Institute of Astronomy

Astronomy News

VIDEO: Searching for the Northern Lights

21 March 2014 - 10:49am
BBC Weather's Carol Kirkwood looks at what causes the Northern Lights and tries to see them in the UK.

Moon impacts eject debris at shotgun speeds

20 March 2014 - 11:03pm
The risk to future lunar explorers is significant but manageable, provided we build strong enough spacesuits and moon bases

NASA's Spitzer Telescope Brings 360-Degree View of Galaxy to Our Fingertips

20 March 2014 - 5:00pm
Touring the Milky Way now is as easy as clicking a button with NASA's new zoomable, 360-degree mosaic presented Thursday at the TEDActive 2014 Conference in Vancouver, Canada.

Salty skies signal planetary growing pains

19 March 2014 - 10:13pm
Thick, steamy atmospheres full of mineral vapours would reveal young planets that have just suffered huge collisions like the ones that helped make Earth

Will new physics sail on gravitational waves?

19 March 2014 - 7:30pm
The discovery of primordial ripples in space-time is exciting. But does it really herald a new era for cosmology?

Gravitational waves explained with a towel and apple

19 March 2014 - 4:27pm
Need a giant IQ to understand the announcement about gravitational waves? Nonsense. Our video explains the basics using nothing but everyday objects

Multiverse gets real with glimpse of big bang ripples

18 March 2014 - 6:39pm
The first direct signs of a cosmic growth spurt that set space-time rippling means that we may live in just one of an infinite number of universes

NASA Releases First Interactive Mosaic of Lunar North Pole

18 March 2014 - 5:00pm
Scientists, using cameras aboard NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), have created the largest high resolution mosaic of our moon’s north polar region. The six-and-a-half feet (two-meters)-per-pixel images cover an area equal to more than one-quarter of the United States.

'Waves' detected on Titan’s lakes

18 March 2014 - 3:27pm
Scientists believe they have detected liquid waves on Saturn’s moon Titan – the first to be observed on the surface of another world.

AUDIO: Hawking 'wins inflation debate'

18 March 2014 - 10:34am
Tom Feilden, Stephen Hawking and Neil Turok discuss new evidence that scientists claim supports a Big Bang Theory for the origin of the Universe.

Herschel:Herschel completes largest survey of cosmic dust in local Universe

18 March 2014 - 9:52am
The largest census of dust in local galaxies has been completed using data from ESA's Herschel space observatory, providing a huge legacy to the scientific community.

Swirls of colour reveal primordial gravitational waves

17 March 2014 - 5:08pm
This visualisation of eddies in cosmic background radiation gives a glimpse into the moments after the big bang

Hubble Celebrates 24th Anniversary with Infrared Image of Nearby Star Factory

17 March 2014 - 4:55pm
In celebration of the 24th anniversary of the launch of NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers have captured infrared-light images of a churning region of star birth 6,400 light-years away.

First glimpse of big bang ripples from universe's birth

17 March 2014 - 3:54pm
The first clear detection of primordial gravitational waves allows us to peer back further than we thought possible - and could unlock many cosmic secrets

Inflation: A compact guide to big science

17 March 2014 - 3:47pm
The cosmic marker that's caused such a stir

Spectacular cosmic discovery hailed

17 March 2014 - 3:46pm
Scientists say they have found a signal left in the sky by the super-rapid expansion of space that occurred just fractions of a second after the Big Bang.

Hubble:Hubble revisits the Monkey Head Nebula for 24th birthday snap [heic1406]

17 March 2014 - 10:00am
To celebrate its 24th year in orbit, the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has released a beautiful new image of part of NGC 2174, also known as the Monkey Head Nebula. This colourful region is filled with young stars embedded within bright wisps of cosmic gas and dust.

Hubble Celebrates Its 24th Anniversary with an Infrared Look at a Nearby Star Factory

17 March 2014 - 10:00am

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This colorful Hubble Space Telescope mosaic of a small portion of the Monkey Head Nebula unveils a collection of carved knots of gas and dust silhouetted against glowing gas. The cloud is sculpted by ultraviolet light eating into the cool hydrogen gas. As the interstellar dust particles are warmed from the radiation from the stars in the center of the nebula, they heat up and begin to glow at infrared wavelengths, as captured by Hubble. The space photo superficially resembles the "The Great Wave" print by 19th century Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai.

VIDEO: Planet Mercury 'is getting smaller'

17 March 2014 - 7:20am
The planet Mercury is about 7km smaller today than when its crust first solidified over four billion years ago.

Telescope captures view of gravitational waves

17 March 2014 - 1:00am

Telescope captures view of gravitational waves

Nature 507, 7492 (2014).

Author: Ron Cowen

Images of the infant Universe reveal evidence for rapid inflation after the Big Bang.