Institute of Astronomy

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Comet 67P nears closest point to Sun

Astronomy News - 13 August 2015 - 9:11am

Comet 67P has passed the closest point to the Sun in its 6.5-year orbit, with the Rosetta spacecraft still in orbit around it.

Planck Legacy Archive: 2015 data delivery is complete

Astronomy News - 12 August 2015 - 9:54am
ESA's Planck mission has achieved a significant milestone. The 2015 data delivery to the Planck Legacy Archive, which hosts the mission products, is now complete. The new version of the archive comprises a full record of the data and results from the mission

Comet's firework display ahead of perihelion

Astronomy News - 12 August 2015 - 9:52am

In the approach to perihelion over the past few weeks, Rosetta has been witnessing growing activity from Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, with one dramatic outburst event proving so powerful that it even pushed away the incoming solar wind.

Oxymoronic Black Hole Provides Clues to Growth

Astronomy News - 12 August 2015 - 9:50am
Astronomers using NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and the 6.5-meter Clay Telescope in Chile have identified the smallest supermassive black hole ever detected in the center of a galaxy. This oxymoronic object could provide clues to how larger black holes formed along with their host galaxies 13 billion years or more in the past.

VIDEO: Top tips to view a meteor shower

Astronomy News - 12 August 2015 - 9:19am

Skywatchers are in for a dazzling display as the annual Perseid meteor shower reaches its peak on Wednesday.

Charting the Slow Death of the Universe

Astronomy News - 11 August 2015 - 9:16am
An international team of astronomers studying more than 200 000 galaxies has measured the energy generated within a large portion of space more precisely than ever before. This represents the most comprehensive assessment of the energy output of the nearby Universe. They confirm that the energy produced in a section of the Universe today is only about half what it was two billion years ago and find that this fading is occurring across all wavelengths from the ultraviolet to the far infrared. The Universe is slowly dying.

A Good Year for Perseid Meteors

Astronomy News - 11 August 2015 - 9:15am
This week, Earth passes through a stream of debris from Comet Swift-Tuttle, source of the annual Perseid meteor shower. Forecasters say the show could be especially good this year because the Moon is nearly new when the shower peaks on Aug. 12-13.

Meteor light show set to dazzle

Astronomy News - 11 August 2015 - 9:07am

The annual Perseid meteor shower reaches its peak late on Wednesday, though weather is likely to spoil the party across southern England.

Survey puts figure on fading cosmos

Astronomy News - 11 August 2015 - 9:07am
A survey examining 200,000 galaxies in multiple wavelengths offers the best estimate yet of how fast the Universe is fading.