Astro Blog articles for star formation

Beacons or Fireworks?

Posted: 30 Mar 2012

In the local, old Universe we only see intense bursts of star formation when galaxies collide - but the young Universe was a very different place, it seems. Georgios Magdis is using the Herschel and VLA telescopes to measure the amount of gas in massive galaxies 1-4 billion years after the Big Bang, and finding that mergers weren't so important back then. Some galaxies had so much gas they could sustain long periods of star formation, without the need for a merger to compress the gas at all - they look more like beacons than fireworks. Phil Marshall caught up with Georgios and asked him a few questions about his work.

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.

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.