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Enjoy the Lyrid meteor shower

21 April 2015 Peter Grego

With a young crescent Moon setting around midnight for the peak of the Lyrid meteor shower, prospects are good for this annual display that can produce medium-speed fireballs.

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Colourful skies over ESO

21 April 2015 Keith Cooper

A kaleidoscope of colours hang above the giant structures of the Very Large Telescope at the European Southern Observatory in Chile. The scene is a mixture of a red sunset, the hazy zodiacal light and the pearlescent pinks of star-forming regions in our own Milky Way Galaxy.

Observing

Venus meets the Moon in the Eye of the Bull

21 April 2015 Ade Ashford

Tuesday, April 21st provides a daylight occultation of bright star Aldebaran in Taurus for observers in the extreme north of Scotland, while the whole of the British Isles sees a close conjunction with the added bonus of dazzling Venus nearby at dusk.

News

A cold cosmic mystery solved

20 April 2015 Astronomy Now

Since its discovery over a decade ago on a map of the cosmic background radiation left over from the Big Bang, astronomers have puzzled over the so-called Cold Spot — possibly the largest individual structure ever identified by humanity. Now, a team led by researchers from the University of Hawaii may have found an explanation for its existence.

News

Earth was grown from millimetre-sized stones

18 April 2015 Astronomy Now

Researchers can now explain how asteroids are formed. According to a new study led by Lund University in Sweden, our own planet also has its origins in the same process — a cosmic ocean of millimetre-sized particles that once orbited the young Sun.

News

Massive galaxies died from the inside out

16 April 2015 Keith Cooper

Some of the biggest galaxies in the Universe started to shut down their star-formation from the inside-out ten billion years ago, according to new observations made using the Very Large Telescope in Chile and the Hubble Space Telescope.