News for the Institute of Astronomy.

Gaia satellite and amateur astronomers spot one in a billion star

17 Jul 2015

The Gaia satellite has discovered a unique binary system where one star is ‘eating’ the other, but neither star has any hydrogen, the most common element in the Universe. The system could be an important tool for understanding how binary stars might explode at the end of their lives.

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Astronomers find first evidence of changing conditions on a super Earth

05 May 2015

Astronomers have detected wildly changing temperatures on a super Earth – the first time any atmospheric variability has been observed on a rocky planet outside the solar system – and believe it could be due to huge amounts of volcanic activity, further adding to the mystery of what had been nicknamed the ‘diamond planet’.

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Planck reveals first stars were born late

05 Feb 2015

New maps from the Planck satellite uncover the ‘polarised’ light from the early Universe across the entire sky, revealing that the first stars formed much later than previously thought.

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Celestial bodies

04 Feb 2015

Astronomy and oncology do not make obvious bedfellows, but the search for new stars and galaxies has surprising similarities with the search for cancerous cells. This has led to new ways of speeding up image analysis in cancer research.

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Galactic ‘hailstorm’ in the early Universe

16 Jan 2015

Astronomers have been able to peer back to the young Universe to determine how quasars – powered by supermassive black holes with the mass of a billion suns – form and shape the evolution of galaxies.

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Mapping the weather on WASP-43b

09 Oct 2014

Two new studies have been used to make the most detailed weather map for a planet outside the solar system, where typical daytime highs reach 1500 degrees Celsius and winds exceed the speed of sound.

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