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 The idea behind Space Scoop is to change the way science is often perceived by young children, as outdated and dull subjects. By sharing exciting new astronomical discoveries with them, we 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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Galactic Duo Enjoy their Moment in the Spotlight
2 November 2011: A pair of galaxies has grabbed the attention of astronomers when they were literally thrown into the spotlight. The galaxies were lit up by one of the brightest explosions in the Universe: a ‘Gamma-Ray Burst’.
When the Planet Team Lost a Player
27 October 2011: What is a planet? This sounds like it should have a simple answer, but only a few years ago this question was giving astronomers a headache! When they finally came up with an answer it had big consequences: The number of planets in our Solar System went from nine to eight!
A Bright Night Sky!
19 October 2011: Imagine what it would be like if you moved to the other side of the world, where the landscape is very different to what you are used to. Now, think about a much bigger move: What do you think it would be like if the Earth moved to a different part of our Galaxy?
Lord of the Rings
12 October 2011: This eerie new astronomy picture looks like the 'Eye of Sauron' in the film The Lord of the Rings. In the film, the Eye of Sauron marks the final destination of the character Frodo’s long journey. But the object shown in this picture doesn’t mark the end-point of a journey across space – it’s just one of many distance signposts that are dotted across the Universe!
The Universe has a Murky Past
12 October 2011: Have you ever woken up in the morning and seen that it is very foggy and murky outside, but then the Sun came up and it quickly burned away? Well, something similar happened to the Universe when it was very young.
The Colourful Side of the Moon
7 October 2011: If you were going to paint a picture of the Moon, you would probably use grey and white paint pots. But if you want to create an accurate picture of the Moon, then you would need a few colours on your paint palette too, such as red, blue and brown!
Uranus Impact Wasn't a One Hit Wonder
6 October 2011: The planet Uranus is an oddball. Unlike all of the other planets in our Solar System, it spins on its side! This means that if you were on Uranus you wouldn’t see daytime and nighttime in a day like you see on Earth, as its spin doesn’t affect which parts of the planet see the Sun.
Mercury Shows Us What it Isn’t Made Of
5 October 2011: The spacecraft MESSENGER had a long and tricky journey to Mercury, the closest planet to the Sun. But astronomers working on the MESSENGER mission announced today many new discoveries that show the journey was well worth the effort.
Jigsaw Challenge: Piecing Together a Map of Saturn’s Largest Moon
4 October 2011: Astronomers have pieced together photos taken over six years to create a fantastic map of the surface of Saturn’s largest moon, Titan. A spacecraft called Cassini, which has been in orbit around Saturn since July 2004, took the photos.
A Big Discovery on a Little Space Rock
3 October 2011: Today, scientists working on the spacecraft Dawn made a big impact with an exciting new discovery: one of the largest mountains in the Solar System has been found on an asteroid!
Go Team ALMA!
3 October 2011: Welcome to the star-studded premiere of the most complex telescope on Earth: ALMA! To celebrate the launch of ALMA, astronomers have released the first photo taken by the telescope, which shows a pair of galaxies called the Antennae Galaxies.
Telescopes that Tell Different Tales
29 September 2011: To see the Universe in full, astronomers have to get creative. They combine multiple photos taken by different telescopes to make one colourful picture. For example, in this beautiful new picture of a star-forming cloud, the space telescope called Chandra only captured the purple regions. Meanwhile, another space telescope called Spitzer saw things a bit differently when it observed the same cloud – everything shown here other than the purple bits!
Stellar Top Trumps
28 September 2011: If you were playing the card game Top Trumps about the different types of stars in the Universe, you would definitely want a Yellow Hyper-Giant star in your hand. Just take a look at the stats for the Yellow Hyper-Giant shown in this photo: It is about 20 times heavier, 1000 times wider and it shines 500,000 times more brightly than the Sun! You would be incredibly lucky to be dealt a card like this, though, as Yellow Hyper-Giant stars are very rare.
Invisibility Cloak Deactivated
21 September 2011:
Totally Extreme Exo-planets!
13 September 2011: Some places on Earth are extreme: the North and South Poles with their freezing temperatures, the deep sea where sunlight cannot reach, and the inside of fiery hot volcanoes. But none of these regions come close to comparing to the harsh conditions found on some other planets in the Universe.
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.)
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