News

Faint galaxies found hiding in the Virgo Cluster

27 May 2015 Astronomy Now

A recent survey using the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope has discovered hundreds of new galaxies in the Virgo Cluster, the nearest large cluster of galaxies. Most are extremely faint dwarf galaxies, objects hundreds of thousands of times less massive than our Milky Way, and amongst the faintest galaxies known in the universe.

NASA's reworked image of Europa based on late 1990s data from the Galileo spacecraft.
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Science instruments selected for NASA’s Europa mission

27 May 2015 Astronomy Now

NASA has selected nine science instruments for a future mission to Jupiter’s moon Europa in which a spacecraft would make multiple close flybys of the icy world — thought to contain a global subsurface ocean — to investigate whether the mysterious moon could harbour conditions suitable for life.

News

Dragonfly’s compound ‘eye’ reveals very faint galaxy structure

26 May 2015 Astronomy Now

At CASCA 2015, Roberto Abraham from the University of Toronto describes the first results from the Dragonfly Telephoto Array — an innovative, multi-lens system designed to produce digital images of ultra-low surface brightness objects at visible wavelengths — that is at least ten times more efficient than its nearest rival.

Equipment

Celestron NexImage Burst Colour camera

25 May 2015 Steve Ringwood

Looking for a high-resolution, high-speed camera for imaging Saturn at opposition with your telescope? Steve Ringwood appraises the one-shot colour Celestron NexImage Burst, capable of capturing 120 frames/second — and it comes with image-processing software too!

Picture This

Hubble revisits tangled galaxy NGC 6240

25 May 2015 Astronomy Now

Not all galaxies are neatly shaped, as this new NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image of NGC 6240 clearly demonstrates. Hubble previously released an image of this galaxy in 2008, but the knotted region was only revealed in these new observations from Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 and Advanced Camera for Surveys.

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Galaxy’s cannibalistic snacking habits revealed

23 May 2015 Astronomy Now

A team of Australian and Spanish astronomers have caught a greedy galaxy gobbling on its neighbours and leaving crumbs of evidence about its dietary past. Their successful and novel approach to investigating how galaxies grow is being used in a new program to further refine the best models of galaxy evolution.

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WISE discovery of the most luminous galaxy in the universe

22 May 2015 Astronomy Now

A remote galaxy shining with the light of more than 300 trillion suns has been discovered using data from NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE). It is the most luminous galaxy found to date and belongs to a new class of objects — extremely luminous infrared galaxies, or ELIRGs.

Picture This

The dreadful beauty of the Medusa Nebula

21 May 2015 Astronomy Now

Astronomers using ESO’s Very Large Telescope in Chile have captured the most detailed image ever taken of the Medusa Nebula in the constellation of Gemini. As the star at the heart of this nebula made its transition into retirement, it shed its outer layers into space, forming this colourful cloud.

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Supernova observed colliding with its companion star

20 May 2015 Astronomy Now

Type Ia supernovae are violent stellar explosions that shine as some of the brightest objects in the universe, but there are still many mysteries surrounding their origin. Now a team of astronomers have witnessed a supernova smashing into a nearby star, shocking it, and creating an ultraviolet glow that reveals the size of the companion.