Solar System Archive

  • 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.

    Early riser’s delight: The total lunar eclipse of 21st January 2019

    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.

    Continue Reading...

  • 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.

    Top Astronotes of 2018

    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.

    Continue Reading...

  • 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.

    Apollo 8 and the First Humans to the Moon – 50 Years On

    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.

    Continue Reading...

  • 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.

    2019: A Chinese Year of the Moon

    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.

    Continue Reading...

  • 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.

    What’s in the Sky this December?

    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.

    Continue Reading...

  • With Space Exploration comes theories and conspiracies. In our latest blog we debunk some of the more infamous ones.

    5 Theories and Conspiracies Debunked

    With Space Exploration comes theories and conspiracies. In our latest blog we debunk some of the more infamous ones.

    Continue Reading...

  • 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. 

    Insight on InSight

    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. 

    Continue Reading...

  • 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.

    Continue Reading...

  • 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.

    Continue Reading...

  • 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...