Institute of Astronomy

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NASA Hubble Instruments Highlight New National Air and Space Museum Exhibit

Astronomy News - 23 April 2014 - 3:53pm
Two instruments that played critical roles in discoveries made by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope now are on display in an exhibit at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington.

Astronomy: Earth twin spotted in habitable zone

Astronomy News - 23 April 2014 - 1:00am

Astronomy: Earth twin spotted in habitable zone

Nature 508, 7497 (2014). doi:10.1038/508434e

Astronomers have discovered a planet that is a similar size to Earth orbiting a cool, dim star at just the right distance for liquid water to exist. It is the most Earth-like planet found so far that could potentially host life.A team led by

Asteroid impact risks 'underplayed'

Astronomy News - 22 April 2014 - 7:18pm
A visualisation showing where sizeable asteroids have hit the Earth in recent years has been released by the B612 Foundation.

Asteroid strike map built from nuclear watchdog data

Astronomy News - 22 April 2014 - 6:51pm
The network that monitors for covert nuclear weapons testing helped detect 26 asteroids entering Earth's atmosphere since 2000 – this movie maps them






XMM-Newton:Unique pair of hidden black holes discovered by XMM-Newton

Astronomy News - 22 April 2014 - 11:20am
A pair of supermassive black holes in orbit around one another have been spotted by XMM-Newton. This is the first time such a pair have been seen in an ordinary galaxy. They were discovered because they ripped apart a star when the space observatory happened to be looking in their direction.

Earth-Size Planet Found In The … ne' of Another Star

Astronomy News - 17 April 2014 - 7:19pm
Using NASA's Kepler Space Telescope, astronomers have discovered the first Earth-size planet orbiting a star in the "habitable zone" -- the range of distance from a star where liquid water might pool on the surface of an orbiting planet.

Smallest life-friendly exoplanet may be lit by auroras

Astronomy News - 17 April 2014 - 7:00pm
Found by NASA's Kepler telescope, the world is slightly bigger than Earth and orbits an active red star that could drive dazzling sky shows






NASA's Kepler Telescope Discovers First Earth-Size Planet in 'Habitable Zone'

Astronomy News - 17 April 2014 - 5:00pm
Using NASA's Kepler Space Telescope, astronomers have discovered the first Earth-size planet orbiting a star in the "habitable zone" -- the range of distance from a star where liquid water might pool on the surface of an orbiting planet. The discovery of Kepler-186f confirms that planets the size of Earth exist in the habitable zone of stars other than our sun.

Hubble:A cross-section of the Universe [heic1408]

Astronomy News - 17 April 2014 - 3:00pm
An image of a galaxy cluster taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope gives a remarkable cross-section of the Universe, showing objects at different distances and stages in cosmic history. They range from cosmic near neighbours to objects seen in the early years of the Universe. The 14-hour exposure shows objects around a billion times fainter than can be seen with the naked eye.

Swirling red nebula is part of angry chicken in the sky

Astronomy News - 16 April 2014 - 5:47pm
A crucible of bright stars illuminates a nebula in glowing red hydrogen that would normally be too faint for the human eye to see






Birth of 'new Saturn moon' witnessed

Astronomy News - 16 April 2014 - 5:44pm
Scientists say they have discovered what could be the birth of a new moon in the rings of Saturn.

Rosetta:Instrument commissioning continues

Astronomy News - 16 April 2014 - 11:21am
We're now in week four of six dedicated to commissioning Rosetta's science instruments after the long hibernation period, with the majority now having completed at least a first initial switch on.

A Study in Scarlet

Astronomy News - 16 April 2014 - 11:00am
This new image from ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile reveals a cloud of hydrogen called Gum 41. In the middle of this little-known nebula, brilliant hot young stars are giving off energetic radiation that causes the surrounding hydrogen to glow with a characteristic red hue.

Astronomy: Art of the eclipse

Astronomy News - 16 April 2014 - 1:00am

Astronomy: Art of the eclipse

Nature 508, 7496 (2014). doi:10.1038/508314a

Authors: Jay M. Pasachoff & Roberta J. M. Olson

As the next solar eclipse approaches, Jay M. Pasachoff and Roberta J. M. Olson ponder how artists from the early Renaissance onwards have interpreted the phenomenon.

Star dust casts doubt on recent big bang wave result

Astronomy News - 15 April 2014 - 6:29pm
Dust left over from an exploding star could mimic the effect that primordial gravitational waves would have had on ancient cosmic light






Early air points to cold, dry Mars

Astronomy News - 15 April 2014 - 5:23pm
Scientists have worked out the characteristics of the air on Mars 3.6 billion years ago.

NASA Hosts Media Teleconference to Announce Latest Kepler Discovery

Astronomy News - 15 April 2014 - 5:00pm
NASA will host a news teleconference at 2 p.m. EDT Thursday, April 17, to announce a new discovery made by its planet-hunting mission, the Kepler Space Telescope.

Possible New Moon Forming Around Saturn

Astronomy News - 14 April 2014 - 11:33pm
NASA's Cassini spacecraft has documented the formation of a small icy object within the rings of Saturn that may be a new moon, and may also provide clues to the formation of the planet's known moons.

NASA Cassini Images May Reveal Birth of New Saturn Moon

Astronomy News - 14 April 2014 - 5:00pm
NASA's Cassini spacecraft has documented the formation of a small icy object within the rings of Saturn that may be a new moon, and may also provide clues to the formation of the planet's known moons.

'Big Bird' space neutrino has highest energy yet seen

Astronomy News - 14 April 2014 - 4:30pm
A playfully named subatomic particle is confirmed, and beats rivals Bert and Ernie in terms of energy. Next step: to find a cluster of space neutrinos