Institute of Astronomy

News and Press Releases

Dating our galaxy's dormant volcano

Published on 23/09/2013 

An artist's conception of a black hole generating a jet. Two million years ago the supermassive black hole at the centre of our Galaxy was 100 million times more powerful than it is today. Credit: NASA/Dana Berry/SkyWorks Digital

A dormant volcano — a supermassive black hole — lies at the heart of our Galaxy. Fresh evidence suggests that it last erupted two million years ago.

Astronomers have long suspected such an outburst occurred, but this is the first time they've been able to date it.

Clues to the Growth of the Colossus in Coma

Published on 18/09/2013 

A composite imge of the Coma cluster of galaxies, showing bothe the X-ray emission from Chandra (in pink) and the optical data from the SDSS (in white and blue).

Daniel Chalonge Medal 2013 been awarded to Professor Gerard F. Gilmore FRS

Published on 12/09/2013 

The International School of Astrophysics Daniel Chalonge has awarded the Daniel Chalonge Medal 2013 to Professor Gerard F. Gilmore from the Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge UK and Fellow of the Royal Society, for his relevant results in the study of our galaxy and dwarf galaxies with great scientific impact on the nature of dark matter, a major subject at the center of the Chalonge School programmes. His successful effort in promoting and leading key missions and collaborations is also highlighted.

Alumni Festival 2013 - 27th & 28th September

Published on 22/07/2013 

The Institute of Astronomy and the Cavendish Astrophysics new Battcock Centre for Experimental Astrophysics, welcomes Alumni and their guests to the Institute's 'Open Day' on the 27th & 28th September 2013.

Consisting of a guided tour followed by a presentation or vice versa, attendees will have the opportunity to look at a display to mark the 70th Anniversary of the Cambridge University Astronomical Society (CUAS), meet current researchers and listen to a talk on recent developments in Cosmology and Astrophysics.

‘Polluted’ stellar graveyard gives glimpse of our Solar System beyond Sun’s implosion

Published on 08/05/2013 

By chemically sampling the atmospheres of two dead stars in the Hyades cluster 150 light years away, researchers at Cambridge and NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope have discovered the building blocks for Earth-sized planets formed around the stars while they lived.

The study offers insight into what will happen in our solar system when our Sun burns out 5 billion years from now. It is published today in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.