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Penarth primary school unveils telescope project

The telescope should offer excellent views of the night sky Credit: PA Archive

A primary school in the Vale of Glamorgan will officially open its own space observatory later.

The unveiling of the 9'' diameter telescope takes place at St Joseph's Primary School in Penarth.

It forms part of a project in association with Cardiff University scientists to teach more about astronomy in schools.

The 9'' diameter telescope is housed in a shed on the school grounds Credit: St Joseph's Primary School

Noble gas molecule found in space with Welsh help

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The white areas show dust and argon hydride. Credit: See Below

Picture Credit: ESA/HERSCHEL/SPIRE and PACS/MESS GTKP supernova remnant team. NASA/ESA/Allison Loll/Jeff Hester (Arizona State University). Acknowledgment: Oli Usher (UCL).

Scientists say a molecule containing a noble gas has been discovered in space by a team which included astronomers from Cardiff University.

The find was made using SPIRE the Cardiff-led instrument aboard Europe's Herschel Space Observatory.

The molecule, argon hydride, was seen in the Crab Nebula, the remains of a star that exploded 1,000 years ago.

Noble gases rarely interact in chemical reactions and before the discovery, molecules of this kind have only been studied in laboratories on Earth.

The Crab Nebula is relatively close, at just 6,500 light years away, so it provides an excellent way to study what happens in stellar explosions.

Scientists using SPIRE were able to analyse the light emitted by spinning molecules. It has a very specific wavelengths, or colours, called emission lines.

Two of these lines proved the existence of Argon Hydride.

Planck telescope provided 'baby photo' of the Universe

An artist's impression of the Planck spacecraft Credit: ESA - C. Carreau

The Planck observatory spent four and a half years studying the evolution of stars and galaxies.

It was designed to detect faint traces of radiation from the Big Bang – also known as the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB).

“Planck has provided us with more insight into the evolution of the Universe than any mission has before,” says Alvaro Giménez, ESA’s Director of Science and Robotic Exploration.

“Planck’s picture of the CMB is the most accurate ‘baby photo’ of the Universe yet, but the wealth of data still being scrutinised by our cosmologists will provide us with even more details.”

Planck helped scientists map cosmic gas Credit: ESA/Planck Collaboration

Planck space telescope officially switched off

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Today's final command to shut off ESA's #Planck mission sent at 14:10:27 CEST by Project Scientist Jan Tauber #endofoperations

The Planck space telescope, built with expertise from Cardiff University, has been deactivated by the European Space Agency after reaching the end of its mission.

Read: Universe 48 million years older than previously thought

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Planck space telescope to be switched off today

Planck against its all-sky map of the CMB. Credit: ESA and the Planck Collaboration - D. Ducros

A telescope built with expertise from Cardiff University will be switched off today.

Planck has been scanning the sky to map the relic radiation from the Big Bang, the Cosmic Microwave Background or CMB.

Researchers in Cardiff built one of the telescope's instruments.

During its mission, the telescope has helped scientists to gain a better understanding of the universe and its origins, revealing the universe is older than previously thought at 13.8 billion years.

Mission controllers have fired Planck's thrusters to empty its fuel tanks. Now its on its way to a "parking" orbit around the sun.

Today its transmitters will be switched off and Planck will fall silent.

Meteors captured in Powys night sky

The Perseids meteor shower illuminated the night sky from Pontrobert, near Welshpool, in Powys. Credit: Viewer's picture / Andy Keen
This image is a culmination of 620 photographs. Credit: Viewer's picture / Andy Keen
This long-exposure image also shows the International Space Station (the long white line pointing down towards the stone building). Credit: Viewer's picture / Andy Keen

'Shooting stars' seen all over Wales

People all over Wales took to Twitter to share their excitement at having seen the Perseids meteor shower last night.

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Seen quite a few meteors tonight. Such a fantastic clear night on the coast of Wales. Time for bed now #Perseid

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Well, that was a good time to be up a hill in West Wales at midnight #perseid

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watchin' the meteor shower in north wales outside our caravan..seen 16...come.in now.time for bed...thats a lotta wishes for me:-). n night.

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