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Top Stories

Earthshine used to test life detection method
...By imagining the Earth as an exoplanet, scientists observing our planet's reflected light on the Moon with ESO's Very Large Telescope have demonstrated a way to detect life on other worlds...

Solid buckyballs discovered in space
...Astronomers using NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope have detected a particular type of molecule, given the nickname “buckyball”, in a solid form for the first time...

Steamy water-world gets the Hubble treatment
...Hubble Space Telescope observations of a 7 Earth-mass planet find an unusual water-rich world swathed in a thick, steamy atmosphere...

News stories and video interviews from the National Astronomy Meeting 2010. Plus! Read our blog here.

European radio array launches SETI search

A new SETI survey that will operate at frequencies lower than anyone has ever searched before will begin this spring using a new pan-European radio array, it was revealed at the Royal Astronomical Society’s National Astronomy Meeting at the University of Glasgow last week.



Video: New planets from SuperWASP

In April nine new exoplanets orbiting other stars were discovered by the SuperWASP team. Amongst these planets were a couple that orbit around their stars backwards. Emily Baldwin gets the lowdown from Dr Pierre Maxted of Keele University.



Video: Enceladus leaves plasma bubbles in its wake

Mullard Space Science Laboratory's Sheila Kanani talks about her work investigating the effect that Saturn's moon Enceladus has on the planet's magnetosphere.



Dusty discs around stars young and old

Details of compact discs of rocky and dusty material have been detected around two young stars at similar distances as the Earth resides from our Sun, and around two ageing stars, providing information on discs at various stages of their evolution.



Chilling out on the
youngest neutron star

The interior of the youngest neutron star in the Galaxy is being cooled by the emission of neutrinos, hinting at the processes that are at work inside these exotic objects.



Stellar merger may have sparked brilliant outburst

Eight years of detailed monitoring of a distant star that underwent an explosive outburst, causing it to became a million times more luminous than the Sun, is suggesting that it likely suffered a violent merger with another star.



The truth about
Main Belt Comets

Dr Henry Hsieh of Queen's University Belfast tells all about a newly identified class of object in our Solar System, known as Main Belt Comets.



Help scientists predict
solar storms!

The Royal Observatory Greenwich's Dr Marek Kukula talks about the new citizen science project, Solar Stormwatch, with Astronomy Now's Dr Emily Baldwin.



Predicting solar storm
arrival at Earth

Many of the talks in today’s solar sessions at the National Astronomy Meeting focused on predicting the timing and effects of solar flares on the Earth. This ‘space weather’ can wipe out power grids and communications on our vulnerable planet and is therefore a vital area of space research.



A giant star in the making

New observations of a massive star caught in the midst of being born are providing further evidence that big stars and small stars form in exactly the same way.



New Rosetta stone for GRBs as supernovae

A gamma-ray burst (GRB) has been seen exploding at the same time and location as a supernova, further cementing the link between these violent phenomena and the destruction of massive stars.



Dusty experiments solve interstellar water mystery

Scientists presenting their results at today’s National Astronomy Meeting announced that dust plays an essential role in the formation of water in interstellar space.



VISTA video interview

The principal investigator on the new British-built infrared survey telescope VISTA at the European Southern Observatory, Professor Jim Emerson, speaks to Astronomy Now Editor Keith Cooper at the 2010 National Astronomy Meeting in Glasgow.



Hot jupiters bad for
earth-like planets

A windfall of nine new planets, including some that orbit backwards, may turn theories of how ‘hot jupiters’ come to be on their head. These planets, which were announced today at the Royal Astronomical Society’s National Astronomy Meeting at the University of Glasgow, would seem to rule out the possibility of hot jupiters and Earth-like planets existing together.



Checking in with the Herschel Space Observatory

Herschel Space Observatory scientists today met to discuss the progress of their mission, which was launched less than a year ago. AN’s deputy editor Emily Baldwin speaks to one of the Principal Investigators, Matt Griffin about what the mission has achieved so far.



Water, water everywhere

In today’s Water in the Solar System session at the National Astronomy Meeting, compelling evidence was presented that suggests rocky planets hosting water may be commonplace throughout the Milky Way.



The shocking size of
Comet McNaught

In early 2007 Comet C/2006 P1 McNaught became the brightest comet visible from Earth for 40 years, and now, according to new data, is also the largest comet measured to date.



Massive baby stars in the Rosette Nebula

This stunning image from the Herschel Space Observatory reveals the formation of previously unseen large stars in the Rosette Nebula.



Magnetic ropes tie down solar eruptions

Using data from the Hinode spacecraft, astronomers have discovered new details of an immense structure that erupted from the Sun’s surface to produce a coronal mass ejection in December 2007.



Cluster watches formation of aurorae

For the first time the acceleration of electrons in Earth’s magnetosphere, which generate the colouful aurorae that glisten in colourful curtains over the polar regions, has been witnessed in action.



The Planets
From tiny Mercury to distant Neptune and Pluto, The Planets profiles each of the Solar System's members in depth, featuring the latest imagery from space missions. The tallest mountains, the deepest canyons, the strongest winds, raging atmospheric storms, terrain studded with craters and vast worlds of ice are just some of the sights you'll see on this 100-page tour of the planets.

Hubble Reborn
Hubble Reborn takes the reader on a journey through the Universe with spectacular full-colour pictures of galaxies, nebulae, planets and stars as seen through Hubble's eyes, along the way telling the dramatic story of the space telescope, including interviews with key scientists and astronauts.

3D Universe
Witness the most awesome sights of the Universe as they were meant to be seen in this 100-page extravaganza of planets, galaxies and star-scapes, all in 3D!


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