Astronomers witness assembly of galaxies in the early Universe for the first time

22 Jul 2015

An international team of astronomers led by the University of Cambridge have detected the most distant clouds of star-forming gas yet found in normal galaxies in the early Universe – less than one billion years after the Big Bang. The new observations will allow astronomers to start to see how the first galaxies were built up and how they cleared the cosmic fog during the era of reionisation. This is the first time that such galaxies have been seen as more than just faint blobs.

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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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Artist's impression of the SKA, which will be made up of thousands of dishes that operate as one gigantic telescope

Masters of the universe

19 Jun 2015

The ‘world’s largest IT project’ — a system with the power of one hundred million home computers — may help to unravel many of the mysteries of our universe: how it began, how it developed and whether humanity is alone in the cosmos.

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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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