Institute of Astronomy

Astronomy News

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): noPortal 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

4th Announcement of Opportunity for Science Planners in the NASA-led IRIS mission

10 April 2018 - 9:11am
This 4th Announcement of Opportunity (AO), open to scientists affiliated with institutes located in ESA Member States, solicits proposals for participation as Science Planners in the NASA-led IRIS mission.

How many stars to expect in Gaia's second data release

6 April 2018 - 9:06am

As astronomers worldwide are preparing to explore the second data release of ESA's Gaia satellite, the Data Processing and Analysing Consortium announced just how many sources will be included in the new catalogue, which will be made public on 25 April.

Dead Star Circled by Light

6 April 2018 - 9:05am
New images from ESO’s Very Large Telescope in Chile and other telescopes reveal a rich landscape of stars and glowing clouds of gas in one of our closest neighbouring galaxies, the Small Magellanic Cloud. The pictures have allowed astronomers to identify an elusive stellar corpse buried among filaments of gas left behind by a 2000-year-old supernova explosion. The MUSE instrument was used to establish where this elusive object is hiding, and existing Chandra X-ray Observatory data confirmed its identity as an isolated neutron star.

Dozen black holes found at galactic centre

5 April 2018 - 8:55am

A dozen black holes may lie at the centre of our galaxy, the Milky Way, researchers say.

Uptick in US female members of International Astronomical Union

5 April 2018 - 8:54am

Uptick in US female members of International Astronomical Union

Uptick in US female members of International Astronomical Union, Published online: 04 April 2018; doi:10.1038/d41586-018-04053-z

Uptick in US female members of International Astronomical Union

What’s Happening in Orion’s Horsehead Nebula?

5 April 2018 - 8:54am
Portal origin URL: What’s Happening in Orion’s Horsehead Nebula?Portal origin nid: 421843Published: Wednesday, April 4, 2018 - 09:00Featured (stick to top of list): noPortal text teaser: Two research teams used a map from NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, SOFIA, to uncover new findings about stars forming in Orion’s iconic Horsehead Nebula.Portal image: The Horsehead Nebula is shown in red and green against the surrounding cold molecular cloud (blue).Science Categories: Universe