compiled by Arlene & David Kaplan
‘Ground-breaking’ galaxy collision detected
Scientists have detected a cosmic “pileup” of galaxies in the early Universe.
Imaged almost at the boundary of the observable Universe, the 14 unusually bright objects are on a collision course, set to form one…more
Gaia telescope’s ‘book of the heavens’ takes shape
The Gaia observatory has released a second swathe of data as it assembles the most precise map of the sky.
Gaia’s “book of the heavens” will not be complete until the 2020s, but when it is the map will underpin astronomy for decades to come…more
Europe’s Mars rover takes shape
So, here it is. Europe’s Mars rover. Or rather, a copy of it. This is what they call the Structural Thermal Model, or STM.
It is one of three rovers that will be built as part of the European Space Agency’s ExoMars 2020 mission to search for life on the Red Planet…more
Earth’s magnetic ocean tides mapped from space
As the Moon pulls the salty seas through our planet’s global magnetic field, electric currents are generated.
And these currents then induce their own magnetic signals, which have now been mapped in exquisite detail by a trio of ESA satellites known as Swarm…more
Planet-hunter launches from Florida
It’s lift-off for a new era in planet-hunting. The US space agency’s Tess satellite has launched from Cape Canaveral in Florida on a mission to find thousands of new worlds beyond our Solar System…
Meteorite diamonds ‘came from lost planet’
A diamond-bearing space rock that exploded in Earth’s atmosphere in 2008 was part of a lost planet from the early Solar System, a study suggests.
The asteroid fragments collectively known as the Almahatta Sitta meteorites…more
UK satellite makes HD colour movies of Earth
A British spacecraft is now routinely making movies of the Earth’s surface. Carbonite-2 was built by Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) in Guildford was conceived as a model for a quick-build, ultra-low-cost satellite and launched in January. It is the forerunner of a network of spacecraft that will be sent up in the years ahead…more
The first person on Mars ‘should be a woman’
A senior Nasa engineer has said the first person to set foot on Mars should be a woman. She believes women should be at the forefront if and when the agency sends its first human missions to Mars. BBC Radio 5 live has been behind the scenes at Nasa…more
Higgs factory a ‘must for big physics’
A top physicist says the construction of a “factory” to produce Higgs boson particles is a priority for the science community. In an exclusive interview, Nigel Lockyer, head of America’s premier particle physics lab, said studying the Higgs could hasten major discoveries. He said momentum…more
Dozen black holes found at galactic centre
A dozen black holes may lie at the centre of our galaxy, the Milky Way, researchers have said. A new analysis provides support for a decades-old prediction that “supermassive” black holes at the centres of galaxies are surrounded by many smaller ones. However, previous searches of the Milky Way’s centre…more
Rotten egg gas around planet Uranus
The planet Uranus has clouds made up of hydrogen sulphide, the gas that gives rotten eggs their unpleasant smell. The discovery confirms a long-held idea about Uranus’ atmosphere..more