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The dwarf galaxy that reveals the history of the universe

24 March 2015 Astronomy Now

Dwarf galaxy I Zw 18 stands out for its extreme scarcity of heavy elements, a characteristic typical of primeval galaxies. A map of ionised helium in the galaxy has just been published, indicating the presence of peculiar stars similar to the first that ever shone in the universe.

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UK headquarters for the world’s largest telescope?

23 March 2015 Astronomy Now

The Square Kilometre Array Organisation’s decision to extend its selection process to decide where to site the permanent headquarters of the array is welcomed by the Institude of Physics and the Royal Astronomical Society, backing a bid for the UK’s Jodrell Bank Observatory to be the host.

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Active asteroid spun so fast that it exploded

23 March 2015 Astronomy Now

Astronomers used the 10-metre Keck II telescope in Hawaii to examine a so-called active asteroid, P/2012 F5, that mimics a comet with a tail, but ejects dust like a shot without an obvious reason. The researchers found that it had a very fast spin rate and probably fragmented.

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Missing link between supernovae and planet formation found

19 March 2015 Astronomy Now

An international scientific team using NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) has discovered a cloud produced by a supernova explosion 10,000 years ago that contains enough dust to make 7,000 Earths, showing that supernovae are capable of producing a substantial amount of the material from which planets can form.