Analysis > astronomy

Should Ireland join the European Southern Observatory?

By Will Goodbody, Science & Technology Correspondent Over the last couple of days on RTÉ News platforms, we’ve been exploring the structure, facilities, work and discoveries of the European Southern Observatory (ESO) – Europe’s foremost intergovernmental astronomy organisation. We’ve also been teasing out the costs and benefits of joining ESO, which is what many astronomers who are part of the small but active and growing community here want. Having travelled to Chile to see first-hand what ESO’s observatories are like, I can …

Three reasons to look to the stars

By Will Goodbody, Science & Technology Correspondent @willgoodbody It’s been an exciting week for star-gazers, with the remarkable rendez-vous between the European Space Agency’s Rosetta probe and comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. For a man-made object to travel 6 billion kilometres unscathed around the solar system over a decade and still manage to catch and begin orbiting a 4 kilometre target moving at 55,000 kmp/h is extraordinary. And happily, the best is yet to come, as Rosetta prepares to monitor and send a …

How Ireland could make a Big Bang in astronomical science

By Will Goodbody, Science & Technology Correspondent @willgoodbody On St Patrick’s Day, as we marked our national holiday, a substantial breakthrough in cosmology and astrophysics was announced by a team of scientists in the US. They revealed that for the first time, they had recorded an echo of gravitational waves – signals emitted in the immediate aftermath of the Big Bang. The discovery was made using a specialist telescope based in the inhospitable environs of the South Pole. It’s a …