Astronomy News

More mundane reasons could be behind strange orbits in the outer Solar System
Mon Jan 21, 2019 12:40pm

Something is altering the orbits of objects on the outskirts of our Solar System.

The existing theory is that a ninth planet could be shepherding these objects into their strange orbits, but a new idea states it could simply be the cumulative gravity of all objects beyond Neptune creating the wonky worlds.

Cassini spied the first rainfall in the moon’s north, heralding in summer
Thu Jan 17, 2019 12:17pm

Recently discovered rainfall has heralded the start of summer in the northern hemisphere of Saturn's moon, Titan.

Climate scientists have been on the look out for clouds in Cassini images of the moon's north, but failed to find any.

Instead, it was the reflection from a recent rainfall that indicated arrival of the summer season.

Royal Observatory's Tom Kerss reveals how to capture a nightscape
Tue Jan 15, 2019 11:53am

With entries now open for the Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2019 competition, Royal Observatory Greenwich astronomer Tom Kerss reveals his tips for capturing a magnificent nightscape.

As told to Lorin R Robinson.

The planet was hidden in ‘missing’ observations
Tue Jan 08, 2019 12:35pm

The Exoplanet Explorers website helped to uncover a world which lies in a size 'gap' - the range between 1.5 and two Earth radii where few planets have been found.

The planet was hidden in data that had previously been throw out to prevent errors, but which could now be analysed safely.

Get all the details for this year's astrophotography competition
Tue Jan 08, 2019 11:26am

The dates and details have been announced for this year's Insight Investment Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition. Find out how to enter below.

Initial mission science results released by NASA scientists
Fri Jan 04, 2019 11:20am

The initial findings from the New Horizons spacecraft's flyby at Ultima Thule have been released by NASA scientists, although the majority of data is yet to come.

Fri Dec 21, 2018 2:37pm

At 05:33GMT on New Year’s Day 2019, NASA’s New Horizons made a flyby of the Kuiper Belt Object known as Ultima Thule.

Ahead of the encounter we spoke to Ramy El-Maarry from Birkbeck, University of London, who worked with ESA’s Rosetta team before joining New Horizons as a science team collaborator.

Words by Elizabeth Pearson

Apollo 8 was the first crewed mission to circle the Moon
Fri Dec 21, 2018 10:24am

Apollo 8, the first crewed mission to circle the Moon, is best remembered for its Earthrise photo, and for the Christmas message its crew broadcast to the world from orbit on Christmas Eve, 1968. Apollo 8's Commander, Frank Borman, spoke to us from his home in Billings, Montana about how, for him, escaping Earth's gravitational pull for the first time was much more about winning the Cold War than space exploration.


Words by Jamie Carter.

What has New Horizons taught us about Pluto?
Thu Dec 20, 2018 3:32pm

As the NASA spacecraft flies past the Kuiper Belt object Ultima Thule, Paul Abel reveals what New Horizons has already shown us about the dwarf planet it passed in 2015.

Pattern of meteorological events spotted on gas giant
Wed Dec 19, 2018 10:35am

The changing features of Jupiter's stripes are well-known among astronomers. A team at the University of Leicester has been attempting to discern a pattern in meteorological events at the planet's equator.

Ringed planet's features could be gone in 100 million years
Tue Dec 18, 2018 11:48am

Saturn is one of the most striking sights in our Solar System, not least because of its prominent rings. But new research suggests the rings might be disappearing at a surprising rate.

A heliacal rising or an alignment of planets? Nigel Henbest explores
Mon Dec 17, 2018 11:45am

A heliacal rising or an alignment of planets - what might the star of Bethlehem have been? Nigel Henbest explores this enduring mystery.

Water was spotted spread across the asteroid’s surface
Tue Dec 11, 2018 12:27pm

Water has been spotted across the surface of asteroid Bennu by NASA's OSIRIS REX spacecraft. The probe will spend several years investigating the space rock, eventually returning a sample to Earth in 2023.

The NASA probe is the second man-made object to leave the Solar System
Mon Dec 10, 2018 4:51pm

NASA's Voyager 2 probe has passed through the heliopause, making it the second spacecraft to enter interstellar space. 

Looking back on the Christmas mission that changed our view of Earth
Mon Dec 10, 2018 9:19am

On Christmas Eve 1968, the first mission to the Moon changed how we view our home planet forever.

Elizabeth Pearson tells the story of the first manned lunar return.

NASA scientist reveals achievements of Kepler mission, and what lies ahead
Tue Dec 04, 2018 8:56am

The Kepler space telescope may have run out fuel, but for NASA scientists there is alot of important work yet to be done.

We spoke to Kepler scientist Geert Barentsen to find out what the mission has achieved, and what lies ahead.

Read an excerpt from a new book by Dr Paul Parsons
Mon Dec 03, 2018 11:19am

Dark matter remains one of the unsolved mysteries in astronomy. In an excerpt from The Beginning and the End of Everything, a new book by Dr Paul Parsons, the author explores how the concept was first conceived.

Our pick of the best astronomy and space titles from the past 12 months
Fri Nov 30, 2018 1:58pm

Looking for a Christmas present for the astronomer or space fan in your life, or in need of a good read to take you away from the festive hubbub?

We present our favourite 12 books from the past year of reviews in BBC Sky at Night Magazine.

1954, a massive bruise turns into a massive legal wrangle
Fri Nov 30, 2018 11:58am

The only recorded case of a person being injured by a meteor happened on this day 64 years ago. What followed was a bizarre legal case about who owned the space rock.

Win a new book on how Hasselblad cameras captured the moonlandings
Thu Nov 29, 2018 10:41am

Enter our competition to win one of three copies of Hasselblad & the Moon Landing, a new book that looks at the history of the Apollo 11 mission through the lens of the famous Hasselblad cameras.



The faint, ephemeral glow emanating from the planetary nebula ESO 577-24 persists for only a short...
How long is a day on Saturn? Using data from NASA's Cassini spacecraft, scientists have...
New measurements of the mass of Saturn's rings reveal their age - and something they have...
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