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An Irish Tale: One City, Two Asteroids
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An Irish Tale: One City, Two Asteroids

This MISR nadir-camera image of Ireland was acquired on May 5, 2000 during Terra orbit 2026. The location of the town of Armagh in Northern Ireland is marked. Armagh is the site of the 200-year-old Armagh Observatory. The observatory's contributions to astronomical research were recently commemorated by the official naming of two asteroids, "ArmaghObs" and "Ardmacha". The latter is the ancient Gaelic name for the town, which was founded in 445 A.D. by St. Patrick.

The asteroids were discovered in July 1987 by planetary astronomer Eleanor Helin, Principal Investigator of JPL's Near-Earth Asteroid Tracking (NEAT) program. The new names were published in the January 2001 Minor Planet Circular of the International Astronomical Union.

The Irish Sea and the Isle of Man are located on the right-hand side of this image. Southwestern Scotland is visible in the upper right corner, and portions of northwestern Wales can be seen in the lower right.

Credit: Image credit: NASA/GSFC/LaRC/JPL, MISR Team.