Here you can read the latest Space Scoop, our astronomy news service for children aged 8 and above. The idea behind Space Scoop is to change the way science is often perceived by young children as an outdated and dull subject. By sharing exciting new astronomical discoveries with them, we can inspire children to develop an interest in science and technology. Space Scoop makes a wonderful tool that can be used in the classroom to teach and discuss the latest astronomy news.
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A Mosaic of Fireworks
2 July 2020: When building a puzzle, it’s not until the project is complete that we see the full picture. This is often the case in astronomy too, as astronomers can study the same object with different kinds of light and by using different instruments in order to get the full picture.
Poof! A Massive Disappearance
30 June 2020: Like a magician’s astonishing final magic trick, a giant star has recently disappeared from plain sight!
A Tale of Two Beauties
18 June 2020: The Hubble Space Telescope has captured two new beautiful images of two planetary nebulae. On the left is NGC 6302, which is commonly known as the Butterfly Nebula. On the right is an object that resembles a jewel bug and is formally known as NGC 7027.
A Super View of a Supergiant
16 June 2020: Not only planets like Earth have atmospheres, stars have them too! In order to better understand stellar atmospheres, a team of astronomers has mapped the atmosphere of a supergiant star in the most detail yet.
How to Feed a Galactic Monster
4 June 2020: Almost every galaxy - including our Milky Way - has a giant black hole at its center. These are known as supermassive black holes as they are the largest known type of black holes. Despite the number and size of these black holes, scientists still don't know where they come from or how they form/ A team of researchers has now provided new insights into the formation of supermassive black holes, by adding new ingredients to the black hole’s diet.
3 June 2020: When paleontologists want to study how the earliest forms of life on Earth looked like, they look for fossils in very old rocks. Certain animals and plants are found in certain time periods throughout history. In a similar way, astronomers study galaxies that are very far away to find the earliest stars.
Treacherous Stellar Conditions
1 June 2020: Just like on Earth, stars can experience extreme weather and activity too! But some extreme activity on other bodies in the Universe is so treacherous that it’s hard to imagine. Astronomers using telescopes of the European Southern Observatory have found some peculiar activity in a cluster of small, bright stars.
The Twist Marks the Spot
20 May 2020: Thousands of exoplanets have been found so far, but we still know little about how they are formed. What we do know is that planets are born in dusty discs surrounding young stars. This happens when cold gas and dust clump together. By closely examining this nursery, astronomers now hope to understand how they are born. Astronomers have never observed direct evidence of a baby planet coming into existence within such a disc, until now.
A Stellar Waltz
6 May 2020: In a nearby star system, three objects are conducting a unique dance: two stars are waltzing with a black hole. This is also the closest black hole to Earth that we know of!
Happy Birthday Hubble!
24 April 2020:
20 April 2020: Because space is so big, it is not often that objects in space collide. Although it is even more rare for us to find clues or evidence of these cosmic collisions, a team of astronomers might have done just that!
9 April 2020: Astronomers have observed an extremely powerful and bright object in greater detail than ever before.
A Puzzling Geometry Conundrum
3 April 2020: Imagine standing on the planet Tatooine from Star Wars and seeing two stars in the sky...
Medium Monster, Big Mystery
30 March 2020: When you pick out a new shirt in the store, you must first find your size: small, medium, or large. Did you know that the dark monsters of the Universe, black holes, also come in different sizes?
Another One Bites the Dust
26 March 2020: When baking a cake, ingredients like flour and sugar are crucial for a delicious treat. Likewise, in space, dust is one of the crucial ingredients for making stars!
20 March 2020: When a butterfly experiences metamorphosis, it goes through several stages of change throughout its life: from an egg, to a caterpillar, to a chrysalis cocoon, and finally into a beautiful adult butterfly.
11 March 2020: Sometimes, in the Summer months, we like to complain that the weather is too hot. But imagine living on a planet where it was so hot that the daily temperature could melt metal!
Slime and Space
10 March 2020: The single-cell organism known as slime mould (Physarum polycephalum) builds complex web-like networks in search of food, always finding the best path to its next meal. Similarly, in shaping the Universe, gravity builds a vast cobweb-like structure that ties galaxies and clusters of galaxies together along invisible bridges hundreds of millions of light-years long.
Something From Nothing
5 March 2020: How do the stars and planets appear in the night sky? Where do they come from and what are they made out of?
Most of the stars in the universe are accompanied by planets. These planets are born in rings of dust and gas, called ‘protoplanetary disks’. Even very young stars are surrounded by these disks. Astronomers want to know exactly when these disks start to form, and what they look like.
19 February 2020: A bright star in the night sky has begun to act a little strange and astronomers have taken notice.