Blog

A sensory astronomy show for babies and toddlers

The Rainbow Star

Using an awesome fulldome film created by the Royal Observatory Greenwich, Creative Space has developed a planetarium show suitable for little people as young as 6 months old. Amanda Twyman, PA to the Head of Early Years at Hazelwood School Nursery & Early Years Centre in Oxted, Surrey, challenged us with the task of creating a show that … Continue reading A sensory astronomy show for babies and toddlers

Big telescopes: the future is nearly here

European Extremely Large Telescope in its Enclosure

For over 400 years, stargazers have aspired to see ever more detail of celestial wonders and ever deeper into space. Melanie Davies reports on a new breed of giant telescopes that will deliver tantalising astronomical data to a new generation of astronomers. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, a raft of 8-meter class, single … Continue reading Big telescopes: the future is nearly here

A blast from the past

Composite image of supernova SN 1987A

It's been 30 years since a giant star in the Large Magellanic Cloud exploded; the nearest supernova explosion recorded in hundreds of years. To mark the 30th anniversary of this cosmic observation, images from ground- and space-based telescopes have been combined to reveal the evolution of SN1987A. This new multi-wavelength image, released on 24th February … Continue reading A blast from the past

Earth-like planet detected orbiting nearby star

A group of scientists, led by Guillem Anglada-Escudé at Queen Mary University in London, have detected what they believe is the nearest terrestrial planet to our Solar System.  Using the radial velocity technique, aided by instruments at the European Southern Observatory, astronomers have produced a lightcurve of a nearby variable star. The red dwarf, Proxima … Continue reading Earth-like planet detected orbiting nearby star

Glowing rings of a dying star

Glowing debris ring around white dwarf star

Researchers have found the remains of a planetary system orbiting a white dwarf star. Researchers from the University of Warwick have acquired the first direct image of a debris disc in orbit around the core of a burnt out star. The white dwarf star, SDSS1228+1040, lies about 463 lightyears away in the constellation of Virgo. Although … Continue reading Glowing rings of a dying star

Cosmic twins

Supernova

Supernova pairs have been used to accurately measure cosmological distances. Within the last 20 years, astronomers have discovered that the Universe is expanding at an ever increasing rate due to dark energy. One technique used to detect this increase is to measure the distances to bright supernovae. Only a Type 1a supernova is used for … Continue reading Cosmic twins

Star maps

Star Map

This is one of a series of star maps I've just produced for a Stargazing Guide. This will be printed at a fairly tiny size, so I had to limit the amount of detail I put into the illustrations. Leaving things out was the hardest part of this job - especially when there are so many … Continue reading Star maps

The Pleiades

the pleiades

Bringing a little sparkle to the autumn nights. The Pleiades is an open star cluster in the constellation of Taurus. This enigmatic group of stars is known by many names; the Seven Sisters, Messier 45, and Melotte 22 to name but a few. The Pleiades rise in the east just after sunset from the beginning of … Continue reading The Pleiades

Eclipse of the supermoon

Eclipse of the supermoon

It's not often, in southern England, that we get the chance to see a total eclipse of the Moon. But in the early hours of Monday 28th September, I was lucky enough to witness a triple lunar event. Not only was it a total lunar eclipse, it was the largest supermoon of 2015 (being closest to Earth on … Continue reading Eclipse of the supermoon

A mysterious binary star

Magnetic binary stars

An enormous magnetic binary star system has been discovered by Canadian PhD student, Matt Shultz of Queen’s University, Ontario. The object is unusual because giant stars rarely have magnetic fields; and giant binary stars with magnetism are even less common, accounting for only about 2% of stars in the Milky Way. The discovery was made using … Continue reading A mysterious binary star