Sunday, January 29

Astronomy

ARMAGH OBSERVATORY AND PLANETARIUM ANNOUNCES A SERIES OF EVENTS TO KICK OFF THE NEW YEAR – Astronotes
Astronomy

ARMAGH OBSERVATORY AND PLANETARIUM ANNOUNCES A SERIES OF EVENTS TO KICK OFF THE NEW YEAR – Astronotes

Armagh Observatory and Planetarium has announced that a number of family friendly events will take place on site from 26 to 28 January 2023. These will be: A Star Tracker evening, which will take place on 26th January. Suitable for adults and children aged over eight, this two-hour event will include a talk on ‘Big Telescopes’ by Armagh Observatory and planetarium PhD student, Christopher Duffy. The talk will be followed by a Dome Show and live stargazing (weather permitting.) Startrackers The Legendary Telescope Tours, which will take place on Saturday 28th January. These 90 minute tours will run at 1pm and 3pm. Suitable for adults and children over ten, they will take visitors on a journey through the Armagh Observatory to see its historic telescopes. An expert guide will tell visitors a...
See all the planets in January – Astronomy Now
Astronomy

See all the planets in January – Astronomy Now

Venus and Saturn lie close together in the early evening sky from 21 to 24 January. This is the view soon after sunset on 23 January, when the addition of a young crescent Moon adds a picturesque quality to the south-western sky. AN graphics by Greg Smye-Rumsby. The new year gets off to a great start with all the planets visible in the night sky at some point during January. The planets can all be spotted in the evening sky (Mercury is a tough proposition though), with the red planet Mars being the most accessible, though it’s outshone by dazzling and increasingly-prominent Venus and a fading Jupiter. There’s an exciting conjunction of Venus and Saturn, while a New Year’s Day spectacular sees Uranus occulted by the Moon.   Venus takes its time to achieve a decent elevation in the pos...
Astronomy

Image of star cluster sheds light on early stages of universe | Space

Scientists have been given an unprecedented glimpse into the birth of stars and the early stages of the universe, after a new image was released by the James Webb space telescope.The image shows a young cluster of stars, known as NGC 346, which is more than 200,000 light years from Earth.Scientists have taken a particular interest in the cluster, which is in the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC), because it resembles the conditions of the early universe when star formation was at its peak.Astronomers hope that studying the region could give more answers as to how the first stars formed during the “cosmic noon”, only 2 or 3 billion years after the big bang.Dr Olivia Jones, the Science and Technology Facilities Council’s Webb fellow at its UK astronomy technology centre, is lead author on a paper...
Astronomy

Origins of the building blocks of life — ScienceDaily

A new study led by Southwest Research Institute Research Scientist Dr. Danna Qasim posits that interstellar cloud conditions may have played a significant role on the presence of key building blocks of life in the solar system. "Carbonaceous chondrites, some of the oldest objects in the universe, are meteorites that are thought to have contributed to the origins of life. They contain several different molecules and organic substances, including amines and amino acids, which are key building blocks of life that were critical to creating life on Earth. These substances are necessary to create proteins and muscle tissue," Qasim said. Most meteorites are fragments of asteroids that broke apart long ago in the asteroid belt, located between Mars and Jupiter. Such fragments orbit the Sun -- some...
Astronomers use ‘little hurricanes’ to weigh and date planets around young stars
Astronomy

Astronomers use ‘little hurricanes’ to weigh and date planets around young stars

Little 'hurricanes' that form in the disks of gas and dust around young stars can be used to study certain aspects of planet formation, even for smaller planets which orbit their star at large distances and are out of reach for most telescopes. Researchers from the University of Cambridge and the Institute for Advanced Study have developed a technique, which uses observations of these "hurricanes" by the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimetre Array (ALMA) to place some limits on the mass and age of planets in a young star system. Pancake-like clouds of gases, dust and ice surrounding young stars—known as protoplanetary disks—are where the process of planet formation begins. Through a ...