Institute of Astronomy

Astronomy News

Pictures show comet probe 'bounce'

16 November 2014 - 6:30pm
Images of the Philae probe moments after its initial touchdown on comet 67P have been published by the European Space Agency.

Pioneering Philae completes main mission before hibernation

15 November 2014 - 8:49am
Rosetta's lander has completed its primary science mission after nearly 57 hours on Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko.

Habitable exomoons born in cosmic collisions

14 November 2014 - 6:00pm
Simulations suggest that moons that can hang on to an atmosphere only form in certain types of cosmic collisions

Three touchdowns for Rosetta's lander

14 November 2014 - 3:13pm
After achieving touchdown on a comet for the first time in history, scientists and engineers are busy analysing this new world and the nature of the landing.

The Party's Over for These Youthful Compact Galaxies

13 November 2014 - 6:00pm

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Hubble has uncovered young, massive, compact galaxies whose raucous star-making parties are ending early. The firestorm of star birth has blasted out most of the remaining gaseous fuel needed to make future generations of stars. Now the party's over for these gas-starved galaxies, and they are on track to possibly becoming so-called "red and dead galaxies," composed only of aging stars. An analysis of 12 merging galaxies is suggesting that energy from the star-birthing frenzy created powerful winds that are blowing out the gas, squelching future generations of stars. This activity occurred when the universe was half its current age of 13.7 billion years.

RAS statement on the abolition of Europe's Chief Scientific Advisor. Our presi...

13 November 2014 - 5:26pm
RAS statement on the abolition of Europe's Chief Scientific Advisor.

Our president calls for the position to be re-instated.

RAS statement on the abolition of Europe's Chief Scientific Advisor
The new European Commission has abolished the position of its main scientific advisor, according to recent media reports. The RAS wishes to express its disappointment at this decision, which is likely to weaken the role of scientific evidence in EU g

Race to get comet data before Philae dies

13 November 2014 - 4:30pm
The first spacecraft to land on a comet bounced twice before it settled, but its batteries are running out, leaving scientists in a race against time

Comet probe Philae 'has stabilised'

13 November 2014 - 9:22am
The robot probe Philae that made a historic landing on a comet is now stable after initially failing to attach to the surface, scientists say.

Touchdown! Rosetta's Philae probe lands on comet

12 November 2014 - 6:32pm
ESA's Rosetta mission has soft-landed its Philae probe on a comet, the first time in history that such an extraordinary feat has been achieved.

MUSE Reveals True Story Behind Galactic Crash

10 November 2014 - 12:01am
The new MUSE instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) has provided researchers with the best view yet of a spectacular cosmic crash. The new observations reveal for the first time the motion of gas as it is ripped out of the galaxy ESO 137-001 as it ploughs at high speed into a vast galaxy cluster. The results are the key to the solution of a long-standing mystery — why star formation switches off in galaxy clusters.