News

OSIRIS discovers balancing rock on comet 67P

19 May 2015 Astronomy Now

Scientists from Rosetta’s OSIRIS team have discovered an extraordinary formation in the Aker region on the larger lobe of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The largest of a group of three boulders with a diameter of approximately 30 metres appears to perch on the rim of a small depression. There seems to be only a very small contact area with the nucleus.

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Hubble catches a stellar exodus in action

17 May 2015 Astronomy Now

Using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers have captured for the first time snapshots of fledgling white dwarf stars beginning their slow-paced, 40-million-year migration from the crowded centre of giant globular cluster 47 Tucanae to the less populated suburbs.

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Ceres’ mysterious white spots resolved in latest Dawn images

11 May 2015 Astronomy Now

The enigmatic white features on the dwarf planet Ceres are better resolved in a new sequence of images taken by NASA’s Dawn spacecraft on May 3rd and 4th. In this closest-yet view, the brightest spots within a crater in the northern hemisphere are revealed to be composed of many smaller spots. However, their exact nature remains unknown.

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Dawn observes Ceres’ northern hemisphere

10 May 2015 Astronomy Now

On May 8th, NASA’s Dawn spacecraft completed its mapping of the northern and southern hemisphere of dwarf planet Ceres in this orbit. The craft is now using its ion thruster to spiral down to the second mapping orbit. This image comes from May 4th.

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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.

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A perfect ring

29 April 2015 Keith Cooper

This incredible halo-shaped object is an Einstein Ring, which is an extreme manifestation of Albert Einstein’s General Relativity in action.

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Colourful skies over ESO

21 April 2015 Keith Cooper

A kaleidoscope of colours hang above the giant structures of the Very Large Telescope at the European Southern Observatory in Chile. The scene is a mixture of a red sunset, the hazy zodiacal light and the pearlescent pinks of star-forming regions in our own Milky Way Galaxy.