Astro Blog

19 February 2013

Stargazing Oxford photo competition: The results are in!

Congratulations to everyone who entered our photo competition! We were extremely impressed with the quality and variety of the entries, and the photos made a beautiful display.

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15 February 2013

Moving objects, and non-moving telescopes!

For those of you eagerly awaiting the next installment of comet ISON, I'm afraid all we have to report is a broken telescope! However, you can track a solar system body for yourself tonight (15th Feb 2013), as asteroid 2012-DA14 flies by the Earth at only 35,000km and should be visible in binoculars.

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06 February 2013

Stargazing Oxford 2013 Project : Comet ISON

Comet Incoming! Here is the first image of Comet ISON taken for our 2013 PWT Stargazer's project. ISON is still as far away as Jupiter, but already a small tail is starting to develop... For this project, we will be imaging the comet every 2 weeks this year with the Philip Wetton Telescope (PWT) telescope here in Oxford. Check back to see how the comet develops, and if it delivers on its promise to be the brightest comet in 40 years!

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14 December 2012

Jupiter and the Galilean Moons

Jupiter reached opposition (directly opposite the Sun, as seen from Earth) on the 3rd of December 2012. This year's opposition is particularly favourable for us Northern hemispherites, with Jupiter climbing high in the Southern sky at midnight. We took the opportunity to grab some images of Jupiter with the Philip Wetton Telescope here in Oxford, showing the bands in the atmosphere, a well placed Great Red Spot, and the four Galilean moons. What's more, the image has a challenge for you solve...

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11 December 2012

Stargazing Oxford 2013 photo competition

As part of this year's Stargazing Oxford open day (details to be announced shortly), we are running a photo competition. The deadline for submission is midnight on Tuesday the 8th of January, and all entries will be displayed to the public during the open day on January 12th. Details are included below. We look forward to receiving your beautiful images of the night sky!

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02 November 2012

What is an Astrophysicist?

Megan (aged 4 1/2 years) wrote to us to ask as two questions: What is an astrophysicist? And where could she get an astrophysicist's toy? Phil Marshall wrote back, with some partial answers and an astrophysics investigation to get her started...

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06 August 2012

Exploring the Frontier

Whilst we go about our busy lives, a host of unmanned space probes are investigating other worlds. Oxford astronomer Joseph Caruana takes a look at some of the spacecraft currently exploring our Solar System.

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15 July 2012

Sunspots, solar flares, and aurorae

Oxford astronomer and exoplanet researcher Amy McQuillan was in Tel Aviv this week for a research visit. Taking photos early one evening, she noticed something strange on the disc of the Sun. A little while later, she posted what she'd seen on FaceBook:

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06 July 2012

Exoplanet GJ1214b: What a wonderful world!

The field of extra-solar planet research is still a young one, but progress over the last few years has been startling. Now that we've found hundreds of exoplanets, the time is ripe to start asking interesting questions about what their atmospheres are like, says Jo Barstow.

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21 June 2012

The Milky Way and Andromeda galaxy are on a collision course!

Forget global warming baking the Earth - how about something even bigger, like the destruction of the entire Milky Way galaxy? Celia Escamilla Rivera looks at new evidence that predicts a cataclysmic fate for our own galaxy.

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