[meteorite-list] St Patrick's Day Gift to Armagh

From: Ron Baalke <baalke_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Thu Apr 22 09:44:39 2004
Message-ID: <200103151753.JAA28132_at_zagami.jpl.nasa.gov>


St Patrick's Day Gift to Armagh

Issued by Armagh Observatory, 12 March 2001

Politicians, government officials, astronomers and other distinguished
guests visited Armagh Observatory today to participate in a ceremony marking
a unique event: the International Astronomical Union has announced that two
asteroids are to be named after the City of Armagh and the Armagh

These asteroids were discovered in July 1987 by one of the USA's leading
asteroid hunters, Dr Eleanor "Glo" Helin, and the announcement of the names
follows a visit of Dr Helin to Armagh last August.

The first asteroid, numbered 10501, is called "Ardmacha", after the ancient
name of the City of Armagh. The second, numbered 10502, is called
"Armaghobs", after the Armagh Observatory. The citations read:

"The City of Armagh is steeped in history. It is the ecclesiastical capital
of Ireland and home of the venerable Armagh Observatory. Tradition relates
that St Patrick chose what used to be called Ard Macha as the centre of his
mission in Ireland, building his main church on one of the seven hills of
Armagh in 445."


"Armagh Observatory, founded in 1790 by Archbishop Richard Robinson, is a
modern astronomical research institute with a rich heritage that includes
T.R. Robinson's cup-anemometer, Dreyer's NGC Catalogue, Lindsay's
Armagh-Dunsink-Harvard telescope, and the work of the Estonian astronomer
E.J. Opik."

The simultaneous naming of two asteroids for a city and its observatory is a
unique event and a recognition of the high esteem in which Northern
Ireland's astronomers are held by the international astronomical community.
That named after the City of Armagh, Ardmacha, is a main-belt asteroid that
revolves around the Sun between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. It is
estimated to be about 10 kilometres across. That named after the
Observatory, Armaghobs, is a Mars-approaching object with a slightly more
unstable orbit meaning that it could possibly collide with the Earth in the
very distant future. It is about 5 kilometres in size.

Armagh Observatory has a long association with investigations of the solar
system in general, and minor planets in particular. The naming of these two
minor planets brings to more than a dozen the number of asteroids associated
with Armagh or the Armagh Observatory, a highly exceptional tally. Ten have
been named after past or present members of staff of the Armagh Observatory
and Planetarium. Among them are Ernst Opik, Research Associate from 1948 to
1981 and Acting Director 1974-1976, Patrick Moore, the first Director of the
Armagh Planetarium, and astronomers David Asher, Fabio Migliorini, Bill
Napier, and the Director, Mark Bailey.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: John McFarland at the Armagh Observatory
(Tel.: 028-3752-2928, FAX: 028-3752-7174); e-mail jmf_at_star.arm.ac.uk. For
Armagh Observatory details, see http://www.arm.ac.uk/
Received on Thu 15 Mar 2001 12:53:07 PM PST

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