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Spontaneous “dust traps”: astronomers discover a missing link in planet formation
Planets are thought to form in the disks of dust and gas found around young stars. But astronomers have struggled to assemble a complete theory of their origin that explains how the initial dust develops into planetary systems. A French-UK-Australian team now think they have the answer, with their simulations showing the... More
Last updated on Monday, 06 March 2017 10:00
Published on Tuesday, 28 February 2017 00:01
 
Neural networks promise sharpest ever images
Telescopes, the workhorse instruments of astronomy, are limited by the size of the mirror or lens they use. Using 'neural nets', a form of artificial intelligence, a group of Swiss researchers now have a way to push past that limit, offering scientists the prospect of the sharpest ever images in optical astronomy. The new work... More
Last updated on Wednesday, 22 February 2017 12:26
Published on Thursday, 23 February 2017 00:01
 
A 43,000 light year bridge between galaxies
The Magellanic Clouds, the two largest satellite galaxies of the Milky Way, appear to be connected by a bridge stretching across 43,000 light years, according to an international team of astronomers led by Dr Vasily Belokurov from the University of Cambridge. The discovery is reported in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal... More
Last updated on Friday, 10 February 2017 17:40
Published on Friday, 10 February 2017 17:30
 
RAS response to the US Executive Order banning entry from seven countries
The Royal Astronomical Society (RAS) is greatly concerned by the Executive Order announced last week by US President Donald Trump, which prevents people from seven Middle Eastern and African countries from entering the United States. As an international scientific organisation, the Society recognises and fully supports the... More
Last updated on Tuesday, 31 January 2017 09:36
Published on Tuesday, 31 January 2017 09:21
 
Cosmic lenses support finding on faster than expected expansion of the Universe
By using galaxies as giant gravitational lenses, an international group of astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have made an independent measurement of how fast the Universe is expanding. The newly measured expansion rate for the local Universe is consistent with earlier findings. These are, however, in... More
Last updated on Friday, 27 January 2017 09:30
Published on Thursday, 26 January 2017 15:00
 
A Galaxy Murder Mystery
It’s the big astrophysical 'whodunnit'. Across the Universe, galaxies are being killed and the question scientists want answered is, "What’s killing them?" An artist’s impression showing the increasing effect of ram-pressure stripping in removing gas from galaxies, sending them to an early death. Credit: ICRAR, NASA,... More
Last updated on Tuesday, 17 January 2017 11:01
Published on Tuesday, 17 January 2017 11:01
 
Call for topics for RAS Specialist Discussion Meetings 2017-18
The RAS holds regular monthly scientific meetings from October to May each year, usually on the second Friday of the month. Typically a pair of Specialist Discussion meetings for Fellows are followed by a more general Astronomy & Geophysics ('Ordinary') meeting, open to the public.   The RAS lecture theatre at... More
Last updated on Wednesday, 11 January 2017 11:00
Published on Wednesday, 11 January 2017 11:00
 
Photons struggle to escape distant galaxies
Astronomers led by David Sobral and Jorryt Matthee, of the Universities of Lancaster in the UK and Leiden in the Netherlands, have discovered giant halos around early Milky Way type galaxies, made of photons (elementary particles of light) that have struggled to escape them. The team reports its findings in the journal Monthly... More
Last updated on Wednesday, 11 January 2017 10:59
Published on Wednesday, 11 January 2017 08:01
 
UK students bring home gold from Astronomy Olympiad
The winning team from Marlborough College. Left to right: Chris Underhill, Alan Sun, Thomas Read, Michael Smith, Mavis Chan. Credit: S. Kruk. Click for a full size image.Five UK school students brought back medals from last month's International Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics. Led by Sandor Kruk (University of Oxford)... More
Last updated on Tuesday, 10 January 2017 15:53
Published on Thursday, 05 January 2017 11:35
 
Vera Rubin, 1928-2016
Pioneering astronomer Professor Vera Rubin, who carried out seminal research on the movement of stars in galaxies, died in December at the age of 88. Rubin, whose work added key evidence for the presence of dark matter, received the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1996, the first woman to do so since Caroline... More
Last updated on Wednesday, 18 January 2017 15:46
Published on Wednesday, 04 January 2017 12:05