Institute of Astronomy

Astronomy News

Mars Webcam goes pro

6 June 2016 - 10:14am

A modest 'webcam' on Mars Express has proven useful for outreach, education and citizen-science. Now ESA have decided to adopt it as a professional science instrument.

NASA's Hubble Finds Universe Is Expanding Faster Than Expected

6 June 2016 - 10:13am

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When astronomer Edwin Hubble discovered nearly 100 years ago that the universe was uniformly expanding in all directions, the finding was a big surprise. Then, in the mid-1990s, another shocker occurred: astronomers found that the expansion rate was accelerating perhaps due to a repulsive property called "dark energy." Now, the latest measurements of our runaway universe suggest that it is expanding faster than astronomers thought. The consequences could be very significant for our understanding of the shadowy contents of our unruly universe. It may mean that dark energy is shoving galaxies away from each other with even greater or growing strength. Or, the early cosmos may contain a new type of subatomic particle referred to as "dark radiation." A third possibility is that "dark matter," an invisible form of matter that makes up the bulk of our universe, possesses some weird, unexpected characteristics. Finally, Einstein's theory of gravity may be incomplete.

Why is the universe expanding 9 per cent faster than we thought?

6 June 2016 - 10:11am

Two ways of measuring how quickly the universe is flying apart come up with increasingly different numbers. Are our measurements wrong, or is physics?

Red and Golden Planets at Opposition

6 June 2016 - 10:10am

Mars and Saturn are getting together in the constellation Scorpius for back-to-back oppositions in May and June 2016.

Astronomers probe below Jupiter's clouds

6 June 2016 - 10:09am

US astronomers have managed to peer deep into the atmosphere of Jupiter using a radio telescope here on Earth.

Hubble clocks faster cosmic expansion

6 June 2016 - 10:09am

The Universe may be expanding up to 9% faster than previously thought, according to new measurements from the Hubble Space Telescope.