Institute of Astronomy

News and Press Releases

Successful launch of Hitomi

Published on 17/02/2016 

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. successfully launched the X-ray Astronomy Satellite (ASTRO-H) at 5:45 p.m. (0845 GMT) on Wednesday 17th February.

Following separation from the launch rocket having attained the correct orbital height and speed,  and deployment of the solar panels, Astro-H has been renamed Hitomi at the start of its three-year mission.

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.