Institute of Astronomy

News and Press Releases

How spinning stars can help us understand the habitability of distant worlds

Published on 25/09/2023 

A team of astronomers, led by researchers at the Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge, have developed a new way to model the spin of small stars (known as M-dwarfs). The new findings could allow better insight into whether exoplanets orbiting these stars could host life.

MPhil in Planetary Sciences and Life in the Universe launched

Published on 13/09/2023 

This week sees the launch of Cambridge’s new MPhil qualification in Planetary Sciences and Life in the Universe. The new programme will be jointly taught and led by astronomers, chemists, zoologists, plant biologists, and earth scientists. Applications for the course are now open

Methane and carbon dioxide found in atmosphere of habitable-zone exoplanet

Published on 11/09/2023 

Methane and carbon dioxide found in atmosphere of habitable-zone exoplanet<

IoA Researcher awarded ERC Starting Grant

Published on 06/09/2023 

Dr Suhail Dhawan is one of three researchers at the University of Cambridge to be awarded this prestigious funding


The ERC project is aimed at developing new methods to measure the present day expansion rate of the universe, also known as the Hubble Constant, and its directional dependence to search for new fundamental physics beyond the standard cosmological model.

PIGS find ancient stars in the heart of the Milky Way

Published on 10/07/2023 

An international team of researchers has obtained the largest set of detailed observations yet of the oldest stars in the centre of our Galaxy, the Milky Way. The Pristine Inner Galaxy Survey (PIGS) team finds that this group of stars is slowly spinning around the centre of the Milky Way, despite being thought to have formed in a chaotic fashion. They also seem to spend most of their long lives near the Galactic centre.