Omega Centauri: The Milky Way’s Lunch?

Omega Centauri: The Milky Way’s Lunch?

The sight of countless brilliant stars in an inky black sky exhilarates the human spirit, for reasons no one can explain. Such intensity reaches its epitome in a crowded star cluster, and the best of these are the “globulars”. Some 150 known globular clusters surround the centre of the Milky...

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Galaxy Hunting

Galaxy Hunting

My first really good view of a galaxy and the only one visible with the naked eye was in Scotland in 1987. We were sailing a beautiful 1930s motor yacht for my friend Martin (also the owner) up the east coast of England to the west coast of Scotland by...

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Death’s Debris, Life’s Renaissance

Death’s Debris, Life’s Renaissance

Scott Beadle FRAS explores the death of a star and the rebirth of planetary life. In December I wrote a piece about a visual snapshot of the end of our Sun using the Helix Nebula as an example of the likely evolutionary track of our own star’s demise. As their...

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Astronomy: Helix Nebula

Astronomy: Helix Nebula

Deep in the far south of the zodiacal constellation Aquarius lies NGC7293, the Helix Nebula. This object illustrates one of the best examples of the last stages in the evolutionary track of a star similar to our Sun. It was discovered in 1824 by Karl Ludwig Harding during his early...

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White holes in theory

White holes in theory

In 1928 Bristol born Paul Dirac discovered the existence of antimatter. His electron equations contained a negative solution, which opened the doors to the previously unknown zoo of antimatter. Electrons, neutrons, protons and so on… all have a corresponding character in Alice’s Wonderland of antimatter. When matter and antimatter touch,...

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Night of the supermoon

Night of the supermoon

Tonight (14 November) the moon will appear about 1/6th larger and 1/3rd brighter than normal, a so-called ‘supermoon’. The 69-year cycle repeats and the moon will be at the perigee ( shortest distance) of its orbit around Earth. Almost every 14th full moon is a supermoon. Tides will also rise...

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Supernova 1987A: 30 years on

Supernova 1987A: 30 years on

The date is February 23, 1987. The evening of February 1987 began like countless others. High in the Andes Mountains of northern Chile, astronomers prepared for another night of observation and research. Little did they know the events they were about to experience would mean there were no normal nights for a long time. Ian Shelton and Oscar...

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Mystery object spotted near Neptune with weird orbit

Mystery object spotted near Neptune with weird orbit

A strange object has been spotted in our solar system just beyond Neptune that is unconventionally moving upwards. The object is a Trans Neptune Object (TNO) like Pluto and is predicted to be just 200 kilometers in diameter due to its dimness in comparison to Neptune. Its peculiar course is...

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Perseid meteor shower peaks soon with double usual shooting stars

Perseid meteor shower peaks soon with double usual shooting stars

Find a dark spot to stargaze this Thursday and Friday as August’s Perseid meteor shower reaches its spectacular climax. Currently the Earth is blasting its way through the tail of the Swift-Tuttle meteor scattering our atmosphere with dust and rock. This celestial shower burns up as it hits the atmosphere...

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Real-life Westeros only 3700 light years away

Real-life Westeros only 3700 light years away

Although Game of Thrones takes place in the fictional realm of Westeros, NASA might have discovered a new exoplanet which is oddly similar to George RR Martin’s seven Kingdoms.   A group of astronomers from NASA and  San Diego State University announced the discovery of the largest exoplanet orbiting a binary...

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