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 The idea behind Space Scoop is to change the way science is often perceived by young children as an outdated and dull subject.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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Wobble Watching to Find New Worlds
12 September 2011: Our Solar System contains a wonderful mix of planets: small and rocky worlds like the Earth and Mars in the inner region, and Gas Giants, such as Jupiter and Saturn, which are found further out. Astronomers are keen to find out if other solar systems in the Universe are similar to ours. Now, an exciting new discovery of 50 planets around distant stars is helping astronomers to answer this question.
Reds vs Blues
7 September 2011: Space is a colourful place! Take, for example, this beautiful new photo of a bright star cluster surrounded by blue and red clouds of gas (click on it to see it in full).
Mission Impossible: Observing a Star that Shouldn’t Exist
31 August 2011: This photo shows many stars. But according to astronomers, the star that the arrow is pointing towards shouldn’t be there – it should never have been born.
A Pair of Black Holes Hiding Right Under our Noses!
31 August 2011: It’s great that the Earth’s atmosphere blocks harmful radiation from space, such as X-rays, from reaching the ground – we couldn’t survive without it! But astronomers would like to study this radiation because it gives them useful information about objects in the Universe, such as stars and galaxies. So what can they do?
What are You Looking At?
24 August 2011: It isn’t often that astronomers look into space and see another pair of eyes staring back at them, but that’s what we have here. These aren’t the eyes of an alien, but a pair of galaxies nicknamed ‘The Eyes’ because they look like a pair of white eyeballs glowing in the dark! (To see both ‘eyes’ you have to click on the picture.)
What is making the Glow-worms Glow?
17 August 2011: What do you think astronomers call the green thing in this photo? If you guessed “blob”, then you’re right! Well, if we’re being technical, the full name for this type of object is a “Lyman-alpha blob”.
A Rainbow of Stars
9 August 2011:
Raiders of the Lost Stars
3 August 2011: Like a team of real-life Indiana Joneses, scientists have explored our galaxy and found a treasure trove of hidden gems. These gems are much more spectacular than the diamonds that Indiana Jones might hope to find – they are collections of dazzling stars!
Lions in the Cosmic Zoo
27 July 2011: This beautiful photo was taken with a new telescope called the VST. It shows three galaxies that are known as the Leo Triplet. (Click on the photo to see all three galaxies.) Large telescopes can normally study only one of these galaxies at a time. But the VST can get all three members of the group in a single picture!
Blowing Bubbles around our Galaxy!
21 July 2011: The Earth has lots of man-made satellites that orbit our planet. But it only has one natural satellite: the Moon. Our galaxy – the Milky Way – also has some natural satellites that orbit it. These satellites are called ‘dwarf galaxies’ because they are much smaller than normal galaxies like ours. Funnily, astronomers have named one of the dwarf galaxies that orbits our galaxy the Large Magellanic Cloud!
The Scariest Space Monsters Live in the Biggest Galaxies
12 July 2011:
Astronomers Make a Splash with a New Discovery
6 July 2011: Did you know that everything on Earth is made of stuff from stars? If you could look at the world around you with a super-powerful microscope, you would see that everything is made up of tiny things called atoms. Today we know about more than 110 different types of atoms, with hydrogen being the most common atom in the Universe.
A Flash from the Past
29 June 2011: Astronomers can look back in time to when the Universe was younger. But they don’t have to hop into a time travel machine to do this, like in a sci-fi movie. Instead, all they need are powerful telescopes to look at objects that are far away in the Universe, because when we look at space we are looking at the past!
A Big Fiery Giant!
23 June 2011: Stars come in different colours and sizes. This new picture shows the famous Red Giant star called Betelgeuse (you say the name as “Beetle-Juice”). The star looks small in the picture – just a little red circle at the centre. But Betelgeuse is actually huge: If you replaced the Sun in our Solar System with this star, it is so wide that it would reach as far as the planet Jupiter!
Our Universe is big, beautiful… and mostly invisible!
22 June 2011: It’s hard to picture just how big the Universe is. For instance, the Earth seems like a big place to us, but you could fit about one million Earths inside our nearest star, the Sun. And the Sun is just one of billions of stars that make up our galaxy, which is called the Milky Way. When you think about how the Milky Way is just one galaxy in a group of about 40 nearby galaxies, the Universe is starting to seem like a big place!
Astronomy in the Desert!
8 June 2011: Professional astronomers have powerful telescopes that can take amazing pictures of the Universe. But to get the most out of the telescopes, they have to think carefully about where they put them on Earth.
Our Galaxy has a Look-alike!
1 June 2011: Astronomers have taken lots of beautiful images of galaxies in the Universe, but we don’t have a single photo of our own galaxy, the Milky Way. That’s because no astronaut or man-made spacecraft has ever left the Milky Way in order to be able to turn around and take a picture of our home galaxy.
Superstar goes Solo
25 May 2011: Astronomers have found an amazing star: a superstar that is 150 times heavier than the Sun and an incredible 3 million times brighter! The star is found in a huge cloud of gas and dust called the Tarantula Nebula, shown here in this stunning new image.
The Calm before Saturn’s Storm
19 May 2011: Saturn is one of the most beautiful worlds in our Solar System because of the wonderful set of rings that surround the planet. It is much further away from the Sun than the Earth, so its journey around the Sun is much longer. Since a year is the time that it takes a planet to travel once around the Sun, Saturn’s years are much longer than a year on Earth. In the time that it takes Saturn to complete one journey around the Sun, 30 years have passed on Earth!
4 May 2011: The Universe is filled with many galaxies that have perfectly uniform shapes. But the uneven S-shape of the galaxy in this new picture is messy, like a graffiti artist has drawn it by hand!
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