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News by month (2005): Recent : Jan
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Celebrating 5 years of the Very Large Telescope
March 31: One of the world's most advanced astronomical research facilities, the ESO Very Large Telescope (VLT) at the Paranal Observatory in the Chilean Atacama desert, has just celebrated an important anniversary.
Is Andromeda Galaxy a cannibal on our doorstep?
March 31:  Astronomers have collected the first clear evidence that the Andromeda Galaxy, also known as M31, is pulling one of its bright satellite galaxies apart, and discovered 14 previously unknown globular clusters orbiting far from the centre of M31 which could have been left behind when Andromeda devoured their parent galaxies.
Ultraviolet astronomy in danger, scientists say
March 30:  World astronomers are becoming very concerned about their ability to carry out observations in ultraviolet light following recent announcements about the future of the Hubble Space Telescope.
Probe confirms methane in the Martian atmosphere
March 30:  During recent observations from the European Space Agency's Mars Express spacecraft in orbit around Mars, methane was detected in its atmosphere. Whilst it is too early to draw any conclusions on its origin, exciting as they may be, scientists are thinking about the next steps to take in order to understand more.
Andromeda yields cache of stellar black holes
March 30:  Astronomers have discovered ten previously unknown likely black holes in the Andromeda Galaxy by means of a powerful new search technique they have devised. The Andromeda Galaxy is the nearest neighbouring spiral galaxy, 2.5 million light years away.
Cassini examines high winds on Saturn
March 28:  Wind-blown clouds and haze high in Saturn's atmosphere are captured in a movie made from images taken by the Cassini narrow angle camera. In the movie, atmospheric motions can be seen most clearly in the equatorial region and at other southern latitudes.
Hubble's successor — U.K. takes a leading role
March 25:  Formerly known as the Next Generation Space Telescope, the James Webb Space Telescope is a joint project between NASA, the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency. Its journey begins a few years after the Hubble Space Telescope's amazing two-decade exploration draws to a close.
White dwarf explodes inside circumstellar disc
March 24:  By measuring polarized light from an unusual exploding star, an international team of astrophysicists and astronomers has worked out the first detailed picture of a Type Ia supernova and the distinctive star system in which it exploded.
Galaxy debris the smoking gun for dark matter?
March 24:  Weakly Interacting Massive Particles, or WIMPs, speeding at 670,000 mph on a "highway" in space may be raining onto Earth — a phenomenon that might prove the existence of "dark matter" that makes up most our galaxy and one-fourth of the universe, says a study co-authored by a University of Utah physicist.
Rover finds evidence of ancient sea on Mars
March 23:  Three weeks ago, NASA announced definitive evidence that Mars once featured an abundance of water supporting a habitable environment. But major questions remained. Tuesday, scientists unveiled photographs from NASA's Opportunity rover showing cross-bedded sedimentary rocks indicating that at least at one point on the martian surface — Meridiani Planum — a shallow, salty sea once ebbed and flowed.
A new star is born
March 23:  A timely discovery by American amateur astronomer Jay McNeil, followed immediately by observations at the Gemini Observatory, has provided a rare glimpse into the slow, yet violent birth of a star about 1,500 light-years away. The resulting findings reveal some of the strongest stellar winds ever detected around an embryonic Sun-like star.
New imagery of comet released from Stardust
March 19:  NASA's Stardust spacecraft successfully survived flying through the dust and gas cloud surrounding comet Wild 2 in January. During the flyby, the highest resolution images ever taken of a comet's nucleus were obtained and have been the subject of intense study since the flyby.
Asteroid's close brush with Earth
March 18:  Discovered by astronomers of MIT's Near-Earth Asteroid Research (LINEAR) survey just two days previously, house-sized 2004 FH made the closest flyby of Earth ever predicted on the night of March 18th.
Students control their own research-class telescopes
March 16:  Children throughout the U.K. will be among the first to see amazing astronomical images from the comfort of their classrooms by controlling two professional 2-metre telescopes in Hawaii and Australia via the Internet.
Most distant solar-system object discovered
March 15:  Detected at Mount Palomar Observatory in California, the new world may be called Sedna after the Inuit goddess of the sea. Believed to have a diameter of about 1000 miles, it currently lies three times further away than Pluto with an orbital period of approximately 10,500 years. Its orbit is very elongated, averaging 480 astronomical units (a.u.) from the Sun.
Six-terabyte sky catalogue released to public
March 15:  One of the largest astronomy catalogues ever compiled was released to the public Monday by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. With photometric and spectroscopic observations of the sky gathered during the last two years, this second data release offers six terabytes of images and catalogues, including two terabytes in an easy to use searchable database.
Clumps in Saturn's rings
March 12:  Scientists have only a rough idea of the lifetime of clumps in Saturn's rings — a mystery that Cassini may help answer. The latest images taken by the Cassini-Huygens spacecraft show clumps seemingly embedded within Saturn's narrow, outermost F ring.
Two asteroid fly-bys for comet probe Rosetta
March 11:  The Rosetta Science Working Team has made the final selection of two asteroids, named Lutetia and Steins, that Rosetta will observe at close quarters during its journey to Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.
Hubble's deepest view ever unveils earliest galaxies
March 9:  Astronomers at the Space Telescope Science Institute today unveiled the deepest portrait of the visible universe ever achieved by humankind. Called the Hubble Ultra Deep Field (HUDF), the million-second-long exposure reveals the first galaxies to emerge from the so-called "dark ages," the time shortly after the big bang when the first stars reheated the cold, dark universe.
25-metre telescope planned for Chile
March 9:  The California Institute of Technology and Cornell University are in the planning stages for a new 25-metre telescope to be built in Chile. The submillimetre telescope will cost an estimated $60 million and will be nearly two times larger in diameter than the largest submillimetre telescope currently in existence.
Rovers watch solar transits by Martian moons
March 8:  NASA's Mars Exploration Rovers have become 'eclipse' watchers. Opportunity is the first space probe to see moons pass in front of the sun from the surface of another world.
X-ray emissions detected from Saturn
March 8:  For the first time, an unambiguous X-ray emission has been detected on Saturn by a team from Hamburg University (Germany). The image obtained with the Chandra X-ray Observatory clearly shows an emission concentrated near Saturn's equator, though the underlying physical processes remain unknown.
V838 Monocerotis: light echo imitates art
March 4:  "Starry Night", Vincent van Gogh's famous painting, is renowned for its bold whorls of light sweeping across a raging night sky. This new picture from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope bears remarkable similarities to the van Gogh work, complete with never-before-seen spirals of dust swirling across trillions of kilometres of interstellar space.
Rosetta's comet target seen from Earth telescope
March 3:  The European Space Agency's Rosetta spacecraft was launched this week to rendezvous with Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Astronomers using the New Technology Telescope at the European Southern Observatory of La Silla in Chile have imaged the "dirty snowball" comet.
Rover confirms past liquid water on Mars
March 2:  NASA's Opportunity rover, studying exposed bedrock in the crater where it landed by chance in January, has found clear evidence that Mars once supported a wet, habitable environment, one that would have been suitable for life, scientists announced Tuesday.
VLT finds most distant known galaxy
March 1:  Using the ISAAC near-infrared instrument on ESO's Very Large Telescope, and the magnification effect of a gravitational lens, a team of French and Swiss astronomers has found several faint galaxies believed to be the most remote known.
Enigmatic X-rays may point to new class of black holes
March 1:  Mysterious, powerful X-ray sources found in nearby galaxies may represent a new class of objects, according to data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory. These sources, which are not as hot as typical neutron-star or black-hole X-ray sources, could be a large new population of black holes with masses several hundred times that of the sun.

The Planets
From tiny Mercury to distant Neptune and Pluto, The Planets profiles each of the Solar System's members in depth, featuring the latest imagery from space missions. The tallest mountains, the deepest canyons, the strongest winds, raging atmospheric storms, terrain studded with craters and vast worlds of ice are just some of the sights you'll see on this 100-page tour of the planets.

Hubble Reborn
Hubble Reborn takes the reader on a journey through the Universe with spectacular full-colour pictures of galaxies, nebulae, planets and stars as seen through Hubble's eyes, along the way telling the dramatic story of the space telescope, including interviews with key scientists and astronauts.

3D Universe
Witness the most awesome sights of the Universe as they were meant to be seen in this 100-page extravaganza of planets, galaxies and star-scapes, all in 3D!


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