Institute of Astronomy

News and Press Releases

The quiet intracluster medium of the Perseus Cluster

Published on 06/07/2016 

The quiet intracluster medium of the Perseus cluster

With its very first observation, the Hitomi X-ray observatory has discovered that the gas in the Perseus cluster of galaxies is much less turbulent than expected. This is a surprise because the Perseus cluster is home to NGC 1275, a highly energetic active galaxy.

ALMA detects the most distant oxygen ever

Published on 14/06/2016 

ALMA detects the most distant oxygen ever

An international team of astronomers have detected glowing oxygen in a distant galaxy seen just 700 million years after the Big Bang. This is the most distant galaxy in which oxygen has ever been unambiguously detected, and it is most likely being ionised by powerful radiation from young giant stars. This galaxy could be an example of one type of source responsible for cosmic reionisation in the early history of the Universe.

Cold gas cloud shadows in the glare of a supermassive black hole

Published on 06/06/2016 

‘Shadows’ cast by molecular clouds moving toward the supermassive black hole. imprinting absorption lines on the continuum-subtracted spectrum from the region around the core of the galaxy.

First evidence of icy comets orbiting a sun-like star

Published on 17/05/2016 

Illustration of the dust ring surrounding HD 181327. Credit: Amanda Smith, University of Cambridge.

First evidence of icy comets orbiting a sun-like star

An international team of astronomers have found evidence of ice and comets orbiting a nearby sun-like star, which could give a glimpse into how our own solar system developed.

Three potentially habitable worlds found around nearby ultracool dwarf star

Published on 10/05/2016 

Three Earth-sized planets have been discovered orbiting a dim and cool star, and may be the best place to search for life beyond the Solar System.

The discovery of a planetary system around such a small star opens up a brand new avenue for research.