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News: November 2009

Black hole caught zapping galaxy into existence?

Using ESO's Very Large Telescope, astronomers have stumbled across a black hole that may be building its own host galaxy, an observation that could help resolve a long-standing mystery as to why the masses of black holes are larger in galaxies that contain more stars.

FULL STORY

 

Herschel seeks out
galaxy ingredients

ESA's Herschel Space Observatory has acquired new observations of galaxies that provide the best measurements yet of the chemical ingredients involved in the birth and death of stars.

FULL STORY

 

Cocktail of stars remnant of Milky Way bulge

Astronomers have revealed an unusual cocktail of stars in the stellar grouping known as Terzan 5, which could represent a relic building block of our Milky Way's central bulge.

FULL STORY

 

Fermi peers into microquasar

NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope has made the first clear detection of high-energy gamma-rays from the enigmatic binary system Cygnus X-3.

FULL STORY

 

Supermassive stars spawn supermassive black holes

The supermassive black holes that lurk in the hearts of galaxies may have been born inside supermassive stars that acted as enormous cocoons of gas and dust that provided a wealth of material for the black hole to gorge on and grow rapidly.

FULL STORY

 

Saturn's auroral dance captured by Cassini

For the first time, the Cassini spacecraft has captured visible light images of the rippling northern lights on Saturn, which claim the title of tallest auroral curtains in the Solar System.

FULL STORY

 

Beautiful new images from latest Enceladus flyby

These raw, unprocessed images were taken during Cassini's close flyby of Enceladus on 21 November.

FULL STORY

 

Martian meteorite surrenders new secrets of possible life

Compelling new data that chemical and fossil evidence of ancient microbial life on Mars was carried to Earth in a Martian meteorite is being elevated to a higher plane by the same NASA team which made the initial discovery 13 years ago.

FULL STORY

 

Spitzer observes youngest brown dwarfs

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope may have uncovered the youngest pair of brown dwarfs ever seen, a discovery that could help solve the mystery of how these cosmic misfits are formed.

FULL STORY

 

First collisions in the
Large Hadron Collider

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) circulated two beams simultaneously for the first time this week, giving the experiments their first chance to look for particle collisions.

FULL STORY

 

ESO dines out on cannibalistic galaxy

Using ESO's 3.58-metre New Technology Telescope (NTT) astronomers have penetrated the thick dust lanes of giant galaxy Centaurus A to unveil its 'last meal'.

FULL STORY

 

Cassini's big sky

New Cassini data reveals our heliosphere as a bubble shape, turning the decades old belief that it resembled a comet shape on its head.

FULL STORY

 

WISE chilled out,
ready for launch

The Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer WISE is chilled out and ready to roll onto the launch pad tomorrow, ahead of its planned 9 December launch into space to survey the entire sky in infrared light.

FULL STORY

 

Movie reveals details of massive star formation

A new high resolution movie of star formation based on radio images of the vast stellar nursery within Orion's Great Nebula shows that massive stars form just like their smaller siblings.

FULL STORY

 

Bulging galaxy baffles

A recent Hubble image capturing edge-on galaxy NGC 4710 reveals a curious box-shape bulge with a faint, ethereal X-shaped structure pouring from its middle.

FULL STORY

 

Vampire star candidate for Type Ia supernova

Using ESO's Very Large Telescope, astronomers have made the first time-lapse movie of an unusual shell of material ejected by a 'vampire star' that is a prime candidate progenitor star of a Type Ia supernova.

FULL STORY (includes animations)

 

Record-breaking radio astronomy project

This week, 35 of the world's greatest radio telescopes will join forces to observe 243 distant quasars to precision map the reference frame scientists use to measure positions in the sky.

FULL STORY

 

Scientists confirm abundant water in lunar crater

The Centaur rocket stage NASA dispatched on a suicidal plunge into the Moon last month uncovered buckets of water inside a frigidly-cold, permanently-dark crater at the lunar south pole, scientists announced Friday.

FULL STORY

 

Spirit's roving chances bleak, NASA says

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory on Monday will begin commanding the Mars rover Spirit to start backing out of the sand pit in the same tracks it left going into the scientifically rich location where it became stuck in April.

FULL STORY

 

The turbulent heart of
the Milky Way

In celebration of the International Year of Astronomy, NASA is releasing a never-before-seen vista of the turbulent heart of our Milky Way Galaxy to planetaria, museums, libraries, nature centres and schools across America.

FULL STORY

 

Earth-sized white dwarfs show oxygen atmosphere

Astronomers have discovered two Earth-sized bodies with oxygen-rich atmospheres, but there is no chance of finding life on these worlds for they are two unusual breeds of white dwarf star.

FULL STORY

 

Rosetta swingby may help solve cosmic mystery

Tomorrow ESA's comet chaser spacecraft Rosetta will swing by the Earth for a critical gravity assist, but mission controllers will also be looking out for a curious change in orbital speed that may help unravel a long-lived mystery.

FULL STORY

 

Solar lithium shortage blamed on planets

New findings from one of the most sensitive spectrographs in the world look to have finally answered the decades-long mystery as to why the Sun contains less lithium than many other stars. The resolution to the puzzle appears to be the fact that our Sun has planets orbiting it.

FULL STORY

 

Tuning in to a middleweight black hole

Lightweight and heavyweight black holes are pretty run of the mill while middleweight contenders have remained somewhat elusive, but now astronomers have found an X-ray source emanating from a galaxy that represents one of the best examples of an intermediate candidate.

FULL STORY

 

Star factory found in
faraway galaxy

A young galaxy that existed just over a billion years after the big bang has been found to be making stars at the furious rate of about fifty per year, showing that star formation and galaxy growth was a much quicker process in the distant past than it is today.

FULL STORY

 

Chaos on Mars

This stunning new image of Mars, captured by the European Space Agency’s Mars Express probe, shows the boundary between the fragmented Sacra Fossae region and the flat plains of Kasei Valles, which is one of the largest ancient outflow regions on the red planet.

FULL STORY

 

Repaired Hubble showcases Southern Pinwheel

The sharp vision of Hubble's new Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) has captured swarms of young stars bursting into life in the curving arms of nearby spiral galaxy M83.

FULL STORY

 

"Dropouts" pinpoint
earliest galaxies

By looking far back into the depths of the Universe, astronomers have found a galaxy located at just 787 million years after the big bang, and 22 other early galaxies.

FULL STORY

 

A new exotic class of exploding star

An unusual supernova unearthed in seven year old data may be the first example of a new type of exploding star, say astronomers publishing their results in the online journal Science Express this week.

FULL STORY

 

Carbon atmosphere found on neutron star

The ten year mystery of supernova remnant Cassiopeia A's central compact X-ray source can be explained by a hot neutron star with a low magnetic field and a carbon atmosphere, say scientists Wynn Ho and Craig Heinke.

FULL STORY

 

More hidden territory revealed on Mercury

NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft made its third passage by planet Mercury at the end of September, revealing more secrets about this relatively unknown world.

FULL STORY

 

Orbiter camera sees ice-covered Phoenix lander

A sharp-eyed camera aboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has spotted the Phoenix lander encased in dry ice in the depths of winter on the northern polar plains of Mars.

FULL STORY

 

Cassini tastes icy material from Saturn moon geyser

The Cassini spacecraft touring Saturn is beaming back data and stunning imagery from Monday's flyby of Enceladus, an enigmatic ice-covered moon with geysers of material spewing from fissures on the surface.

FULL STORY

 

Seeking the source
of cosmic rays

New results from the VERITAS telescope array and the Fermi space telescope show that cosmic rays – subatomic particles that race through space at nearly the speed of light – are likely powered by exploding stars and stellar winds.

FULL STORY

 

New measurements confirm standard view of Universe

An international team of astronomers has unveiled a new map of the seed structures of the Universe that support the standard model of cosmology and the existence of dark matter and dark energy.

FULL STORY

 

Stripping down to the cosmic skeleton

A previously unknown assembly of galaxies has been detected 6.7 billion light years away, the first observation of such a prominent galaxy structure in the distant Universe.

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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