Astro Blog

09 December 2011

Astro News: 9th December 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...

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05 December 2011

What Can You See in the Night Sky This Week?

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.

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03 December 2011

Astro News: 3rd December 2011

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

The Voyagers see star formation

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01 December 2011

What Can You See in the Night Sky This Week?

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.

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01 December 2011

Tales from the Telescope: ALMA

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.

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25 November 2011

Astro News: 25th November 2011

This week brought news of the 700th confirmed exoplanet, the potential resurrection of an unfortunate Mars mission, and a beautiful timelapse video of Earth taken from the International Space Station.

700th extrasolar planet discovery confirmed

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25 November 2011

A Tale of Two (Neutron) Stars

At the end of last week, one of our colleagues here in Oxford, Professor Philipp Podsiadlowski, told us that he and some others had discovered something really interesting about neutron stars: how fast they are spinning could be telling us how they were born.

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21 November 2011

What Can You See in the Night Sky This Week?

All that glistens is not gold: sometimes it’s red, or blue, or both. This week, we take a look at some double stars in the night sky and learn the difference between an optical double and a true binary. You will need binoculars or a telescope, and this week’s sky map.

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19 November 2011

Astro News: 19th November 2011

In this week’s news, we have a colourful map of the Moon, big news about Big Science funding, and some very naughty neutrinos.

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17 November 2011

Leonid Meteor Shower

Want to see a shooting star? The Leonid meteor shower is expected to reach its peak this evening, so get out there!

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