Stars and galaxies

We might make wishes on stars but there's much more to these balls of gas than simply being twinkly, mystical objects in the night sky. Discover how stars are formed, how they get their names, what makes a galaxy, and the history of constellations.

VDB 38 © Mark Hanson, shortlisted in Stars and Nebula category, Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2017.jpg

What was the Star of Bethlehem? Over the years many astronomical explanations have been suggested.


The story of Astronomer Royal George Biddell Airy and the remarkable Airy Transit Circle telescope he designed at the Royal Observatory Greenwich.


In the 50 years since the Apollo 11 Moon landing, humans have made extraordinary progress in space exploration. But what is the next giant leap for crewed spaceflight – and could 'space tourism' soon become a reality?


How the humble prism helped unlock the secrets of what the Universe is made of and where it is heading.


Meridian astronomy is the meticulous surveying of the stars so that positions and movements of stars can be known accurately.


The challenges of measuring everything from a fast-moving, wobbly platform through a haze.

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With a telescope we can see billons of miles and travel effortlessly back billions of years in time.


The 88 constellations act as a handy map of the skies and a seasonal calendar used from ancient times. But what connects the stars in the same constellation?


If you could squash the Earth into a ball the size of a marble, it would become a black hole. What are these mysterious entities?

Pulsars are among the most regular but shocking objects in the universe sending out massive bolts of electricity across space.