Observing

Find the Andromeda Galaxy in the late summer sky

2 September 2016 Ade Ashford

One of best deep-sky objects of the approaching season is the Andromeda Galaxy, or Messier 31, that is now accessible low in the east-northeast by 10pm local time in the UK and Western Europe. Here’s our comprehensive guide to locating this iconic Local Group galaxy.

News

First stars formed even later than previously thought

2 September 2016 Astronomy Now

ESA’s Planck satellite has revealed that the first stars in the universe started forming later than previous observations of the Cosmic Microwave Background indicated. This new analysis also shows that these stars were the only sources needed to account for reionising atoms in the cosmos, having completed half of this process when the universe had reached an age of 700 million years.

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Annular eclipse: ring of fire over Africa

1 September 2016 Ade Ashford

The annular solar eclipse of Thursday, 1 September 2016 occurs when the Sun is in Leo. Greatest eclipse occurs at 09:06:54 UT, which is just under five-and-a-half days before lunar apogee, which is the Moon’s furthest point from us in its orbit.