News

Unexpected changes of bright spots on Ceres discovered

16 March 2016 Astronomy Now

New and very precise observations using the HARPS spectrograph with the ESO 3.6-metre telescope in Chile have not only detected the motion of the enigmatic bright spots on Ceres due to the dwarf planet’s rotation about its axis, but also found unexpected additional variations suggesting that the material of the spots is volatile and evaporates in sunlight.

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The lives of sibling stars in open cluster IC 4651

19 August 2015 Astronomy Now

Most stars form within clusters and these clusters can be used by astronomers as laboratories to study how stars evolve and die. The cluster captured here by the Wide Field Imager (WFI) at ESO’s La Silla Observatory is known as IC 4651, and the stars born within it now display a wide variety of characteristics.

News

First detection of element lithium from an exploding star

1 August 2015 Astronomy Now

The chemical element lithium is predicted to have been created by the Big Bang, 13.8 billion years ago. Observations of Nova Centauri 2013 show that lithium has been found for the first time in material ejected by a nova, helping to explain the mystery of why many young stars seem to have more of this chemical element than expected.

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Buried in the heart of a giant

2 July 2015 Astronomy Now

This is a young open cluster of stars known as NGC 2367, an infant stellar grouping that lies at the centre of an immense and ancient structure on the margins of the Milky Way, captured by the Wide Field Imager (WFI) camera on the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope at ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile.