hole.

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  • 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. 

    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. 

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  • 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.

    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.

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  • The Armagh Observatory and Planetarium are holding a special event to mark the lunar eclipse, coming at almost the same time as the opposition of Mars.  The event has proved so popular that tickets sold out within a couple of hours of being released, so we have written this blog entry to tell you about what will happen if you missed out on obtaining a ticket or are going to try to observe the eclipse from elsewhere.

    Dark Moon Rising: the total lunar eclipse of 27 July, 2018

    The Armagh Observatory and Planetarium are holding a special event to mark the lunar eclipse, coming at almost the same time as the opposition of Mars.  The event has proved so popular that tickets sold out within a couple of hours of being released, so we have written this blog entry to tell you about what will happen if you missed out on obtaining a ticket or are going to try to observe the eclipse from elsewhere.

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  • Approximately every other star in the Milky Way galaxy is in a 'binary' system. These binaries are made up of two stars orbiting around a common centre of gravity. The time taken for the stars in the binary to make one revolution is called the 'orbital period'. Binaries have a wide range of orbital period. The closest stellar system to the Sun is alpha Centauri which has two stars not unlike our Sun orbiting around one another every 80 years. A third member of the system, Proxima Centauri, which is much smaller red dwarf star, orbits around these two stars once every 10,000 years.

    A new ultra-compact binary star

    Approximately every other star in the Milky Way galaxy is in a 'binary' system. These binaries are made up of two stars orbiting around a common centre of gravity. The time taken for the stars in the binary to make one revolution is called the 'orbital period'. Binaries have a wide range of orbital period. The closest stellar system to the Sun is alpha Centauri which has two stars not unlike our Sun orbiting around one another every 80 years. A third member of the system, Proxima Centauri, which is much smaller red dwarf star, orbits around these two stars once every 10,000 years.

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  • Article by Jorick Vink , Astronomer at the Armagh Observatory and Planetarium When you are fortunate enough to have a clear view of the night sky, and you start wondering […]

    Massive stars – what are they?

    Article by Jorick Vink , Astronomer at the Armagh Observatory and Planetarium When you are fortunate enough to have a clear view of the night sky, and you start wondering […]

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  • Article by: Holly Preece, PhD student at the Armagh Observatory and Planetarium NASA’s Hubble space telescope was launched on 24th April 1990. It was the first optical space telescope to […]

    Hubble Space Telescope 2018 Review

    Article by: Holly Preece, PhD student at the Armagh Observatory and Planetarium NASA’s Hubble space telescope was launched on 24th April 1990. It was the first optical space telescope to […]

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  • Article by Aaron Golden, Visiting Astronomer at the Armagh Observatory and Planetarium Stephen Bourke works at the Department of Space, Earth and Environment, Onsala Space Observatory in Sweden, and Aaron […]

    First use of the I-LOFAR with the International LOFAR Telescope

    Article by Aaron Golden, Visiting Astronomer at the Armagh Observatory and Planetarium Stephen Bourke works at the Department of Space, Earth and Environment, Onsala Space Observatory in Sweden, and Aaron […]

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  • Recent observations of the helium star HD144941 have been obtained from space. Armagh astronomers Professor Simon Jeffery and Dr Gavin Ramsay have discovered that they show a light curve best […]

    K2 spots a rotating Helium Star

    Recent observations of the helium star HD144941 have been obtained from space. Armagh astronomers Professor Simon Jeffery and Dr Gavin Ramsay have discovered that they show a light curve best […]

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  • Well, thankfully the drudgery of January is behind us and we can look forward to a month full of dark nights, stars and even a hint of romance.  And let […]

    The February Night Sky 2018

    Well, thankfully the drudgery of January is behind us and we can look forward to a month full of dark nights, stars and even a hint of romance.  And let […]

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