Institute of Astronomy

Astronomy News

Giant galactic gas 'blow out' seen for the first time

5 December 2014 - 5:30pm

A gigantic rainbow jet has been glimpsed in the act of being booted out of a galactic nursery by the forming stars

Pluto probe prepares to wake after nine-year journey

5 December 2014 - 4:57pm
After an epic trip covering about 4.76 billion kilometres, the New Horizons spacecraft is about to arrive near Pluto and its remote, icy neighbours

Japan Launches Asteroid Mission

5 December 2014 - 1:37am
On Dec. 3, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency successfully launched its Hayabusa2 mission to rendezvous with an asteroid, land a small probe plus three mini rovers on its surface, and then return samples to Earth. NASA and JAXA are cooperating on the science of the mission.

Autumn Statement: response from the Royal Astronomical Society The RAS comments...

4 December 2014 - 3:06pm
Autumn Statement: response from the Royal Astronomical Society

The RAS comments on the UK government's latest economic policy.

Autumn Statement: response from the Royal Astronomical Society
The UK Government yesterday published its Autumn Statement, which sets out public sector spending plans and expected economic performance. In science, new announcements included an additional commitment of £55m for the European Space Agency, to suppo

Know thy enemy: the million space rocks we must find

4 December 2014 - 1:41pm
It's time to ramp up efforts to find the many smaller near-Earth objects that could unleash destruction on our planet, says astronomer Martin Rees

Green Light for E-ELT Construction

4 December 2014 - 11:00am
At a recent meeting ESO’s main governing body, the Council, gave the green light [1] for the construction of the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) in two phases. Spending of around one billion euros has been authorised for the first phase, which will cover the construction costs of a fully working telescope with a suite of powerful instruments and first light targeted in ten years time. It will enable tremendous scientific discoveries in the fields of exoplanets, the stellar composition of nearby galaxies and the deep Universe. The largest ESO contract ever, for the telescope dome and main structure, will be placed within the next year.

Alien life arrested by climate catch-22

3 December 2014 - 6:30pm
Other Earth-like planets may be caught in a dilemma – they need stable, warm climates to support complex life, but a lack of life may preclude this

Spotted: First quadruple star image produced by gravity

3 December 2014 - 6:25pm
A newly discovered supernova and its four gravitationally lensed images may give researchers a way to pin down the universe's expansion rate

Hayabusa 2 probe begins journey to land on an asteroid

3 December 2014 - 1:20pm
Japanese space agency JAXA has successfully launched Hayabusa 2, which will land on asteroid 1993 JU3 in 2018