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Kepler-22b: What you need to know

Posted: 10 Dec 2011

The media is abuzz with news of the discovery of Kepler-22b, an exoplanet that might possibly bear some resemblance to the Earth. This is an exciting result, but have we really found Earth’s twin? Along with two of our resident exoplanet experts, Suzanne Aigrain (who was present at NASA’s announcement of the discovery) and Neale Gibson, we’ve compiled an “essential guide” to our newfound sibling.

Kepler-22b: What you need to know

Posted: 10 Dec 2011

The media is abuzz with news of the discovery of Kepler-22b, an exoplanet that might possibly bear some resemblance to the Earth. This is an exciting result, but have we really found Earth’s twin? Along with two of our resident exoplanet experts, Suzanne Aigrain (who was present at NASA’s announcement of the discovery) and Neale Gibson, we’ve compiled an “essential guide” to our newfound sibling.

Astro News: 9th December 2011

Posted: 09 Dec 2011

Wow, what a week! Not only have two Oxford astrophysicists been on the radio, but in the space of seven days, astronomers have announced that they’ve found an Earth-like planet in a near-by solar system, as well as the most massive black holes in the Universe to date! In other news, the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) moves a step closer to being funded and there are rumors that particle physicists may be about to announce something important...

What Can You See in the Night Sky This Week?

Posted: 05 Dec 2011

The constellation of Orion - the Hunter - is now beginning to appear in the Southeast at around 8pm. Orion is one of the most-easily recognised constellations and you can spot him by looking for the three bright stars that make up his belt. Once you have found his belt, look for his sword: a triplet of faint objects dropping down to the left of his belt. The middle of these is not a star but the Orion Nebula, a region where stars are forming about 1,300 light years away. This fuzzy blob is a good spot to try and view using a small telescope.

Astro News: 3rd December 2011

Posted: 03 Dec 2011

In the Universe this week: Mixed news for Mars missions, Mercury is weird, and the Voyager spacecraft see star formation.

What Can You See in the Night Sky This Week?

Posted: 01 Dec 2011

Andromeda - the Milky Way’s twin galaxy - is the closest spiral galaxy to us. However, it’s still a long way away! If the Milky Way was the size of a 2p coin, Andromeda would be the size of another 2p coin just over half a metre away. And that’s our nearest neighbour! Unsurprisingly, the Andromeda galaxy is located in the constellation of Andromeda and can be seen from dusk till about 2:30am every night this week, writes Jas Virdee.

Tales from the Telescope: ALMA

Posted: 01 Dec 2011

Pat Roche reports from his visit to the ALMA site in Chile - and asks Estelle Bayet to explain why it is such an exciting new observatory.