Institute of Astronomy

News and Press Releases

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

Using stellar ‘twins’ to reach the outer limits of the galaxy

Published on 07/09/2015 

Astronomers from the University of Cambridge have developed a new, highly accurate method of measuring the distances between stars, which could be used to measure the size of the galaxy, enabling greater understanding of how it evolved.

Gaia's first year of scientific observations

Published on 26/08/2015 

On  Friday, 21 August, ESA’s billion-star surveyor, Gaia, completed its first year of science observations in its main survey mode.