Solar System Archive

  • October is over and the nights are drawing in. Instead of lamenting the fact that we are driving to and from work in the dark, let’s think of the positives – more time to stargaze! And there’s plenty of interesting objects and constellations to look out for in November.

    What’s up in the sky this November?

    October is over and the nights are drawing in. Instead of lamenting the fact that we are driving to and from work in the dark, let’s think of the positives – more time to stargaze! And there’s plenty of interesting objects and constellations to look out for in November.

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  • An interview with resident PhD Student Rok Nezic about his recent adventure to the European Planetary Science Congress 2018, held in Berlin, Germany.

    European Planetary Science Congress 2018 – An interview with Rok Nezic

    An interview with resident PhD Student Rok Nezic about his recent adventure to the European Planetary Science Congress 2018, held in Berlin, Germany.

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  • 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?

    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?

    Continue Reading...

  • October is here! It is one of our favourite months as there is so much more to see in the sky and the nights are getting deliciously darker. One thing to remember when you are stargazing is to wrap up warm when you venture outside. The nights are getting much colder, and with some of the best stargazing occurring in the early hours of the morning, we don’t want anyone catching a chill. Thermals and a thermos filled with hot chocolate or coffee will do the trick. Also don't forget that we will be starting our Star Tracker evenings in the coming months!

    What’s up in the sky this October?

    October is here! It is one of our favourite months as there is so much more to see in the sky and the nights are getting deliciously darker. One thing to remember when you are stargazing is to wrap up warm when you venture outside. The nights are getting much colder, and with some of the best stargazing occurring in the early hours of the morning, we don’t want anyone catching a chill. Thermals and a thermos filled with hot chocolate or coffee will do the trick. Also don't forget that we will be starting our Star Tracker evenings in the coming months!

    Continue Reading...

  • The Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST) is under construction on the summit of Haleakalā on Maui, Hawaii. Since DKIST will be observing the Sun’s corona, the sky above the telescope needs to be as free of dust, aerosols and pollutants. The isolated islands of Hawaii provide optimal conditions for clear, “coronal skies”.

    DKIST – Un-Covering the Micro-Physics of the Sun

    The Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST) is under construction on the summit of Haleakalā on Maui, Hawaii. Since DKIST will be observing the Sun’s corona, the sky above the telescope needs to be as free of dust, aerosols and pollutants. The isolated islands of Hawaii provide optimal conditions for clear, “coronal skies”.

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  • Have you ever wondered what is it like to live in space? How you put things down when there's no 'up' or 'down'? How do you sleep when nothing holds you to your bed? How you wash your face when the water does not behave normally? Here are some interesting facts about life in space.

    Interesting facts about the life on the International Space Station

    Have you ever wondered what is it like to live in space? How you put things down when there's no 'up' or 'down'? How do you sleep when nothing holds you to your bed? How you wash your face when the water does not behave normally? Here are some interesting facts about life in space.

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  • Armagh Observatory, 3rd August 2018: Armagh Observatory reports that July 2018 was much warmer and sunnier than average, with only slightly less than average total rainfall. The mean temperature was 17.0 degrees Celsius (62.6 Fahrenheit), approximately 2.2 C warmer than the long-term (1796–2010) average July temperature at Armagh and 1.2 C warmer than the most recent (1981–2010) 30- year average. This was the warmest July at Armagh for five years. The warmest day (highest maximum air temperature) was 27.1 C, which occurred on the 4th, followed by 26.7 C on the 22nd. Both these maxima wereslightly more than 80 degrees Fahrenheit. The coldest day (lowest maximum air temperature) was 14.4 C on the 11th. The coolest night (lowest minimum air
temperature) was 7.6 C on the 10th, and the warmest night (highest minimum air temperature) was 16.6 C on the 27th followed closely by 16.5 C on the 23rd. The minimum grass temperature was 0.3 C on the 10th, so there were no ground or air frosts.

    July Weather Roundup

    Armagh Observatory, 3rd August 2018: Armagh Observatory reports that July 2018 was much warmer and sunnier than average, with only slightly less than average total rainfall. The mean temperature was 17.0 degrees Celsius (62.6 Fahrenheit), approximately 2.2 C warmer than the long-term (1796–2010) average July temperature at Armagh and 1.2 C warmer than the most recent (1981–2010) 30- year average. This was the warmest July at Armagh for five years. The warmest day (highest maximum air temperature) was 27.1 C, which occurred on the 4th, followed by 26.7 C on the 22nd. Both these maxima wereslightly more than 80 degrees Fahrenheit. The coldest day (lowest maximum air temperature) was 14.4 C on the 11th. The coolest night (lowest minimum air temperature) was 7.6 C on the 10th, and the warmest night (highest minimum air temperature) was 16.6 C on the 27th followed closely by 16.5 C on the 23rd. The minimum grass temperature was 0.3 C on the 10th, so there were no ground or air frosts.

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  • During the summer every year, we observe the International Asteroid Day (“Asteroid Day” for short) on 30th June. The United Nations has proclaimed it will be observed globally on that date “to raise awareness about asteroids and what can be done to protect the Earth, its families, communities, and future generations from a catastrophic event.” 

While their topics certainly have some overlap, the date for the Asteroid Day was not chosen in acknowledgment of the film Armageddon (which was released on 1st July 1998), but to commemorate a much more real and to this day somewhat mysterious occurrence: the Tunguska event (which would also make a good movie title!). This summer marks the 110th anniversary of what is believed to be the largest impact event on Earth in recorded history. 

    110 Years Since The Tunguska Event 

    During the summer every year, we observe the International Asteroid Day (“Asteroid Day” for short) on 30th June. The United Nations has proclaimed it will be observed globally on that date “to raise awareness about asteroids and what can be done to protect the Earth, its families, communities, and future generations from a catastrophic event.”  While their topics certainly have some overlap, the date for the Asteroid Day was not chosen in acknowledgment of the film Armageddon (which was released on 1st July 1998), but to commemorate a much more real and to this day somewhat mysterious occurrence: the Tunguska event (which would also make a good movie title!). This summer marks the 110th anniversary of what is believed to be the largest impact event on Earth in recorded history. 

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  • It's the beginning of a new month, filled with new exciting events in the night sky. Here is a brief summary of what to expect in the next few weeks.

    What’s up in the sky this August

    It's the beginning of a new month, filled with new exciting events in the night sky. Here is a brief summary of what to expect in the next few weeks.

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  • Astronomers now know many hundreds of planets orbiting other stars in our Galaxy. These show an incredible amount of diversity in their basic properties such as size and temperature with no two planets being quite the same. But the Earth is still unique among planets within or outside our solar system in its ability to support life

    Lough-Neagh sized pool of liquid water found on Mars

    Astronomers now know many hundreds of planets orbiting other stars in our Galaxy. These show an incredible amount of diversity in their basic properties such as size and temperature with no two planets being quite the same. But the Earth is still unique among planets within or outside our solar system in its ability to support life

    Continue Reading...