Institute of Astronomy

Astronomy News

Call for media: Second data release from ESA's Gaia mission

20 April 2018 - 9:19am
Media representatives are invited to a briefing on the second data release of ESA's Gaia mission, an astrometry mission to map more than one billion stars in our Galaxy, the Milky Way. The media briefing is being organised by ESA at the ILA Berlin Air and Space Show in Germany, on Wednesday 25 April 2018, 11:00–12:15 CEST. The show opens at 10:00 CEST.

Hubble celebrates 28th anniversary with a trip through the Lagoon Nebula [heic1808]

20 April 2018 - 9:18am

This colourful cloud of glowing interstellar gas is just a tiny part of the Lagoon Nebula, a vast stellar nursery. This nebula is a region full of intense activity, with fierce winds from hot stars, swirling chimneys of gas, and energetic star formation all embedded within a hazy labyrinth of gas and dust. Hubble used both its optical and infrared instruments to study the nebula, which was observed to celebrate Hubble's 28th anniversary.

SKA prototype dish unveiled

20 April 2018 - 9:16am
The first prototype dish for what will be the world's largest radio telescope array was unveiled last month at a ceremony in Shijiazhuang, China.

Boost for chance of exoplanet life

20 April 2018 - 9:15am
The possibility that some of the exoplanets in the TRAPPIST-1 system could harbour life has been boosted by new measurements.

Two Hubble Views of the Same Stellar Nursery

20 April 2018 - 9:15am

These NASA Hubble Space Telescope images compare two diverse views of the roiling heart of a vast stellar nursery, known as the Lagoon Nebula. The images, one taken in visible and the other in infrared light, celebrate Hubble’s 28th anniversary in space.

News Article Type: Homepage ArticlesPublished: Thursday, April 19, 2018 - 13:22

Nasa's Tess: Planet-hunting satellite lifts off

19 April 2018 - 9:52am

Nasa's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (Tess) searches for new planets.

Where is the Universe's missing matter?

19 April 2018 - 9:50am

Astronomers using ESA's XMM-Newton space observatory have probed the gas-filled haloes around galaxies in a quest to find 'missing' matter thought to reside there, but have come up empty-handed – so where is it?

NASA Planet Hunter on Its Way to Orbit

19 April 2018 - 9:50am
NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) has launched on the first-of-its-kind mission to find worlds beyond our solar system, including some that could support life.

NASA Planet Hunter on Its Way to Orbit

19 April 2018 - 9:49am
Portal origin URL: NASA Planet Hunter on Its Way to OrbitPortal origin nid: 422831Published: Wednesday, April 18, 2018 - 20:15Featured (stick to top of list): yesPortal text teaser: NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) has launched on the first-of-its-kind mission to find worlds beyond our solar system, including some that could support life.Portal image: The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) lifts off at 6:51 p.m. EDT. Science Categories: Universe

Launch of Planet-Hunting TESS Targeted for Wednesday

18 April 2018 - 9:50am

Launch teams are standing down today to conduct additional Guidance Navigation and Control analysis, and teams are now working towards a targeted launch of the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) on Wednesday, April 18.

News Article Type: Homepage ArticlesPublished: Tuesday, April 17, 2018 - 13:01

Lost planet gave birth to space rock’s diamonds

18 April 2018 - 9:49am

Lost planet gave birth to space rock’s diamonds

Lost planet gave birth to space rock’s diamonds, Published online: 17 April 2018; doi:10.1038/d41586-018-04728-7

Minerals in miniature gems point to origins in the early Solar System.

Space diamonds 'came from lost planet'

18 April 2018 - 9:46am

The space rock that exploded in 2008 seems to have come from the early Solar System.

Nasa's Tess planet-hunter: What stars sound like

17 April 2018 - 9:23am

UK astronomer Bill Chaplin demonstrates the "sounds" that stars make and why this is useful to know.

Bounteous black holes at the Galactic Centre

17 April 2018 - 9:22am

Bounteous black holes at the Galactic Centre

Bounteous black holes at the Galactic Centre, Published online: 16 April 2018; doi:10.1038/d41586-018-04341-8

X-ray observations have revealed a dozen stellar-mass black holes at the centre of the Galaxy, implying that there are thousands more to be found. The discovery confirms a fundamental prediction of stellar dynamics.

What in the World is an ‘Exoplanet?’

17 April 2018 - 9:21am

The worlds orbiting other stars are called “exoplanets,” and they come in a wide variety of sizes, from gas giants larger than Jupiter to small, rocky planets about as big around as Earth or Mars. They can be hot enough to boil metal or locked in deep freeze. They can orbit their stars so tightly that a “year” lasts only a few days; they can orbit two suns at once. Some exoplanets are sunless rogues, wandering through the galaxy in permanent darkness.

News Article Type: Homepage ArticlesPublished: Monday, April 16, 2018 - 15:55

Announcement of Opportunity for Community Scientists in the PLATO mission

12 April 2018 - 9:24am
The purpose of this Announcement of Opportunity (AO) is to solicit proposals for Community Scientists in the PLATO mission. This AO is open to scientists affiliated with institutes located in ESA Member States. Scientists involved in the PLATO Mission Consortium management (programmatic, scientific, or technical) or who are responsible for hardware or software development and procurement activities are not eligible to apply.

SPHERE Reveals Fascinating Zoo of Discs Around Young Stars

12 April 2018 - 9:22am
New images from the SPHERE instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope are revealing the dusty discs surrounding nearby young stars in greater detail than previously achieved. They show a bizarre variety of shapes, sizes and structures, including the likely effects of planets still in the process of forming.

NASA Television to Air Launch of Next Planet-Hunting Mission

12 April 2018 - 9:21am
On a mission to detect planets outside of our solar system, NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) is targeted to launch no earlier than 6:51 p.m. EDT Wednesday, April 18.

How gravitational waves might help fundamental cosmology

12 April 2018 - 9:21am

How gravitational waves might help fundamental cosmology

How gravitational waves might help fundamental cosmology, Published online: 11 April 2018; doi:10.1038/d41586-018-04321-y

New observations could help us understand discrepancies in measurements of the expansion of the Universe.

NASA Television to Air Launch of Next Planet-Hunting Mission

12 April 2018 - 9:19am
Portal origin URL: NASA Television to Air Launch of Next Planet-Hunting MissionPortal origin nid: 422327Published: Wednesday, April 11, 2018 - 12:20Featured (stick to top of list): noPortal text teaser: On a mission to detect planets outside of our solar system, NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) is scheduled to launch no earlier than 6:32 p.m. EDT Monday, April 16. Prelaunch mission coverage will begin on NASA Television and the agency’s website Sunday, April 15, with three live briefings.Portal image: NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey SatelliteScience Categories: Universe