An international team of astronomers have detected glowing oxygen in a distant galaxy seen just 700 million years after the Big Bang. This is the most distant galaxy in which oxygen has ever been unambiguously detected, and it is most likely being ionised by powerful radiation from young giant stars. This galaxy could be an example of one type of source responsible for cosmic reionisation in the early history of the Universe.
Astronomers have found the first evidence of comets around a star similar to the sun, providing an opportunity to study what our solar system was like as a ‘baby’.
Three Earth-sized planets have been discovered orbiting a dim and cool star, and may be the best place to search for life beyond the Solar System.
Astronomers have observed two black holes in nearby galaxies devouring their companion stars at an extremely high rate, and spitting out matter at a quarter the speed of light.
In 1995, in Geneva, PhD student Didier Queloz discovered a planet orbiting another sun – something that astronomers had predicted, but never found. Today he continues his terra hunting for extreme worlds and Earth twins in Cambridge.
New window on the universe is opened with the observation of gravitational waves – ripples in spacetime – caused by the collision of two black holes.
Astronomers have discovered some of the oldest stars in the galaxy, whose chemical composition and movements could tell us what the Universe was like soon after the Big Bang.
Ulinka Rublack, Professor of Early Modern European History, discusses the reputation of astronomer Johannes Kepler and his mother Katharina, and the criminal trial for witchcraft that lasted six years.