Institute of Astronomy

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Huygens: the top 10 discoveries at Titan

Astronomy News - 15 January 2015 - 3:23pm
Ten years ago, ESA's Huygens probe entered the history books by descending to the surface of Titan, Saturn’s largest moon. Humanity's first successful attempt to land a probe on another world in the outer Solar System took place at 13:34 CET (12:34 GMT) on 14 January 2005.

Galactic zombies roam the cosmos and refuse to die

Astronomy News - 14 January 2015 - 7:50pm

Cannibalism plays a big part in the life cycle of galaxies, but some rise from the dead as zombies – including one on a collision course with our own

New Exoplanet-hunting Telescopes on Paranal

Astronomy News - 14 January 2015 - 11:10am
The Next-Generation Transit Survey (NGTS) has achieved first light at ESO’s Paranal Observatory in northern Chile. This project will search for transiting exoplanets — planets that pass in front of their parent star and hence produce a slight dimming of the star’s light that can be detected by sensitive instruments. The telescopes will focus on discovering Neptune-sized and smaller planets, with diameters between two and eight times that of Earth.

Huge circle in Antarctic ice hints at meteorite impact

Astronomy News - 9 January 2015 - 7:14pm
A 2-kilometre-wide circle of deformed ice discovered in Antarctica may be a site of a large meteorite impact from 2004

‘Bent time’ tips pulsar out of view

Astronomy News - 9 January 2015 - 5:46pm

One of deep space's spinning "lighthouses" fades from view as it warps space-time, tilting its radio beams away from Earth.

'Planet' Pluto comes into view

Astronomy News - 9 January 2015 - 3:48pm

The little world is finally about to come into view

Saturn pinpointed to within one mile

Astronomy News - 9 January 2015 - 11:52am

Astronomers measure Saturn’s position with unprecedented accuracy thanks to a continent-wide radio telescope.

Mercury may be sole survivor of planetary pile-up

Astronomy News - 8 January 2015 - 6:28pm
Our solar system may have started out with several planets packed closer to the sun than Mercury, much like the planets we see around other stars

Jupiter's eroding core may already be just a husk

Astronomy News - 8 January 2015 - 1:51pm

The lump of ice and rock at the planet's centre is dissolving like salt in water, and the latest calculations say it's happening twice as fast as we thought

Bright black hole may have blasted early Earth life

Astronomy News - 8 January 2015 - 12:14pm

The black hole at the centre of our galaxy may have been more active in the past, hurling X-rays at ancient life forms