News

See Comet Lovejoy at its best

6 January 2015 Ade Ashford

With Full Moon past, opportunities to see Comet Lovejoy are improving again. So don’t miss the first bright comet of 2015 with our nightly observing guide.

News

Don’t miss the Quadrantid meteor shower

2 January 2015 Mark Armstrong

The first shooting stars of 2015 belong to the the Quadrantids, a shower that peaks on the night of 3rd/4th January. Despite the interference of a gibbous Moon, expect some bright, sometimes blue and yellow coloured meteors that may leave glowing trails.

News

Get ready for Comet Lovejoy!

29 December 2014 Ade Ashford

C/2014 Q2, better known as Comet Lovejoy, is brightening fast and rapidly heading into the Northern Hemisphere sky. Here’s our quick guide to viewing what will hopefully be the first naked-eye comet of 2015.

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NASA spacecraft to get bonus time studying Mercury

29 December 2014 Stephen Clark

Running low on fuel after completing the first global survey of Mercury, NASA’s MESSENGER spacecraft could get an extra month of time at the solar system’s innermost planet thanks to a crafty new way of using helium gas to temporarily forestall the mission’s end next year.

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Scientific riches await Philae comet lander, if it wakes up

25 December 2014 Stephen Clark

Optimistic Europe’s hibernating Philae comet lander can be revived, mission controllers plan to try and contact the spacecraft as soon as January as the search narrows for the probe’s final resting place — a site within arm’s reach of pristine ice and organic matter ripe for analysis if the mission gets a new lease on life.

News

Sun sizzles in high-energy X-rays

23 December 2014 Astronomy Now

Designed to study black holes, supernova remnants and other extreme objects beyond our Solar System, NASA’s Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) has captured the most sensitive portrait of the Sun ever taken in high-energy X-rays.