News

Curiosity rover drills rock sample at Mount Sharp

28 February 2015 Astronomy Now

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover has used its drill to collect sample powder from inside a rock target called “Telegraph Peak.” Examining rock samples like these will help scientists understand how the ancient wet environment of Mars dried up.

News

Ancient quasar with massive black hole found at cosmic dawn

25 February 2015 Astronomy Now

An international team of astronomers has found a huge and ancient black hole which was powering the brightest object in the early universe. The black hole’s mass is 12 billion times that of the Sun, and was at the centre of a quasar that pumped out a million billion times the energy of our star.

Picture This

Ceres looming large in Dawn’s camera

25 February 2015 Astronomy Now

These views of dwarf planet Ceres were taken on 19 February from a distance of about 46,000 kilometres (29,000 miles) by NASA’s Dawn spacecraft. Dawn observed Ceres completing one full rotation, which lasted about nine hours to capture both sides of this minor body.

Picture This

Rosetta closing in again on comet

25 February 2015 Astronomy Now

After a close up fly by of comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko on Valentine’s Day, Rosetta looped further away from the comet than it has been since arriving there and returned some dramatic new images.

Equipment

Celestron NexStar Evolution 9.25 review

25 February 2015 Ade Ashford

Celestron, a leading manufacturer of Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes, recently added the WiFi-enabled Evolution series to its computerised NexStar range. Targeted at intermediate-level users, we took the flagship Evolution 9.25 model through its paces and admired its futuristic vision of telescope control.