News

Dwarf galaxy’s gamma-rays hint at dark matter

11 March 2015 Kerry Hebden

An excess of gamma rays detected coming from a recently discovered dwarf galaxy named Reticulum 2, which is 98,000 light years from Earth, could provide researchers with clues about dark matter, which is the mysterious stuff that makes up most of the Universe.

News

Venus revealed in high-resolution radar images from Earth

10 March 2015 Astronomy Now

By combining the powerful radar transmitter of the Arecibo Observatory and the Green Bank Telescope (GBT) — the world’s largest fully steerable radio telescope — astronomers were able to penetrate the visually opaque atmospheric veil of Venus to make remarkably detailed images of the surface of the planet without leaving Earth.

News

Enormous planet found to be in a quadruple star system

7 March 2015 Astronomy Now

Astronomers have discovered the second known case of a four-star planetary system. The planet was known before and has a mass ten times that of Jupiter, but was thought to have only three parent stars, not four. The findings help researchers understand how multiple star systems can influence the development and fate of planets.

News

Thermonuclear supernova ejects Galaxy’s fastest star

7 March 2015 Astronomy Now

Astronomers using the 10-metre Keck II and Pan-STARRS1 telescopes on Hawaii have discovered a Milky Way star travelling at a record 2.7 million miles per hour. Propelled by the thermonuclear detonation of a massive white dwarf companion, this hypervelocity star will escape the gravity of our Galaxy.

Eclipse

The 2015 Arctic total solar eclipse

6 March 2015 Astronomy Now

On 20 March the shadow of the Moon will race across the North Atlantic Ocean at supersonic speed, narrowly skirting the south-eastern corner of Iceland and making landfall at only two places – the Faroe Islands and the Svalbard archipelago. A partial eclipse will be visible across the UK and Europe.

News

Mars lost an ocean’s worth of water

6 March 2015 Astronomy Now

NASA scientists have determined that a primitive ocean occupying almost half of Mars’ northern hemisphere once held more water than Earth’s Arctic Ocean and that the Red Planet has lost 87% of that water to space.