News

The Milky Way’s new neighbour

22 December 2014 Astronomy Now

The Local Group of galaxies has just grown in number with the Hubble Space Telescope discovery of KKs 3 — a dwarf spheroidal some 7 million light-years away in the far southern constellation of Hydrus.

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Is that a moon behind you?

21 December 2014 Astronomy Now

Tethys appears to be peeking out from behind Rhea in this image from the Cassini probe. Scientists believe that Tethys’ surprisingly high albedo is due to the water ice jets emerging from its neighbour, Enceladus.

News

NASA’s Kepler spacecraft proves it can still find planets

19 December 2014 Astronomy Now

When the primary mission of NASA’s Kepler spacecraft ended in May 2013 due to a failure of its stabilisation system, a team of scientists and engineers developed an ingenious strategy to control the spacecraft. The resulting second mission, K2, has a newfound planet — HIP 116454b

Observing

Utilities for telescopes and DSLR cameras

17 December 2014 Ade Ashford

We bring you two more online utilities designed to help you get the most out of your telescope and optical accessories, both for visual use and astroimaging with digital single-lens reflex cameras.

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The hot blue stars of Messier 47

17 December 2014 Astronomy Now

This spectacular image of the brilliant young blue stars and contrasting red giants of open cluster Messier 47 in the southern constellation of Puppis was taken with the 2.2-metre MPG/ESO telescope at ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile.

News

Carnegie hosts Mercury crater-naming contest

16 December 2014 Astronomy Now

To celebrate MESSENGER’s highly successful ten-year mission, you’re invited to immortalise five famous artists, composers or writers by naming craters on Mercury in their honour — but hurry, the contest closes 15th January 2015!