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Dublin: 8 °C Thursday 12 December, 2019


Slideshow: Solar eclipse 2011 Solar Eclipse This post contains images

Slideshow: Solar eclipse 2011

If you couldn’t drag yourself out of bed this morning to stare at the sky, don’t worry – here are the best pics of the solar eclipse.

From Look outside: it's your last chance to see a solar eclipse for four years Solar Eclipse

Look outside: it's your last chance to see a solar eclipse for four years

But experts warn eclipse watchers not to look at it directly.

From Newgrange winter dawn coincides with rare total lunar eclipse Solstice

Newgrange winter dawn coincides with rare total lunar eclipse

On the shortest day of the year, the two celestial events will coincide for first time in about 450 years.

Is it a bird? Is it a snowstorm? No - it's a meteor shower

Keep an eye on the skies for the next two nights: with clear skies forecast, there’s a chance you’ll spot a shooting star.

From Ireland to brighten up with meteor shower tonight Meteors

Ireland to brighten up with meteor shower tonight

Shooting stars to put on a show that will be visible to the naked eye.

Danish astronomer exhumed... after 409 years

Tycho Brahe is exhumed in order to figure out how he died – was it a bladder infection or mercury poisoning?

From 'Champagne' supernova spotter celebrates with a nice cup of tea Raheny Supernova This post contains images

'Champagne' supernova spotter celebrates with a nice cup of tea has first photograph Irish amateur astronomer took of supernova, the “biggest thing ever discovered in Irish astronomy”

From Catch a glimpse of Jupiter at its closest for nearly 50 years Astronomy This post contains videos

Catch a glimpse of Jupiter at its closest for nearly 50 years

Largest planet in the Solar System will pass close to Earth on Monday & Tuesday- coinciding with an approach from Uranus and a full moon.

From Amazing picture of star spiral Astronomy

Amazing picture of star spiral

Hubble space telescope captures mesmersing binary stars

US SCIENTISTS HAVE announced that the moon is shrinking, after spotting wrinkles on the surface of the satellite.

Meanwhile, scientists say the universe is going to continue expanding until it becomes a cold, dead wasteland.

Contraction marks were spotted by scientists examining photographs of the lunar surface taken by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO).

The moon was formed “in a chaotic environment of intense bombardment by asteroids and meteors”, according t0NASA.

The moon then cooled down as it aged, but scientists believe it has shrank during this process, especially during its early years. But, it could still be shrinking today.

Here’s a video of NASA’s footage.

This NASA image shows:

[A] fault cut across and deformed several small diameter (~40-m diameter) impact craters (arrows) on the flanks of Mandel’shtam crater (6.5°N, 161°E). The fault carried near-surface crustal materials up and over the craters, burying parts of their floors and rims.

About half of the rim and floor of a 20 m-in-diameter crater shown in the box has been lost. Since small craters only have a limited lifetime before they are destroyed by newer impacts, their deformation by the fault shows the fault to be relatively young.

Separately, NASA scientists are saying that the fate of the universe has been revealed by light travelling from distant stars. And it doesn’t look good.

The team calculated that the distribution of dark energy (a force that speeds up the universe’s expansion) in the universe will cause it to continually expand until it becomes a cold, dead wasteland.

How cold? Temperatures will approach ‘absolute zero’ – the temperature at which all atomic motion stops.

IRELAND MAY BE IN THE GUTTER, but tonight we could all be looking at the stars.

Shooting stars that is – because for the next few days, the yearly spectacle that is the Perseid meteor shower will be visible.

More than 60 meteors an hour will be shooting across the night sky, which according to Astronomy Ireland‘s chairman, David Moore, could mean that you could see one star a minute catapulting across the skies.

The Perseids have been observed for around 2,000 years and are only visible if you live north of the equator. They can be seen perfectly with the naked eye – although if you want a good view of the amazing “trains” that the burning meteors leave in their wake then it is a good idea to use binoculars.

The shower reaches its peak on Thursday night between midnight and 3am. So set up your coffee machine and get ready for one of the most rewarding astronomical events on Earth.

Check out what to expect by watching a video of last year’s Perseid meteor shower:

ASTONOMERS HAVE, for the very first time, obtained a three dimensional view of an exploding star.

Scientists at the European Southern Observatory (ESO) used the aptly-named Very Large Telescope to make a 3D map of the distribution of the innermost material thrown out by a recently exploded star, positioned 165,000 light-years away from Earth.

The star is known as Supernova 1987A.

The results of new research show that the star was extremely turbulent and the eventual blast intensely powerful – unlike, scientists say, the Earth’s sun.

When our sun dies, it is expected to do so with a (relative) lack of fanfare.

Supernova 1987A exploded in 1987, and the was first in nearly four centuries that was possible to be observed with the naked-eye due to its relative closeness.

The position of Supernova 1987A has also made it possible for astronomers to study the aftermath of such an explosion in greater detail than ever before, making it a truly exciting event for astronomers.

The study shows that instead  of exploding in all directions, the supernova had a preferred direction.