Institute of Astronomy

Astronomy News

Is Titan submarine the most daring space mission yet?

19 March 2015 - 10:26am

Is this the most daring space mission yet?

Race to find the first exomoon heats up

18 March 2015 - 10:29am
Speedier ways to search for moons outside the solar system are good news for alien hunters: these would be some of the best places to look for life

Best views of Mercury's icy craters

18 March 2015 - 10:20am

Scientists obtain the most detailed views yet of ice deposits inside the permanently shadowed craters at Mercury's north pole.

VIDEO: Northern Lights glow in UK's night sky

18 March 2015 - 10:19am

The Northern Lights - or Aurora Borealis - have been creating a fabulous show across large parts of the Northern Hemisphere.

Where will you be watching the solar eclipse on Friday, 20 March? Put a pin in o...

17 March 2015 - 10:45am
Where will you be watching the solar eclipse on Friday, 20 March? Put a pin in our map!

Where Will You Watch the Eclipse?
Website for plotting eclipse viewing locations.

#RosettaWatch: New clues about the origin of comet 67P

17 March 2015 - 10:44am

The latest word from comet 67P is in: strange forces mimic wind on the surface, the comet may be made entirely of pebbles, and Philae isn't awake yet

Dancing in the dark: The search for the 'missing Universe'

17 March 2015 - 10:32am

Large Hadron Collider goes after dark matter

New lunar crater named after Earhart

17 March 2015 - 10:32am

Scientists discover a large crater on the Earth-facing side of the Moon - the first detection of its kind in at least a century.

Rosetta comet wind mystery 'solved'

17 March 2015 - 10:32am

Scientists from the Rosetta mission may have solved the puzzle of features on Comet 67P that look like they were produced by wind.

VIDEO: Dark matter's 'gang of four'

17 March 2015 - 10:31am

The Large Hadron Collider will put reputations on the line when it attempts to solve the mystery of dark matter.

Hubble Source Catalog: One-Stop Shopping for Astronomers

16 March 2015 - 10:29am

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Astronomers at the Space Telescope Science Institute and the Johns Hopkins University, both in Baltimore, Maryland, have created a new master catalog of astronomical objects called the Hubble Source Catalog. The catalog provides one-stop shopping for measurements of objects observed with NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.

New Desktop Application Has Potential to Increase Asteroid Detection, Now Available to Public

16 March 2015 - 10:27am

A software application based on an algorithm created by a NASA challenge has the potential to increase the number of new asteroid discoveries by amateur astronomers.

NASA's Hubble Observations Suggest Underground Ocean on Jupiter's Largest Moon

13 March 2015 - 10:16am

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Nearly 500 million miles from the Sun lies a moon orbiting Jupiter that is slightly larger than the planet Mercury and may contain more water than all of Earth's oceans. Temperatures are so cold, though, that water on the surface freezes as hard as rock and the ocean lies roughly 100 miles below the crust. Nevertheless, where there is water there could be life as we know it. Identifying liquid water on other worlds big or small is crucial in the search for habitable planets beyond Earth. Though the presence of an ocean on Ganymede has been long predicted based on theoretical models, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope found the best evidence for it. Hubble was used to watch aurorae glowing above the moon's icy surface. The aurorae are tied to the moon's magnetic field, which descends right down to the core of Ganymede. A saline ocean would influence the dynamics of the magnetic field as it interacts with Jupiter's own immense magnetic field, which engulfs Ganymede. Because telescopes can't look inside planets or moons, tracing the magnetic field through aurorae is a unique way to probe the interior of another world.

NASA’s Hubble Observations Suggest Underground Ocean on Jupiter's Largest Moon

13 March 2015 - 10:16am

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has the best evidence yet for an underground saltwater ocean on Ganymede, Jupiter’s largest moon. The subterranean ocean is thought to have more water than all the water on Earth's surface.

The UK's best solar eclipse this decade happens next Friday, 20 March! Everyone...

13 March 2015 - 10:15am
The UK's best solar eclipse this decade happens next Friday, 20 March!

Everyone in the UK will be able to see it - provided there's no cloud. Our booklet explains what you will be able to see and how to view the eclipse safely.

How to observe an eclipse safely
What is a solar eclipse, and how is it caused? What can members of the public expect to see, and how can they observe an eclipse safely?This booklet explains the answers to these questions and more.

Aurora reveals Jupiter moon's secret subsurface sea

13 March 2015 - 10:14am
Hubble Space Telescope images reveal Ganymede, the largest moon in the solar system, has a secret sea – just a day after a similar find on Saturn's moon Enceladus

Explosive eruptions rocked the youthful moon

13 March 2015 - 10:14am
The Chinese Jade Rabbit lunar rover reveals that the moon's geological history is complex and violent

'Best evidence' for Ganymede ocean

13 March 2015 - 10:13am

The Hubble telescope obtains compelling evidence that Ganymede - the largest moon in the Solar System - has an ocean beneath its icy crust.

VIDEO: Nasa films biggest solar flare of 2015

13 March 2015 - 10:13am

Nasa cameras have captured images of an X-class flare, the strongest category of Sun storm possible, and they are the first of its size in 2015.

Hot water activity on icy moon's seafloor

12 March 2015 - 10:17am

Tiny grains of rock detected by the international Cassini spacecraft orbiting Saturn point to hydrothermal activity on the seafloor of its icy moon Enceladus.