Solar System Archive

  • 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

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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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  • July 20 1969 saw, arguably, the most famous event in all of human history when Neil Armstrong stepped onto the surface of the Moon and left his footprints there - a mark still indelibly framed in the lunar dust today, some 49 years later.  It may seem almost as incredible that it is indeed nearly half a century ago that this epochal event occurred, one that united all of humanity for a short while, as we stared at that yellow orb in our night skies to know that one of our species was walking on it surface.

    Sir Patrick Moore and the First Man on the Moon – 49 years on

    July 20 1969 saw, arguably, the most famous event in all of human history when Neil Armstrong stepped onto the surface of the Moon and left his footprints there - a mark still indelibly framed in the lunar dust today, some 49 years later.  It may seem almost as incredible that it is indeed nearly half a century ago that this epochal event occurred, one that united all of humanity for a short while, as we stared at that yellow orb in our night skies to know that one of our species was walking on it surface.

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  • Space is always changing. New things are discovered frequently, and the latest discovery was made inside our own solar system. Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system, now has a staggering 79 moons in its orbit. Compare this to Earth's lonely, singular moon and this shows you just how monstrous the gas giant planet is in size.

    Jupiter’s Moons get an Update

    Space is always changing. New things are discovered frequently, and the latest discovery was made inside our own solar system. Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system, now has a staggering 79 moons in its orbit. Compare this to Earth's lonely, singular moon and this shows you just how monstrous the gas giant planet is in size.

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  • This article has been inspired by the many questions we get asked here at the Armagh Observatory and Planetarium. We love being asked questions but we thought it would be funny to have a look at the questions you really should never ask an Astronomer. We hope this gives you a bit of a laugh! 

    10 things you should never ask an astronomer

    This article has been inspired by the many questions we get asked here at the Armagh Observatory and Planetarium. We love being asked questions but we thought it would be funny to have a look at the questions you really should never ask an Astronomer. We hope this gives you a bit of a laugh! 

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  • Where do meteorites come from? This question has been occupying the scientific community ever since it was realised that these “rocks from the sky” are, in fact, pieces of other […]

    A privileged pedigree for meteorites

    Where do meteorites come from? This question has been occupying the scientific community ever since it was realised that these “rocks from the sky” are, in fact, pieces of other […]

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  • This summer experience our world and beyond as you sit back and relax in the Planetarium's 360-degree dome theatre. With six different shows running Monday-Saturday throughout July and August there is so much to choose from, including a brand new film.

    Armagh Planetarium’s 2018 Summer Programme

    This summer experience our world and beyond as you sit back and relax in the Planetarium's 360-degree dome theatre. With six different shows running Monday-Saturday throughout July and August there is so much to choose from, including a brand new film.

    Continue Reading...