Institute of Astronomy

News and Press Releases

Three potentially habitable worlds found around nearby ultracool dwarf star

Published on 10/05/2016 

Three Earth-sized planets have been discovered orbiting a dim and cool star, and may be the best place to search for life beyond the Solar System.

The discovery of a planetary system around such a small star opens up a brand new avenue for research.

Winds a quarter the speed of light spotted leaving mysterious binary stars

Published on 26/04/2016 

Artist’s impression depicting a compact object – either a black hole or a neutron star – feeding on gas from a companion star in a binary system. Credit: ESA–C. Carreau

Winds a quarter the speed of light spotted leaving mysterious binary systems

Streams of gas have been spotted streaming away from a mysterious star system at a quarter the speed of light.

Postdoc Cohort Meeting

Published on 15/03/2016 

Just to remind you all to come along tomorrow to the second Postdoc Cohort Meeting:
Wednesday 16th March

Successful launch of Hitomi

Published on 17/02/2016 

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. successfully launched the X-ray Astronomy Satellite (ASTRO-H) at 5:45 p.m. (0845 GMT) on Wednesday 17th February.

Following separation from the launch rocket having attained the correct orbital height and speed,  and deployment of the solar panels, Astro-H has been renamed Hitomi at the start of its three-year mission.

Gravitational waves detected 100 years after Einstein’s prediction

Published on 11/02/2016 


An international team of scientists have observed ripples in the fabric of spacetime called gravitational waves, arriving at the earth from a cataclysmic event in the distant universe. This confirms a major prediction of Albert Einstein’s 1915 general theory of relativity and opens an unprecedented new window onto the cosmos.