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News: April 2009

Older stars can birth planets

Recalculating the ages of young clusters of stars seems to solve apparent discrepancies between star ages and planetary disk formation times, according to Dr Tim Naylor of Exeter University, who presented his work at the European Week of Astronomy and Space Science.

FULL STORY

 

Most distant starbursting galaxies discovered

Galaxies have been observed undergoing furious bursts of star formation during a very early period of the Universe, long before established models of galaxy formation predict that they should.

FULL STORY

 

Pillars of creation formed in the shadows

The clues are in the shadows, say researchers at the Dublin Institute of Advanced Studies studying how giant star-forming structures like the famous Pillars of Creations came into existence.

FULL STORY

 

Chandra sees shock wave blast through galaxy

The Chandra X-ray Observatory has revealed a stunning new image documenting the effects of a shock wave blasting through a galaxy, powered by jets of plasma unleashed by the galaxy's central black hole.

FULL STORY

 

ESO chief excited about Extremely Large Telescope

The Director General of the European Southern Observatory, Tim de Zeeuw, speaks with Astronomy Now editor Keith Cooper about the Extremely Large Telescope project and other aspects of his organisation's work.

FULL STORY - includes video

 

Will the Sun's decline affect climate change?

The lack of current solar activity came under the spotlight today at the European Week of Astronomy and Space Science. "Activity is at an all time low since the start of the space age," says Professor Mike Lockwood of the University of Southampton and the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory.

FULL STORY - includes video

 

Charged dust offers window into Enceladus interior

Tiny charged particles of ice streaming from Enceladus offer tantalising clues to the interior of this enigmatic Saturnian moon, according to scientists analysing data from the Cassini probe.

FULL STORY

 

Are imaged planets really failed stars?

Most of the images of exoplanets released towards the end of 2008 may not be planets at all, according to new research presented at the European Week of Astronomy and Space Science being held at the University of Hertfordshire.

FULL STORY - includes video

 
An Earth-like world found
Researchers using a European Southern Observatory telescope in Chile confirmed the existence of a rocky Earth-like planet orbiting in the Gliese 581 system where three other, larger worlds have been discovered.
   FULL STORY - includes video

Outbursting star creates double-lobed nebula

A cataclysmic variable that outburst three years ago now has debris expanding into a 'peanut-shaped' nebula, according to new Hubble Space Telescope images that have been released today at the European Week of Astronomy and Space Science.

FULL STORY

 

"Garden hose" jet trail nebula pictured

A jet trail nebula, a once theoretical object never before seen has been discovered by NASA's Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE).

FULL STORY

 

Exotic dust in comet trail

Comet dust caught in the upper reaches of Earth's atmosphere and scooped up by a NASA aircraft had been found to contain grains of dust dating back to before our Solar System formed.

FULL STORY

 

Organic 'Lego' molecules hint at origins of life's building blocks

An interstellar cloud of gas close to the galactic centre rich in a veritable soup of chemicals has produced its two most complex molecules yet, which are just a step away from organic molecules that are the basis of life as we know it.

FULL STORY

 

Graveyards of solar systems around dead suns

Using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope to study white dwarves, the dense glowing embers of Sunlike stars, astronomers have found the dusty remains of ancient solar systems.

FULL STORY - includes video

 

Satellite galaxies knocking Newton

The behaviour of the Milky Way's satellite galaxies suggest that Newton's gravitation doesn't apply to them, so say a team of scientists from Germany, Austria and Australia. If this is the case then is a modification of gravity needed?

FULL STORY

 

Could accelerating Universe be a mirage?

Two astronomers from Durham University have claimed doubt about the idea of an accelerating Universe, in a talk at the 2009 European Week of Astronomy and Space Science at the University of Hertfordshire.

FULL STORY

 

Energy ribbons cause explosive solar flares

Tight ribbons of energy on the Sun called sigmoids have been found to cause explosive solar flare events. X-ray telescopes can see these sigmoids in the Sun's corona (it's tenuous outer atmosphere), but models produced by scientists now explain how they form.

FULL STORY

 

Infant stars run wild in Orion nursery

The Great Nebula of Orion, M42, has been revealed to be a madhouse, containing hundreds of very young stars in close proximity, with powerful jets emanating from their poles and racing away at tens or even hundreds of kilometres per second.

FULL STORY

 

Failed star triumphs as dwarf role model

One of the coolest brown dwarfs yet discovered, with a surface temperature of 300 degrees Celsius, could turn out to be an invaluable 'Rosetta Stone' for decoding the spectra of other brown dwarfs.

FULL STORY

 

Video: Look for the Lyrids this week

The spring drought of meteor showers is over with the return of the Lyrids, peaking over the next few days. Shooting out of their radiant near Vega and out towards the southern horizon, their often bright, lingering trails are worth looking out for, as Greg Smye-Rumsby shows.

FULL STORY

 

New comet on show

A new comet - Comet 2009 F6 (Yi-SWAN) has just been discovered, which is around ninth magnitude but will only be on show for a month or so. Here's how to track it down, along with old favourites Comet Lulin and Comet Cardinal.

FULL STORY

 

Galaxy formation theory challenged by new discovery

A sample of massive galaxies with properties suggesting they formed relatively recently could challenge classical theories of galaxy formation.

FULL STORY

 

Kepler's first view of planet hunting territory

NASA's Kepler spacecraft has opened its eyes and blinked at the rich star field where it will search for extraterrestrial planets like Earth.

FULL STORY

 

Four-way cosmic pile up

Combining images from space- and ground-based telescopes, astronomers have revealed the first cosmic collision of four separate galaxy clusters.

FULL STORY

 

Hubble witnesses flaring in black hole jet

A flare of matter blasting out from a monster black hole is outshining even the core of its host galaxy, M87.

FULL STORY

 

Accessible astronomy

In this month's issue of Astronomy Now magazine we feature an article on making astronomy accessible to those who may be physically disadvantaged. You can download this article as an MP3 here.

 

Three-dimensional anatomy of a solar storm

NASA's twin Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO) have made the first three-dimensional measurements of solar storms which could help scientists predict the effects felt 150 million kilometres away on the Earth.

FULL STORY

 

What's the big deal

about dust?

Dust has a habit of getting everywhere, as we all know. It's even found in space, but interstellar dust is much more important than the fluffy stuff that accumulates on your sideboard at home. Without interstellar dust, you and I and planet Earth wouldn't even exist.

FULL STORY

 

New model helps explain youthful supernovae

A new computer model shows how the most youthful type of Ia supernovae could occur within just 100 million years of their formation.

FULL STORY

 

Cool stars have different life forming ingredients

New data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope suggests that planets around cooler stars than our own Sun might have a different set of life-forming ingredients to our Solar System's primordial soup.

FULL STORY

 

Most detailed map of nearby Universe completed

A team of international astronomers has completed the most detailed survey of galaxies in the nearby Universe, which not only maps their location, but details their direction and speed of motion, too.

FULL STORY

 

Gravity wave mission to help study asteroids

LISA, NASA and ESA's Laser interferometer Space Antenna, which will attempt to detect gravitational waves, will also turn its "noise" into useful information about near-Earth asteroids.

FULL STORY

 

Hubble: You Decided

Arp 274

The Hubble Space Telescope imaged the winning target in the "You Decide" competition last week, revealing a triplet of galaxies called Arp 274 in unprecedented detail.

FULL STORY

 

Young pulsar hands

out radiation

A very young and powerful pulsar, less than 20 kilometres wide, has carved out a beautiful X-ray nebula in the shape of a hand that reaches out across a distance of 150 light years.

FULL STORY

 

Integral dissects bright gamma-ray burst

Integral has captured one the brightest gamma-ray bursts ever seen, allowing astronomers to probe the mechanics of the initial stages of such powerful stellar explosions.

FULL STORY

 

Around the world in

80 telescopes

The IYA initiative Around the World in 80 Telescopes kicked off this morning from the Gemini North Telescope in Hawaii. The 24 hour live webcast will showcase the world's greatest observatories.

FULL STORY

 

Orion Nebula binary star resolved by VLTI

Using ESO's Very Large telescope Interferometer (VLTI), astronomers have plunged into the heart of the Orion Trapezium Cluster to produce the sharpest image ever obtained of the young double star

Theta 1 Ori C.

FULL STORY

 

Galaxy Zoo aims for one million classifications in one hundred hours

As part of the International Year of Astronomy's 100 Hours of Astronomy event, Galaxy Zoo are challenging their users to make one million classifications in the next one hundred hours.

FULL STORY

 

Hubble finds hidden exoplanet in archival data

A powerful image processing technique may allow astronomers to seek out exoplanets that could be lurking in over a decade's worth of Hubble Space Telescope data.

FULL STORY

 
 
 

Back to latest news

2010 Yearbook
Our latest 132-page Astronomy Now special edition is an extravaganza of astronomy for the year ahead, with a complete 30-page guide to observing the planets, moon, meteor showers, two solar eclipses, and the deep sky in 2010.
 U.K. STORE
 E.U. STORE
 U.S. & WORLDWIDE STORE
 

Take the tour!
A 100-page special edition from the creators of Astronomy Now magazine, The Grand Tour of the Universe takes readers from one end of the Universe to the other and, in doing so, asks the question "just how big is the Universe?"
 U.K. STORE
 E.U. STORE
 U.S. & WORLDWIDE STORE


Infinity Rising
This special publication features the photography of British astro-imager Nik Szymanek and covers a range of photographic methods from basic to advanced. Beautiful pictures of the night sky can be obtained with a simple camera and tripod before tackling more difficult projects, such as guided astrophotography through the telescope and CCD imaging.
 U.K. STORE
 E.U. STORE
 U.S. & WORLDWIDE STORE

Guide to the Constellations
Astronomy Now presents this 100-page, full-colour guide to the 68 constellations visible from the British Isles by Neil Bone, the respected amateur astronomer and writer.
 U.K. STORE
 E.U. STORE
 U.S. & WORLDWIDE STORE

Exploring Mars
Astronomy Now is pleased to announce the publication of Exploring Mars. The very best images of Mars taken by orbiting spacecraft and NASA's Spirit and Opportunity rovers fill up the 98 glossy pages of this special edition!
 U.K. STORE
 E.U. STORE
 U.S. & WORLDWIDE STORE


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