News

An all new astronomy show for GCSE students

Cat's Eye Nebula

The power of family engagement at it's best: how my daughter became the inspiration for a new planetarium show. With my youngest daughter having just started her GCSEs, she spent a good part of last year deciding on her options. It was predetermined that she would study Triple Science, giving her a deeper understanding of physics. … Continue reading An all new astronomy show for GCSE students

A new Saturnian hexagon high above the clouds

Saturn's North Polar Hexagon

Using data captured by the Cassini spacecraft, scientists working at the University of Leicester have recently detected a high-altitude hexagonal feature, towering high above the clouds. As part of a long-term study, they discovered a North Polar Stratospheric Vortex (NPSV). This newly discovered detail, abundant in hydrocarbons, could be influenced by a much larger feature … Continue reading A new Saturnian hexagon high above the clouds

New content for summer school shows

Cycle

This year we took our pop-up planetarium to several organised summer schools. We were able to run bespoke drop-in shows, enabling families, often with babies and very young children, the flexibility to spend as little or as much time inside the dome as they liked. For these shows we ran our Sensory Astronomy Show. But … Continue reading New content for summer school shows

Announcing an all new workshop: Digital Cosmos

Orion Nebula in digital paint

A new workshop for the new academic year; Digital Cosmos combines science, technology and art (the S, T and A in STEAM!). Using computers, iPads and mobile phones, participants in this educational workshop will learn about astronomy whilst improving their IT, literacy and numeracy skills. The workshop integrates different activities using varied digital media. It's … Continue reading Announcing an all new workshop: Digital Cosmos

Molecular zoo found in Sculptor Galaxy

Hubble image of NGC 253

A group of research scientists led by Ryo Ando from the University of Tokyo have peered into the starburst galaxy, NGC 253 - also known as the Sculptor Galaxy - to reveal a collection of diverse molecules in never-seen-before resolution. Starburst galaxies like NGC 253 are active star-forming galaxies, and have been major players in … Continue reading Molecular zoo found in Sculptor Galaxy

Exo Belts found orbiting Proxima Centauri

Artist’s impression of the dust belts around Proxima Centauri

Similar to the Asteroid Belt and Kuiper Belt, astronomers using the ALMA Observatory in Chile - part of the European Southern Observatory - have found rings of cold dust orbiting the closest star to the Solar System, Proxima Centauri (or Proxima for short). Proxima - a red dwarf star - is just over four lightyears … Continue reading Exo Belts found orbiting Proxima Centauri

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