Observational astronomy and astrophysics work together to further our understanding of the cosmos. Astrophysicists apply the laws of physics and physical theories to interpret the light gathered by observational astronomers.
The red supergiant star Betelgeuse, a bright star in the constellation of Orion, has been making headlines due to a recent drop in brightness. Is an explosion imminent? If it happens, will Earth be affected?
Thirty-two years ago, Supernova 1987A erupted in the nearby Large Magellanic Cloud. Astronomers using the ALMA radio telescope now say they've found the small, compact neutron star created in this mighty star explosion.
Andy Briggs has spent the past 30 years communicating astronomy, astrophysics and information technology to people. You can hear his weekly astronomy and space news update, on Mondays, on the global internet radio channel AstroRadio (http://www.astroradio.earth), where he also contributes to other programmes. He has been active in many astronomy societies in the UK and is a frequent contributor to Astronomy Ireland magazine. Andy also lectures regularly on astrophysics-related themes such as gravitational waves and black holes. He lives in Catalonia, Spain, with his daughter.