Institute of Astronomy

News and Press Releases

Gravitational waves detected 100 years after Einstein’s prediction

Published on 11/02/2016 

 

An international team of scientists have observed ripples in the fabric of spacetime called gravitational waves, arriving at the earth from a cataclysmic event in the distant universe. This confirms a major prediction of Albert Einstein’s 1915 general theory of relativity and opens an unprecedented new window onto the cosmos.

How to escape a black hole

Published on 24/11/2015 

image credit : NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center/CI Lab

An international team of astrophysicists, including researchers from the University of Cambridge, has observed a new way for gas to escape the gravitational pull of a supermassive black hole.

Ancient stars at the centre of the Milky Way contain ‘fingerprints’ from the very early Universe

Published on 10/11/2015 

Ancient stars at the centre of the Milky Way contain ‘fingerprints’ from the very early Universe

Astronomers have discovered some of the oldest stars in the galaxy, whose chemical composition and movements could tell us what the Universe was like soon after the Big Bang.

Astronomers may have witnessed the birth of a black hole

Published on 07/11/2015 

Hubble Space Telescope photo of NGC 3021. Image credit: NASA / ESA / A. Riess, STScI.

Black Hole has major flare

Published on 28/10/2015 
This diagram shows how a shifting feature, called a corona, can create a flare of X-rays around a black hole. The corona (feature represented in purplish colors) gathers inward (left), becoming brighter, before shooting away from the black hole (middle and right). Astronomers don't know why the coronas shift, but they have learned that this process leads to a brightening of X-ray light that can be observed by telescopes. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech