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Institute of Astronomy

 
Read more at: Sleeping giant surprises Gaia scientists

Sleeping giant surprises Gaia scientists

16 April 2024

Wading through the wealth of data from ESA’s Gaia mission , scientists have uncovered a ‘sleeping giant’. A large black hole, with a mass of nearly 33 times the mass of the Sun, was hiding in the constellation Aquila, less than 2000 light-years from Earth. This is the first time a black hole of stellar origin this big has...


Read more at: First ‘glory’ on hellish distant world?

First ‘glory’ on hellish distant world?

5 April 2024

In brief For the first time, a team of astronomers (including IoA astronomer Nic Walton) have spotted potential signs of a rainbow-like ‘glory effect’ on a planet outside our Solar System. Glory are colourful concentric rings of light that occur only under peculiar conditions. Data from ESA’s sensitive Characterising...


Read more at: Neon sign identified by JWST gives clue to planet formation

Neon sign identified by JWST gives clue to planet formation

5 March 2024

The winds that help to form planets in the gaseous discs of early solar systems have been imaged for the first time by the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) using the noble gases neon and argon. Planetary systems like our Solar System seem to contain more rocky objects than gas-rich ones. Around our sun, these include the...


Read more at: Ashes to ashes, dust to dust: the cosmic fertiliser that fuelled the origins of life

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust: the cosmic fertiliser that fuelled the origins of life

20 February 2024

The origin of life is an event so rare that, to the best of our knowledge, it has only happened once: here on Earth. The questions of how life developed and in what environments geochemical reactions took place are fundamental questions that span the fields of astrobiology, organic chemistry, and geology. One key...


Read more at: Insights into Dark Matter's 'Coldness' Open New Cosmic Frontiers

Insights into Dark Matter's 'Coldness' Open New Cosmic Frontiers

15 February 2024

cdm_2_copy.jpg In their latest research on dark matter scientists have collected vital clues about the ‘coldness’ of the mysterious component making up 80% of all matter, revealing a deep connection between dark matter and the formation of galaxies in the early Universe. With the help of powerful telescopes, the...


Read more at: Douglas Gough awarded The Crafoord Prize in Astronomy

Douglas Gough awarded The Crafoord Prize in Astronomy

31 January 2024

The Crafoord Prize in Astronomy The Crafoord Prize in Astronomy 2024 is awarded to Douglas Gough , University of Cambridge, UK, Jørgen Christensen-Dalsgaard , Aarhus University, Denmark, and Conny Aerts , KU Leuven, Belgium “for developing the methods of asteroseismology and their application to the study of the interior...


Read more at: ESA gives go-ahead for flagship gravitational-wave observatory in space

ESA gives go-ahead for flagship gravitational-wave observatory in space

25 January 2024

germl2rwwaa-rym.jpeg Following today´s Adoption, the LISA mission advances to the construction phase LISA, the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna, has passed a major review with flying colours: the entire concept - from the definition of the overall mission and operations to the space hardware to be built - stood up to the...


Read more at: International team awarded $3.7M to build a next generation haloscope to search for the axion

International team awarded $3.7M to build a next generation haloscope to search for the axion

19 January 2024

hp_dec_23_art.jpeg Physics breakthroughs don’t always require city-sized particle colliders or giant radio telescope arrays. The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation , the Simons Foundation , the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the John Templeton Foundation have partnered to fund 11 innovative “tabletop” experiments, many of...


Read more at: Webb reveals that galaxy mergers are the solution to early Universe mystery

Webb reveals that galaxy mergers are the solution to early Universe mystery

18 January 2024

weic2402a-2.jpg One of the key missions of the NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope is to probe the early Universe. Now, the unmatched resolution and sensitivity of Webb’s NIRCam instrument have revealed, for the first time, what lies in the local environment of galaxies in the very early Universe. This has solved one...


Read more at: Bouncing comets could deliver building blocks for life to exoplanets

Bouncing comets could deliver building blocks for life to exoplanets

16 November 2023

How did the molecular building blocks for life end up on Earth? One long-standing theory is that they could have been delivered by comets. Now, researchers from the IoA have shown how comets could deposit similar building blocks to other planets in the galaxy. In order to deliver organic material, comets need to be...