The first measurement of an exoplanet day.

Dutch Astronomers using ESO’s Very Large Telescope were able to measure the rotational speed of a planet outside the Solar System for the first time. Ignas Snellen and his colleagues at Leiden University in the Netherlands used infrared light and its absorption in the planet atmosphere

We have discovered a brown dwarf colder than ice

Associate Professor Kevin Luhman of Penn State University has discovered the coldest brown dwarf yet using the NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer. A brown dwarf is a massive gaseous object which is on the low end of the stellar mass and temperature scale. There’s an

Kepler has discovered the most Earth-like planet yet

The NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope team have discovered the first Earth-size planet orbiting a star in the “habitable zone”. The habitable zone, also known as the “Goldilock zone”, is the area around a start where planets (or satellite) are in the right range of temperature

Is Saturn forming a new Moon?

Exactly one year ago, astronomer Carl Murray a scientist from Queen Mary University of London discovered a curious disturbance in the A ring of Saturn. Analysing the data of the Cassini probe which was keeping an eye on the moon Prometheus (the bright white dot

Extraordinary video of a Solar Flare

The Associate Press has released a video from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory of a flare erupting from the Sun. Solar Flares are sudden brightening of the Sun’s surface. They occur when the strong magnetic field of the Sun (in a yet poorly understood mechanism) accelerates charged

The newly discovery dwarf planet shows up as red-green-blue coloured dots. Three images, each taken about two hours apart, were combined into one. The orbit of this world may be hinting that a planet far larger than Earth also lurks in the outer solar system Photograph: Scott S Sheppard/Carnegie Institution for Science

Rulers of the Oort Cloud

A new dwarf planet has recently been discovered in the solar system, orbiting at about 10 light hours from our Star. This is the furthest object belonging to our planetary system that we have been able to observe. It is now at 12 billion kilometres from

The first concrete evidence of Cosmic Inflation?

It was announced on Monday that the Background Imaging of Cosmic Extragalactic Polarisation 2 (BICEP2 – don’t you love projects acronyms?) experiment at the South Pole found a special pattern in the cosmic microwave background (CMB). The pattern they found is the B-mode polarisation signal in the

Colliding stars

I know that likelihood of stars colliding is very low, but have there been papers describing the theoretical process of star collision? James, London I think we can divide star-collision into three classes: Stellar Mergers Binary collisions Stellar Collision Under the stellar merger label we

All about the Asteroid Belt

What does it actually look like in the asteroid belt? Is it anything like as dense as is shown in films? Or is it more like you can see one or two rocks in the distance? Matthew, Amsterdam Contrary to popular belief, the asteroid belt

How big is the biggest galaxy in the Universe?

If by big we mean physical dimension, the largest known galaxy is most likely IC1101. IC1101 is gargantuan even among galaxies; it’s a super elliptical galaxy with a diffuse stellar halo that to extends to at least 1.4 million light years. The Milky Way’s halo by comparison