Institute of Astronomy

News and Press Releases

Are a companion's comets a key to a curious exoplanet system?

Published on 17/12/2013 

The nearby star Fomalhaut A hosts the most famous planetary system outside our own Solar System, containing both an exoplanet and a spectacular ring of comets. Today, an international team of astronomers announced a new discovery with the Herschel Space Observatory that has made this system even more intriguing; the least massive star of the three in the Fomalhaut system, Fomalhaut C, has now been found to host its own comet belt. The researchers published their results today in a letter to the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Stargazing Live event on Saturday 11th January

Published on 06/12/2013 

Extra public observing for Stargazing Live

The Institute of Astronomy and the Cambridge Astronomical Association will be holding an extra public observing session between 6 - 8pm on Saturday 11th January 2014 in support of the BBC's Stargazing Live.

If the weather is clear.... we shall be outside staffing telescopes outside on the Observatory lawns

A First Look at the Gravitational Universe

Published on 04/12/2013 

A First Look at the Gravitational Universe

ESA selects the science theme for the L3 mission

The Science Programme Committee of the European Space Agency (ESA) announced on November 28th that the science theme for the L3 mission opportunity would be "The Gravitational Universe", a proposal to make astrophysical observations in a completely new way, through the detection of gravitational waves.

A New View of the Hot and Energetic Universe

Published on 28/11/2013 

A New View of the Hot and Energetic Universe

ESA selects the science theme for its next large mission

At its meeting in Paris today, the Science Programme Committee of the European Space Agency (ESA) selected the "The Hot and Energetic Universe" as the science theme for its next Large (L-class) mission, expected to be launched in 2028, with the power to address some of the most fundamental questions in modern astrophysics.

Water-Rich Planetary Building Blocks Found Around White Dwarf

Published on 10/10/2013 

Artist's impression of a rocky and water-rich asteroid being torn apart by the strong gravity of the white dwarf star GD 61.  Similar objects in the Solar System likely delivered the bulk of water on Earth and represent the building blocks of the terrestrial planets.  Image copyright Mark A. Garlick, space-art.co.uk, University of Warwick and University of Cambridge.