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News: March 2010

A faint nebula's
split personality

Dark on one side and bright on the other, the Gum 19 nebula tells a tale of star-formation and demise.

READ MORE

 

Large Hadron Collider opens new era of physics

Just hours ago, the Large Hadron Collider at CERN set a new world record, achieving proton collisions at seven trillion electron volts, the highest energy ever achieved by a man-made particle accelerator.

READ MORE

 

Supernova engulfs neighbouring stars

A new composite image combining Chandra and Spitzer space telescope data reveal the details of the dusty remains of a collapsed star as it engulfs its neighbours.

READ MORE

 

Cassini finds video arcade relic on Saturn moon

The Cassini spacecraft touring Saturn found an odd arrangement of hot spots resembling the iconic Pac-Man arcade character on the heavily-cratered moon Mimas during a February flyby.

READ MORE

 

Video interview: Comet Siding Spring's dramatic split

British astrophotographer Nick Howes talks to Astronomy Now's Emily Baldwin about his observation that Comet 2007 Q3 (Siding Spring) has split into two, and how he used the Faulkes Telescope to image this dramatic cometary breakup.

WATCH NOW

 

Galactic lensing shows cosmology is on right track

A subtle form of gravitational lensing acting on hordes of distant galaxies has provided a triple whammy of independent evidence for not only the strength of dark energy, but also the distribution of dark matter throughout the Universe and the sanctity of Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity.

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Ninety percent of distant galaxies go unseen

Using ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) and a new, unique camera, astronomers have found that some ninety percent of galaxies 10 billion light years away have gone undetected.

READ MORE

 

Opportunity chooses
own targets

NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity is now equipped with software that allows it to choose its own rocks for further examination, demonstrating the power that future autonomous robotic missions might be able to offer.

READ MORE

 

UK Space Agency is go!

Britain's first European Space Agency astronaut, Major Timothy Peake, yesterday unveiled the logo that will front the UK’s new Space Agency.

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Black holes reveal dark matter’s secrets

A unique insight into the nature of dark matter has been revealed by studies of how it interacts with supermassive black holes at the centres of galaxies.

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Exotic rain drenches Jupiter

Next time you visit Jupiter remember to take an umbrella with you. Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley have discovered that drops of helium rain, laced with neon, could be falling from the clouds.

READ MORE

 

Most distant star-forming nebulae observed

A faraway galaxy has been discovered forming stars at a rate of 250 Suns per year in four star-forming nebulae that stretch hundreds of light years across. The discovery bolsters evidence that galaxies formed stars, and therefore grew in size, much more quickly in the past than they do today.

READ MORE

 

Comet's split caught
in the act

On Wednesday Astronomy Now's Nick Howes revealed images that suggest Comet C2007 Q3 Siding Spring is in the process of breaking up. We can now confirm that this is a fragmentation event, and catch up with Nick after his latest stint on the Faulkes Telescope.

LATEST STORY
DISCOVERY STORY

 

First generation
quasars found

Two of the earliest and most primitive supermassive black holes have been uncovered by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, providing vital information about the nature of the early Universe.

READ MORE

 

Preview the April issue of Astronomy Now!

Editor Keith Cooper previews the March 2010 issue of Astronomy Now magazine

WATCH NOW

 

Sizing up a
temperate exoplanet

Combining observations from the CoRoT satellite and ground-based ESO HARPS instrument, astronomers have a discovered a 'standard' exoplanet that is set to become the Rosetta stone of exoplanet research.

FULL STORY

 

First look at weather inside Jupiter's red spot

Stunning new thermal images derived from ground-based telescopes reveal the first detailed weather maps of Jupiter's giant storm system.

FULL STORY

 

Planck's tapestry of
cold dust

The latest offering from ESA's Planck satellite reveals giant filaments of cold dust stretching across the Milky Way. The nature of these features could help determine the forces that shape our Galaxy and trigger star formation.

FULL STORY

 

Ultra-luminous supernova sparked by merger

More evidence that a significant proportion of Type Ia supernovae are the result of two white dwarfs merging together and exploding has been found in a study of an ultra-luminous supernova.

FULL STORY

 

Flickering ribbons shield star-forming gas

By all rights massive stars should emerge from their nebulous wombs stillborn, as their radiation heats the surrounding gas and stops the star from growing. Now new research has revealed that spiral filaments of gas act as a shield, absorbing the heat of young stars and allowing gas from beyond to continue to fall onto them.

FULL STORY

 

Solar wind pulses strip
Mars' atmosphere

Mars is constantly losing small amounts of its atmosphere into space, but a new study shows that the loss rate may be enhanced by pulses of solar wind energy.

FULL STORY

 

Titan's interior revealed

By precisely tracking Cassini's motion during its closest passes of Saturn's moon Titan, scientists have been given an insight into the large moon's internal structure, finding it to be a disorganised mix of rock and ice.

FULL STORY

 

Explosive outflows halt star formation in distant galaxy

Tumultuous events in a galaxy far, far away are signalling the end of star formation within it, indicating how and why the most massive galaxies in the Universe ceased growing a few billion years after the big bang.

FULL STORY

 

Cosmic dark flow
mystery deepens

The motion of distant galaxy clusters streaming at a million miles per hour along a path centred on the southern constellations Centaurus and Hydra has been tracked to twice the distance originally recorded.

FULL STORY

 

Glimpsing the heartbeat
of the Milky Way

Thousands of stars comprising Spitzer's Galactic Legacy Infrared Mid-Plane Survey Extraordinaire (GLIMPSE) have been used to listen for the 'heartbeat' of the Milky Way in terms of the rate at which our Galaxy is producing new stars.

FULL STORY

 

Lava likely made river-like channel on Mars

Dried-up river channels on Mars are some of the best evidence that water once flowed on the surface of the red planet, but new analysis of a channel once thought to have been carved by water shows that it was in fact formed from lava.

FULL STORY

 

The five-minute
white dwarf waltz

Utilising the resolving power of the ten-metre Keck telescope in Hawaii, astronomers from the University of Warwick and Radboud University in the Netherlands have confirmed the existence of a double white dwarf system where the two stars orbit one another every 5.4 minutes.

FULL STORY

 

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter maps out hidden ice

Significant volumes of buried ice have been discovered in the mid-latitudes of Mars’ northern hemisphere, according to a report presented at the 41st Lunar and Planetary Science Conference earlier this week.

FULL STORY

 

Bully galaxy rules the neighbourhood

Galaxies are often found in groups, interacting with their neighbours, but a recent Hubble Space Telescope image reveals that some galaxies are loners, gobbling up other galaxies that lie in their path.

FULL STORY

 

Winds of change in middle-of-the-road galaxy

A howling gale of radiation blowing from a black hole in the spiral galaxy M77 is impacting on star formation despite the black hole’s ‘moderate’ size, according to observations from the Chandra X-ray Observatory.

FULL STORY

 

Old star missing link in galaxy evolution

A newly discovered star that may have been among the second generation of stars to form after the big bang may be the missing link in models of our Galaxy's evolution.

FULL STORY

 

Gamma-ray glow
steeped in mystery

An omnipresent fog of high energy gamma-ray radiation that bathes the entire Universe is being produced mostly by a mysterious, unknown source, revealed scientists this week at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society’s High-Energy Astrophysics Division.

FULL STORY

 

First step taken to solve neutrino problem

Scientists at the Tokai-to-Kamioka (T2K) experiment in Japan have tracked the experiment's first neutrino, a small step towards finding out why we live in a matter-dominated Universe.

FULL STORY

 

Ice found at Moon's north pole

Radar data analysed from India’s Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft reveals ice deposits in craters dotted around the Moon’s north pole that could contain as much as 600 million tons of ice.

FULL STORY

 

Mars Express ready for closest Phobos flyby

The European Space Agency’s (ESA) Mars Express is set to perform its closest flyby of Phobos tonight. ESA hopes that the data collected by the spacecraft will help solve the origin of Mars’ largest moon.

FULL STORY

 

Galaxy magnifiers measure age and size of Universe

Using galaxies as giant magnifying lenses, researchers have measured the size and age of the Universe, giving strength to the gravitational lensing technique as one that can provide reliable data on the parameters of the Universe.

FULL STORY

 

Super-hot giant exoplanet spills into host star

A gas-giant planet orbiting a star in the Auriga constellation is slowly having its atmosphere stripped off and siphoned onto the surface of its host star.

FULL STORY

 

Silence from NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander

We all struggle with long northern winters here on Earth, but enduring the harsh northern Martian winter may have proved too much for NASA’s Phoenix Mars Lander.

FULL STORY

 

First images of soil moisture and ocean salinity

The first images delivered by the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) mission show global variations in Earth's soil moisture and ocean salinity.

FULL STORY

 

Amateur astronomers to shed light on solar storms

Internet users are being asked to help scientists analyse solar storm data from America’s space agency NASA as part of "Solar Stormwatch", a new initiative that was launched last week.

FULL STORY

 

Cassini unravels secrets of Titan's cryovolcanism

Scientists have long believed that the Hotei Regio area on Saturn's murky moon Titan shows signs of ancient cryovolcanism, but have debated over whether there is sufficient evidence to show there is any current activity. Now, data from two sets of instruments onboard NASA’s Cassini spacecraft have been combined to reveal the latest findings.

FULL STORY

 

Stardust primed for second comet fly-by

Stardust, the first unmanned spacecraft to return comet samples to Earth, has been successfully aligned for its second and possibly final mission: to deal with NASA’s unfinished business at comet Tempel 1.

FULL STORY

 
 

Back to latest news

2010 Yearbook
Our latest 132-page Astronomy Now special edition is an extravaganza of astronomy for the year ahead, with a complete 30-page guide to observing the planets, moon, meteor showers, two solar eclipses, and the deep sky in 2010.
 U.K. STORE
 E.U. STORE
 U.S. & WORLDWIDE STORE
 

Take the tour!
A 100-page special edition from the creators of Astronomy Now magazine, The Grand Tour of the Universe takes readers from one end of the Universe to the other and, in doing so, asks the question "just how big is the Universe?"
 U.K. STORE
 E.U. STORE
 U.S. & WORLDWIDE STORE


Infinity Rising
This special publication features the photography of British astro-imager Nik Szymanek and covers a range of photographic methods from basic to advanced. Beautiful pictures of the night sky can be obtained with a simple camera and tripod before tackling more difficult projects, such as guided astrophotography through the telescope and CCD imaging.
 U.K. STORE
 E.U. STORE
 U.S. & WORLDWIDE STORE

Guide to the Constellations
Astronomy Now presents this 100-page, full-colour guide to the 68 constellations visible from the British Isles by Neil Bone, the respected amateur astronomer and writer.
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 E.U. STORE
 U.S. & WORLDWIDE STORE

Exploring Mars
Astronomy Now is pleased to announce the publication of Exploring Mars. The very best images of Mars taken by orbiting spacecraft and NASA's Spirit and Opportunity rovers fill up the 98 glossy pages of this special edition!
 U.K. STORE
 E.U. STORE
 U.S. & WORLDWIDE STORE


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