Institute of Astronomy

Astronomy News

MUSE Probes Uncharted Depths of Hubble Ultra Deep Field

30 November 2017 - 9:36am
Astronomers using the MUSE instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope in Chile have conducted the deepest spectroscopic survey ever. They focused on the Hubble Ultra Deep Field, measuring distances and properties of 1600 very faint galaxies including 72 galaxies that have never been detected before, even by Hubble itself. This groundbreaking dataset has already resulted in 10 science papers that are being published in a special issue of Astronomy & Astrophysics. This wealth of new information is giving astronomers insight into star formation in the early Universe, and allows them to study the motions and other properties of early galaxies — made possible by MUSE’s unique spectroscopic capabilities.

Jocelyn Bell Burnell doesn't mind Nobel overlook

30 November 2017 - 9:34am

The astrophysicist says at the time students weren't awarded Nobel Prizes.

Stellar motions in nearby galaxy hint at underlying dark matter

29 November 2017 - 9:25am

By pinning down, for the first time, the three-dimensional motions of individual stars in the nearby Sculptor dwarf galaxy, astronomers have shed new light on the distribution of invisible dark matter that pervades the galaxy. This study combined the positions of stars measured by ESA's Gaia mission with observations from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope taken twelve years earlier.

Hubble and Gaia team up to measure 3D stellar motion with record-breaking precision [heic1719]

29 November 2017 - 9:24am

A team of astronomers used data from both the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and ESA's Gaia satellite to directly measure the 3D motions of individual stars in a nearby galaxy. The achieved accuracy is better than anything previously measured for a galaxy beyond the Milky Way. The motions provide a field test of the currently-accepted cosmological model and also measure the trajectory of the galaxy through space. The results are published in Nature Astronomy.

We’ve found a bunch of dwarf galaxies we thought didn’t exist

29 November 2017 - 9:22am

The missing dwarf galaxies around the Milky Way have been found. Their existence means dark matter could be made of particles that are warmer than we expected

Mysterious gamma rays in Crab nebula traced to pulsar winds

29 November 2017 - 9:22am

Ultra-bright flashes in the Crab nebula have baffled astronomers, but they could result from winds created by a pulsar at the heart of the gas cloud

A force to be reckoned with

29 November 2017 - 9:20am

Think you know what gravity is? Think again. New research is revealing how little we know about this most mysterious of forces. Read the rest of the article from the latest version of CAM, the University's alumni magazine, here.

Gravity is one of the universe's great mysteries. We decided to find out why.

La TigreSupermassive black holes

The text in this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. For image use please see separate credits above.


How to solve the problem of space junk

29 November 2017 - 9:19am

A British spacecraft is trying to clean up what we send up but never bring down.

Einstein’s theory put to the test

27 November 2017 - 9:10am

Einstein’s theory put to the test

Einstein’s theory put to the test, Published online: 24 November 2017; doi:10.1038/d41586-017-07497-x

Attempts to break relativity get ever-more stringent.