Institute of Astronomy

News and Press Releases

219 million stars: Astronomers release most detailed catalogue ever made of the visible Milky Way

Published on 16/09/2014 
A density map of part of the Milky Way disk, constructed from IPHAS data. 

A new catalogue of the visible part of the northern part of our home Galaxy, the Milky Way, includes no fewer than 219 million stars. Geert Barentsen of the University of Hertfordshire led a team, including members of the IoA, Cambridge, who assembled the catalogue in a ten year programme using the Isaac Newton Telescope (INT) on La Palma in the Canary Islands. Their work appears today in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Gaia discovers its first supernova

Published on 12/09/2014 

Image caption: An artist’s impression of a Type Ia supernova – the explosion of a white dwarf locked in a binary system with a companion star (Credit: ESA/ATG medialab/C. Carreau). The inset figure shows a low-resolution spectrum obtained with the photometric instrument on Gaia of the supernova. (Credits: ESA/Gaia/DPAC/N. Blagorodnova).

NASA's NuSTAR Sees Rare Blurring of Black Hole Light

Published on 08/08/2014 

A big, spinning black hole blurs light

Highest-precision measurement of water in planet outside the solar system

Published on 22/07/2014 

Highest-precision measurement of water in planet outside the solar system

The discovery of water vapour in the atmospheres of three exoplanets includes the most precise measurement of any chemical in a planet outside the solar system, and has major implications for planet formation and the search for water on Earth-like habitable exoplanets in future.

Spectral ‘ruler’ is first standardised way to measure stars

Published on 25/06/2014 
Spectral ‘ruler’ is first standardised way to measure stars
 
A team of astronomers have created the first standardised set of measurement guidelines for analysing and cataloguing stars.