News

The dark matter conspiracy

3 May 2015 Astronomy Now

A new study finds that elliptical galaxies maintain a remarkably constant circular speed out to large distances from their centres, in the same way that spiral galaxies do. In these very different types of galaxies, stars and dark matter somehow conspire to redistribute themselves to produce this effect, or does modified Newtonian dynamics offer an explanation?

Picture This

Pillars of Creation revealed in 3-D

3 May 2015 Astronomy Now

The iconic 20-year-old Hubble image of the Pillars of Creation is reinterpreted in three dimensions by the MUSE instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope, suggesting that the Pillars of Destruction might be an equally apt name.

Observing

Mercury’s best early evening twilight show for 2015

1 May 2015 Ade Ashford

The first ten days of May offer observers in the British Isles their best opportunity to see Mercury in the early evening twilight during 2015. So, if you’ve never seen the innermost planet, let dazzling Venus be your convenient guide to this elusive little world.

Observing

Comet Lovejoy’s May rendezvous with Polaris

1 May 2015 Ade Ashford

Comet Lovejoy has been a easy to follow object since the beginning of the year. Throughout May the comet continues its trek towards the north celestial pole, culminating in a close conjunction with Polaris at the end of the month.