Institute of Astronomy

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VIDEO: Why is Pluto not a planet?

Astronomy News - 13 July 2015 - 9:11am

As Nasa's New Horizons probe gets ready to flyby Pluto on Tuesday, the Royal Observatory's Public Astronomer Dr Marek Kukula looks at one of the most divisive issues in modern science - Pluto's reclassification to a "dwarf planet".

VIDEO: New Horizons on course for Pluto flyby

Astronomy News - 13 July 2015 - 9:11am

Nasa's New Horizons spacecraft is due to flyby Pluto on Tuesday and scientists are expecting it to send back the clearest ever images of the distant dwarf planet.

New Horizons set for Pluto flyby

Astronomy News - 13 July 2015 - 9:10am

Engineers say the New Horizons spacecraft is in great shape for its historic flyby of Pluto on Tuesday.

New Tool for Astronomers – Second Planck Catalogue of Compact Sources Released

Astronomy News - 10 July 2015 - 9:49am

ESA's Planck mission is the source for a new catalogue, eagerly awaited by the scientific community, and available online from today. The Second Planck Catalogue of Compact Sources uses data from the entire mission to identify tens of thousands of compact sources, as well as providing polarisation data for several hundred of them. The new catalogue surpasses its predecessors not only in the quantity of sources but also in the quality of data. It will be an asset to astronomers working in a wide range of fields.

Huge New Survey to Shine Light on Dark Matter

Astronomy News - 10 July 2015 - 9:47am
The first results have been released from a major new dark matter survey of the southern skies using ESO’s VLT Survey Telescope (VST) at the Paranal Observatory in Chile. The VST KiDS survey will allow astronomers to make precise measurements of dark matter, the structure of galaxy halos, and the evolution of galaxies and clusters. The first KiDS results show how the characteristics of the observed galaxies are determined by the invisible vast clumps of dark matter surrounding them.

What the sun would look like if you had X-ray vision

Astronomy News - 10 July 2015 - 9:45am

A new image of the sun combines three views to reveal its activity in a new light









Pluto snapped from 8 million km

Astronomy News - 10 July 2015 - 9:33am

Nasa's spacecraft New Horizons acquires another stunning view of Pluto as it bears down on the dwarf planet, ahead of its 14 July flyby.

What will Pluto mission discover?

Astronomy News - 10 July 2015 - 9:33am

The key questions about Nasa's Pluto flyby