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News Archive

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News: December 2008

Back to latest news

A Christmas cluster

The festive season has arrived for astronomers at the European Southern Observatory, in the form of a spectacular image of NGC 2264, which includes the sparkling blue baubles of the Christmas Tree star cluster.
   FULL STORY

Did prehistoric asteroid smash stimulate life?

Microscopic meteorite fragments discovered in Scotland that fell 480 million years ago coincided with a time of dramatic upheaval on Earth.
   FULL STORY

Rock varnish could benefit Martian bacteria

Naturally occurring rock varnish could offer suitable habitats for bacterial life on Mars, report scientists in this month’s issue of the Journal of Geophysical Research.
   FULL STORY

Phoenix site may be in dry climate cycle phase

NASA’s Phoenix Mars Lander could have visited the Red Planet during a particularly dry phase of climate, say scientists who presented their work at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco last week.
   FULL STORY

The great escape of water from Venus

Venus Express has provided new clues that suggest how the planet lost its water, which could have once been as abundant as it is on Earth today.
   FULL STORY

Dark energy’s galactic stranglehold seen

It dominates the Universe, accounting for 74 percent of its energy density. The mysterious, space-stretching force known as dark energy, which is accelerating the expansion of the Universe, could also be inhibiting the development of galaxies.
   FULL STORY

Mars orbiter locates ‘missing’ carbonates

Scientists working with Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) data have spotted a long sought after mineral on the Martian surface and, with it, unexpected clues to the Red Planet's watery past.
   FULL STORY

Cassini reveals Enceladus’ shifting terrain

The latest fly-bys of Saturn’s dynamic moon Enceladus have revealed new signs that the south polar surface changes over time in an eerily Earthlike fashion.
   FULL STORY

Icy volcanism likely on Titan

According to the latest research presented at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco this week, cyrovolcanoes could be spewing a super-chilled liquid into Titan’s atmosphere.
   FULL STORY

Water found 11 billion light years away

Astronomers have found the most distant occurrence of water yet seen in the Universe in a galaxy more than 11 billion light years from Earth, three billion years more distant than water has ever been detected before.
   FULL STORY

What came before the

Big Bang?

A question that has been pondered by scientists and philosophers alike could soon be answered, thanks to a mathematical model that explains an anomaly in the early Universe.
   FULL STORY

Dissecting a black hole with natural magnifying glasses

Combining the natural magnifying power of galactic lenses with ESO’s Very Large Telescope, astronomers have scrutinised a supermassive black hole 10 billion light years away.
   FULL STORY

Wobbly planets could reveal Earthlike moons

Instead of looking for potentially habitable planets around stars outside our Solar System, University College London astronomer David Kipping is searching for moons.
   FULL STORY

Red giants to probe history of Milky Way

A new project based on the Sloan Digital Sky Survey III will study more than 100,000 Milky Way red giant stars to help understand the formation history of our Galaxy.
   FULL STORY

Spitzer seeks out Universe’s faintest stars

NASA’s Spitzer space telescope has hunted down a pair of twin brown dwarf stars, each just a millionth as bright as the Sun – the faintest stars found yet.
   FULL STORY

Hubble finds carbon dioxide on exoplanet

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has discovered carbon dioxide in the
atmosphere of a hot jupiter planet, a crucial step towards finding the chemical tracers of extraterrestrial life in other solar systems.
   FULL STORY

16 year study probes Milky Way’s black hole

By plotting the motions of stars around the Milky Way’s central region over a period of 16 years, astronomers have probed the nexus of forces thought to be controlled by the Galaxy’s supermassive black hole.
   FULL STORY (incl. animations)

Mars climate changes recorded in ancient rocks

Climate cycles persisting for millions of years have left their mark in thick stacks of sedimentary rock, and are caused by the regular variation in Mars's tilt, a phenomenon already known to control the Earth’s dip in and out of ice ages.
   FULL STORY

Spitzer paints portrait of gaseous rivers flowing around stars

A new image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows a turbulent star-forming region where rivers of gas and stellar winds are blowing out cavities in the dusty Swan nebula.
   FULL STORY

UK Moon mission gets

green light

The UK-led MoonLITE mission that will see penetrator darts embedded into the lunar surface has been given the go ahead by the government to enter into an in-depth

‘Phase-A’ study.
   FULL STORY

Students discover planet orbiting rapidly rotating

hot star

Three undergraduate students from Leiden University have discovered the first extrasolar planet orbiting a fast-rotating hot star.
   FULL STORY

Brown dwarfs do form

like stars

Astronomers have uncovered strong evidence that brown dwarfs – the dividing line between stars and planets – form like stars.
   FULL STORY

Hubble’s snow globe

of stars

Like a shaken snow globe of sparkling snow flakes frozen in time, Hubble has captured an instantaneous glimpse of the thousands of glittering stars moving about the globular cluster M13.
   FULL STORY

Mars Science Laboratory delayed for two years

The launch of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory has slipped to 2011, two years after the original schedule, in order to allow further hardware testing to ensure a maximum science return.
   FULL STORY

A new class of comet?

Lowell Observatory astronomer David Schleicher has uncovered a class of comet that bears extremely anomalous compositional characteristics, pinning its origin to just one of three places.
   FULL STORY

Subaru sees new light from Tycho’s 16th century supernova

Astronomers using the Subaru Telescope have observed light echoes from Tycho’s Supernova Remnant that provide new insight into the exploding star’s origin and type.
   FULL STORY

New view of

Omega Centauri

The European Southern Observatory has released a stunning new image of the “glittering giant of the southern skies”, Omega Centauri, the most massive of all our Galaxy’s globular clusters.
   FULL STORY

NASA prepares for Juno mission to Jupiter

The first mission that will place a spacecraft in a highly elliptical polar orbit around Jupiter, Juno will help scientists to understand the giant planet’s formation, evolution and structure.
   FULL STORY

 
 

Back to latest news

2009 Yearbook
This 132-page special edition features the ultimate observing guide for 2009, a review of all the biggest news stories of 2008, in depth articles covering all aspects of astronomy and space missions for 2009, previews of International Year of Astronomy events and much, much more.
 U.K. 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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