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Eclipses on Mars by Apostolos Christou PDF Print E-mail

Mars with it's moons


Mars has two moons, Phobos and Deimos. These are very small, about 20 and 10 km across respectively. They are also much closer to Mars than the Moon is to the Earth. Phobos, in particular, is close enough to cause annular eclipses of the Sun where as much as 40% of the solar disk is hidden from view. To an observer on the surface, the entire event would last no more than about 30 seconds during which an irregularly shaped silhouette transits across the Sun.
William Edward Wilson And The Story Of Daramona PDF Print E-mail
Daramona Observatory 1900

72inch Parsonstown Leviathan

The Great Parsonstown Leviathan. The Fourth Earl of Rosse is standing on the right, with Dr Otto Boeddicker on the left.

The challenge presented to astronomers by poor climate seems nowhere to have been more strikingly accepted than in Ireland during the nineteenth century. Armagh and Dunsink observatories had already come into being, though they had only small instruments, Col. Edward Joshua Cooper M.P., had in his observatory at Markree Castle, Co. Sligo, what was briefly the largest refractor in the world, with a 13?-inch objective. Lord Rosse at Birr Castle, Co. Offaly had built the largest reflector in the world, the 72-inch “Parsonstown Leviathan”, which nowadays would seem to be an act of sheer folly. However, this did not deter other wealthy amateurs from following his lead, and, indeed we can be fairly certain that his example was followed by William Edward Wilson.
Markree Castle Observatory and The Discovery of the Asteroid Metis PDF Print E-mail

The story of the Coopers of Markree Castle, Co. Sligo, Ireland dates back to the 17th Century, and we first hear mention of them in 1663 when Cornet Cooper was allotted lands at Markree, and it is possible that he then commenced to build what is now Markree Castle on the site of a small fort or blockhouse guarding the ford across the river. But, for the sake of space, I must confine myself to the one member of the family interested in astronomy. Edward Joshua Cooper was born in May 1798 at St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin, and the eldest son of Edward Synge Cooper, and Ann, daughter of Henry Verelst, Governor of Bengal, from whom he derived his first interest in astronomy. This interest was confirmed by his visits to Dr J.A. Hamilton at Armagh Observatory   during his term at the Royal School Armagh.

Orion the Hunter By Les Gornall PDF Print E-mail

The Constellation of Orion defines the winter sky in Northern Ireland but who was the Mythical Orion and what mysteries does the constellation hold?  This is how the constellation has been drawn in antiquity, a mighty man holding a large club in one hand and a lion skin and mane in the other.  Prominent also his belt defined by three stars and a sword.

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Noctilucent Cloud Season PDF Print E-mail

Now that we have entered the beginning of June, members should be on the lookout for Noctilucent Clouds. Nocti and lucent are derived from the Latin where they loosely translate to night and luminous, hence "night shining clouds".

They are the highest clouds in the Earth's atmosphere, located in the mesosphere at altitudes of around 85 km, and are visible only when illuminated by sunlight from below the horizon while the ground and lower layers of the atmosphere are in the Earth's shadow; otherwise they are too faint to be seen. Noctilucent clouds are not fully understood meteorological concepts. Clouds generally are not able to reach such high altitudes, especially under such thin air pressures.

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