Institute of Astronomy

News and Press Releases

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.

Dating our galaxy's dormant volcano

Published on 23/09/2013 

An artist's conception of a black hole generating a jet. Two million years ago the supermassive black hole at the centre of our Galaxy was 100 million times more powerful than it is today. Credit: NASA/Dana Berry/SkyWorks Digital

A dormant volcano — a supermassive black hole — lies at the heart of our Galaxy. Fresh evidence suggests that it last erupted two million years ago.

Astronomers have long suspected such an outburst occurred, but this is the first time they've been able to date it.

Clues to the Growth of the Colossus in Coma

Published on 18/09/2013 

A composite imge of the Coma cluster of galaxies, showing bothe the X-ray emission from Chandra (in pink) and the optical data from the SDSS (in white and blue).