Universe Archive

  • NASA has announced the retirement of the Kepler spacecraft. After launch in March 2009, it began a continuous observation of a 115 square degree field of view (the diameter of the moon is 1/2 a degree) between the constellations Cygnus and Lyra.

    On the retirement of Kepler

    NASA has announced the retirement of the Kepler spacecraft. After launch in March 2009, it began a continuous observation of a 115 square degree field of view (the diameter of the moon is 1/2 a degree) between the constellations Cygnus and Lyra.

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  • As had been reported on in an earlier Astronotes blog article, the International Astronomical Union was putting to the vote whether to change the name of the law relating to […]

    IAU votes to change Hubble to Hubble-Lemaitre!

    As had been reported on in an earlier Astronotes blog article, the International Astronomical Union was putting to the vote whether to change the name of the law relating to […]

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  • 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.

    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.

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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?

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  • 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 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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  • After a special vote in the IAu General Assembly, we interview Armagh Observatory and Planetarium Director. Professor MIchael Burton, on the renaming of the Hubble Law.

    The Hubble-Lemaître Law: recognising where credit is due in science

    After a special vote in the IAu General Assembly, we interview Armagh Observatory and Planetarium Director. Professor MIchael Burton, on the renaming of the Hubble Law.

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  • The Armagh Observatory has been a staple feature along the Armagh skyline since its creation in 1790. Astronomical research has been undertaken within the organisation since the 1790s and to this day it has seen several different Directors and numerous astronomers walk through its historical doors. 

    The Beginnings of Armagh Observatory – A Brief History

    The Armagh Observatory has been a staple feature along the Armagh skyline since its creation in 1790. Astronomical research has been undertaken within the organisation since the 1790s and to this day it has seen several different Directors and numerous astronomers walk through its historical doors. 

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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.

    Continue Reading...