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News: December 2009

Vampires and collisions give stellar stragglers new life

In two separate studies published in the journal Nature this week, astronomers have revealed that stellar collisions and a process called vampirism are responsible for giving 'blue stragglers' a youthful appearance.

FULL STORY

 

Lunar eclipse rings in the New Year

Astronomy Now's Greg Smye-Rumsby interrupts his new year celebrations to bring news of a subtle lunar eclipse that will be visible prior to the ringing in of 2010.

WATCH

 

Herschel brings stars to life

A previously unseen stellar nursery buried deep within the heart of the Eagle constellation is brought to life by ESA's Herschel Space Observatory.

FULL STORY

 

Destination: Mars for
ESA and NASA

A joint venture between NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) will see three new missions blast off to Mars in 2016 and 2018 respectively, to investigate methane and other trace gases in the Martian atmosphere and to explore the surface.

FULL STORY

 

Hubble Reborn

Astronauts Jeffrey Hoffman and Kathryn Thornton tell the dramatic story of the Hubble Space Telescope.

INTERVIEW

 

Paul Davies:
The Eerie Silence

In his latest publication The Eerie Silence, world-renowned cosmologist and astrobiologist Paul Davies takes a look at the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence as it enters its fiftieth year.

INTERVIEW

 

Lunar orbiter yielding rich results at six-month mark

A NASA probe circling the moon has found an unexpected lunar radiation source and detected the coldest known location in the solar system, scientists announced last week.

FULL STORY

 

Glint of sunlight confirms liquid on Titan

A flash of sunlight reflecting off a lake on Saturn's largest moon Titan confirms the presence of liquid in the moon's northern hemisphere.

FULL STORY

 

Supernova explosions stay in shape

New research finds that studying the shape of the aftermath of supernovas could allow astronomers to classify the stars that exploded.

FULL STORY

 

A festive treat from Hubble

In time for the festive season, Hubble scientists have revealed a new image complete with a Christmas tree silhouette carved into a nebula awash with brilliant blue stars and warm glowing clouds.

FULL STORY

 

Smallest Kuiper Belt object discovered by Hubble

The Hubble Space Telescope has detected a cosmic iceberg a mere 975-metres across floating through the Kuiper Belt of comets 6.76 billion kilometres away from the Sun. It’s the smallest and dimmest object ever found in the Kuiper Belt.

FULL STORY

 

First direct imaging of a young binary system

A team of astronomers have captured the first direct image of a young binary star system using the Coronographic Imager with Adaptive Optics on the Subaru Telescope.

FULL STORY

 

The small planet with
a thick coat

A ‘super-earth’ with a thick atmosphere possibly made of water vapour has been detected orbiting a red dwarf star 42 light years away. It is the first rocky exoplanet to be found to possess an atmosphere, and it is also only the second super-earth to have had both its mass and radius accurately determined.

FULL STORY

 

Planet faces
cataclysmic showdown

A giant planet in the danger zone around a pair of sparring stars has been discovered by Chinese astronomers, whose observations are published in this week’s edition of the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

FULL STORY

 

A heart still beats in
a dying star

A throbbing red giant star called chi Cygni, 550 light years away in the constellation Cygnus, has been imaged in unprecedented detail, giving a clear insight into the fate that awaits our own Sun in five billion years time.

FULL STORY

 

Hubble's patchwork
of proplyds

A collection of 30 never before seen images of embryonic planetary systems – proplyds – in the Orion Nebula represent the longest single Hubble Space Telescope project ever dedicated to studies of star and planet formation.

FULL STORY

 

New planets found around Sun-like stars

Six new planets have been discovered orbiting two nearby Sun-like stars, including two 'super-Earths' with masses 5 and 7.5 times the mass of Earth.

FULL STORY

 

Phobos and Deimos caught on camera

For the very first time, the Martian moons Phobos and Deimos have been caught on camera together by ESA's Mars Express orbiter.

WATCH VIDEO

 

Video: Look up for the Geminids!

Greg Smye-Rumsby shows you how to observe this season's meteor shower.

WATCH VIDEO

 

Gunk on Saturn’s yin-yang moon speeds up ice movement

The transportation of ice to the bright, trailing hemisphere of Saturn’s moon Iapetus is being sped up by red ‘gunk’ being deposited on the moon’s leading hemisphere, say scientists from Germany and the United States.

FULL STORY

 

A new star in the Plough

Everyone familiar with the night sky knows of Mizar and Alcor, two stars in the handle of the Plough in Ursa Major that appear very close to one another. What nobody realised until now was that Alcor, the fainter of the two, is itself a binary system, which has been discovered by astronomers using the Hale Telescope at Palomar Observatory.

FULL STORY

 

XMM celebrates decade
of discovery

The most powerful X-ray telescope ever built and launched into space, ESA's XMM-Newton celebrates ten years of revolutionary observations this week.

FULL STORY

 

Half a million galaxies for CFHT's 30th anniversary

To mark the occasion of 30 years since the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope saw 'first light', a 370-megapixel deep sky image containing half a million galaxies has been released.

FULL STORY

 

Saturn's hexagon emerges from winter darkness

After a long wait for Saturn's north pole to emerge from winter, Cassini has captured the most detailed images yet of the curious rotating hexagon structure dancing around the high northern latitudes.

FULL STORY

 

Magnetic power revealed in gamma-ray burst jet

Using a unique polaroid camera attached to the Liverpool Telescope to observe a gamma-ray burst, astronomers have determined that strong magnetic fields are responsible for beaming the light towards Earth.

FULL STORY

 

Hubble reveals most
distant galaxies yet

The Hubble Space Telescope has revisited the region of space made famous in its Ultra Deep Field image to reveal even more distant galaxies with its new Wide Field Camera 3.

FULL STORY

 

Direct observation of black hole accretion disc

The Keck Interferometer (KI) and the UK Infrared Telescope (UKIRT) have joined forces to present some of the first infrared long-baseline interferometric measurements of nearby Active Galactic Nuclei.

FULL STORY

 

Mystery of stellar brightness variations deepens

An extensive study undertaken with ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) has only deepened a long standing mystery of unusual brightness variations seen in some Sun-like stars as they near the end of their lives.

FULL STORY

 

Subaru spots companion to Sun-like star

The first direct observation of a planet-like object orbiting a star similar to our Sun has been made with a new generation instrument on the Subaru Telescope.

FULL STORY

 

Superbright supernova
first of its kind

An extraordinarily bright and long-lasting supernova represents one of the first examples of the population of stars that first sprung into life in the early Universe.

FULL STORY

 

LHC produces first
physics results

After 20 years in the making, and a false start last year, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is finally producing physics results.

FULL STORY

 

Stellar portrait takes imaging technique to new levels

The young star cluster Trumpler 14 is revealed in exquisite detail thanks to the Multi-conjugate Adaptive optics Demonstrator (MAD) on ESO’s Very Large Telescope – the first time that such a large patch of sky has been imaged using adaptive optics.

FULL STORY

 

Scientists explain Titan's asymmetric lake distribution

The eccentricity of Saturn's orbit around the Sun could be responsible for the unusually uneven distribution of lakes over the polar regions of Saturn's largest moon Titan.

FULL STORY

 

Hubble's dusty laboratory

A new image from the Hubble Space Telescope depicting part of the Iris Nebula presents a perfect dust laboratory in which to study the formation of stars.

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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