Institute of Astronomy

News and Press Releases

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.

Professor Gerard F Gilmore FRS

Published on 03/05/2013 

The Director of the Institute of Astronomy is delighted to announce the election of Professor Gerard F Gilmore to the Fellowship of the Royal Society on 2 May 2013.

The citation for Gerry details his pioneering work in the study of the Milky Way and its satellite galaxies. Gerry's leadership role in the forthcoming GAIA mission is also highlighted.

The Royal Society is the national Academy of science in the UK and the Fellowship is made up of the most eminent scientists, engineers and technologists from the UK and the Commonwealth. Fellows are elected for life through a peer review process on the basis of excellence in science. The Institute has eight Fellows among its current and emeritus staff.

Astronomers and cancer researchers team up to beat cancer

Published on 19/02/2013 

Cancer Research UK and Institute of Astronomy  scientists have honed techniques originally developed to spot distant galaxies and used them to identify biomarkers that signal a cancer’s aggressiveness among some 2,000 breast tumours, in a study published in the British Journal of Cancer.

The findings mean that the age-old practice of pathologists looking down the microscope to spot key differences in the staining of tumour samples could one day become a thing of the past.

Breakthrough study models dying stars in a lab

Published on 14/02/2013 

A team of scientists has successfully reproduced conditions in one of the most hostile environments in the galaxy, enabling them to find out more about how atoms behave in these extreme settings.

The study modelled conditions near to the surface of a white dwarf star - a stellar remnant comprising the dead embers which are left behind after Sun-like stars have exhausted their fuel. The environment is characterised by very high gravitational forces, very high temperatures, and occasionally very high magnetic fields.