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Astronomy / Space Science - Environment - 01.11.2019
A bird in the nest and moving to Mars: News from the College
Here's a batch of fresh news and announcements from across Imperial. From bird-chick recognition, to Mars explorations, here is some quick-read news from across the College. A bird in the nest Passerine (or ‘perching') birds do not differentiate between the chicks in their nest - meaning they potentially raise chicks that aren't theirs, such as those that are the product of a cheating partner.

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 31.10.2019
Dark Matter Day Q&A with Berkeley Lab Physicist Quentin Riffard
Dark Matter Day Q&A with Berkeley Lab Physicist Quentin Riffard
Quentin Riffard, a project scientist for the LUX-ZEPLIN dark matter detection experiment that is now being installed at the Sanford Underground Research Facility in Lead, South Dakota, shares his experiences in researching dark matter in this Q&A. Today is Dark Matter Day , which is recognized by the Interactions collaboration, an international particle physics communications group.

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 29.10.2019
Particle detector for hunting dark matter installed a mile underground
Particle detector for hunting dark matter installed a mile underground
The central component of LUX-ZEPLIN (LZ) - the largest direct-detection dark matter experiment in the US - has been slowly lowered 4,850 feet down a shaft formerly used in gold-mining operations by a team involving UCL physicists. Although dark matter accounts for about 27 percent of the universe, we do not know what it is made of and experiments have yet to make direct contact with a particle - it has only been detected through its gravitational effects on normal matter.

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 29.10.2019
Dark Matter Experiment's Central Component Takes a Deep Dive -áNearly a Mile Underground
Dark Matter Experiment’s Central Component Takes a Deep Dive -áNearly a Mile Underground
This video chronicles the move of the LUX-ZEPLIN central detector, known as the time projection chamber, nearly a mile underground to the research cavern where it will be used to hunt for dark matter. (Credit: Matthew Kapust, Erin Broberg, and Nick Hubbard/Sanford Underground Research Facility) Q: How do you get a 5,000-pound, 9-foot-tall particle detector, designed to hunt for dark matter, nearly a mile underground? A: Very carefully.

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 28.10.2019
Mapping the universe in extraordinary detail using UCL lenses
A three-dimensional map of the Universe that reaches deeper in space and time than ever before is one step closer as final testing begins on the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI), designed and built in part by UCL physicists. From early 2020, DESI will observe the light from 35 million distant galaxies and 2.4 million quasars over five years to precisely map their distance from Earth and gauge how quickly they are moving away from us.

Astronomy / Space Science - 28.10.2019
Hubble captures galaxies' ghostly gaze
Hubble captures galaxies’ ghostly gaze
When astronomers peer deep into space, they don't expect to find something staring back at them. In this new Hubble Space Telescope image, an uncanny pair of glowing eyes glares menacingly in our direction. The piercing "eyes” are the most prominent feature of what resembles the face of an otherworldly creature.

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 28.10.2019
DESI Opens Its 5,000 Eyes to Capture the Colors of the Cosmos
DESI Opens Its 5,000 Eyes to Capture the Colors of the Cosmos
This video highlights the components and statistics that make DESI, the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument, unique. Installed on the Mayall Telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory near Tucson, Arizona, DESI brings high-speed automation to its galaxy-mapping mission. In five years DESI will capture the light from 35 million galaxies and 2.4 million quasars to produce the largest 3D map of the universe.

Astronomy / Space Science - Computer Science / Telecom - 24.10.2019
NSF invests in cyberinfrastructure institute to harness cosmic data
NSF invests in cyberinfrastructure institute to harness cosmic data
The National Science Foundation awarded the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and nine collaborating organizations, including the University of Washington, $2.8 million for a two-year "conceptualization phase" of the Scalable Cyberinfrastructure Institute for Multi-Messenger Astrophysics. SCIMMA's goal is to develop algorithms, databases and computing and networking cyberinfrastructure to help scientists interpret multi-messenger observations.

Astronomy / Space Science - 24.10.2019
NASA moon rocks help form new picture of early moon and Earth
Most people only ever encounter rubidium as the purple color in fireworks, but the obscure metal has helped two University of Chicago scientists propose a theory of how the moon may have formed. Conducted in the lab of Prof. Nicolas Dauphas , whose pioneering research studies the isotopic makeup of rocks from Earth and the moon, the new study measured rubidium in both planetary bodies and created a new model to explain the differences.

Astronomy / Space Science - Earth Sciences - 24.10.2019
Martian landslides not conclusive evidence of ice
Martian landslides not conclusive evidence of ice
Giant ridges on the surface of landslides on Mars could have formed without ice, challenging their use by some as unequivocal evidence of past ice on the red planet, finds a new UCL-led study using state-of-the-art satellite data. Detailed three-dimensional images of an extensive landslide on Mars, which spans an area more than 55 kilometres wide, have been analysed to understand how the unusually large and long ridges and furrows formed about 400 million years ago.

Physics - Astronomy / Space Science - 23.10.2019
Theorists discover the ’Rosetta Stone’ for neutrino physics
UChicago, Brookhaven, Fermilab scientists find new math identity while studying particle physics Usually the way things work is that mathematicians make math discoveries, and physicists borrow and adapt those ideas to explain the universe. But three physicists at the University of Chicago and two national laboratories have discovered a fundamental identity in linear algebra-based on studying particle physics.

Astronomy / Space Science - Environment - 22.10.2019
KU Leuven researchers use satellite data to calculate snow depth in mountain ranges
Bioscience engineers at KU Leuven have developed a method to measure the snow depth in all mountain ranges in the Northern Hemisphere using satellites. This technique makes it possible to study areas that cannot be accessed for local measurements, such as the Himalayas. The findings were published .

Astronomy / Space Science - 18.10.2019
Sun explorer spacecraft leaves for launch site
Sun explorer spacecraft leaves for launch site
The European Space Agency's Solar Orbiter, which carries instruments proposed, designed and built at UCL, is completing final testing in Germany before travelling to Cape Canaveral, USA, for launch in February 2020. Solar Orbiter will perform unprecedented close-up observations of the Sun, to help answer questions about why the Sun's corona is so hot and why the solar wind flows away from the Sun so rapidly, typically at 400-500 kilometres per second.

Astronomy / Space Science - Chemistry - 17.10.2019
Ancient stars shed light on Earth’s similarities to other planets
Earth-like planets may be common in the universe, a new UCLA study implies. The team of astrophysicists and geochemists presents new evidence that the Earth is not unique. The study was published on Oct. 18. “We have just raised the probability that many rocky planets are like the Earth, and there's a very large number of rocky planets in the universe,” said co-author Edward Young, UCLA professor of geochemistry and cosmochemistry.

Astronomy / Space Science - 16.10.2019
Astronomer gets best look at first comet from outside our solar system
David Jewitt, a UCLA professor of planetary science and astronomy, has captured the best and sharpest look at a comet from outside of our solar system that recently barged into our own. It is the first interstellar comet astronomers have observed. Comet 2I/Borisov (the “I” stands for interstellar) is following a path around the sun at a blazing speed of approximately 110,000 miles per hour, or about as fast as Earth travels around the sun.

Astronomy / Space Science - 15.10.2019
Astronomers use giant galaxy cluster as X-ray magnifying lens
Astronomers at the University of Chicago, MIT and elsewhere have used a massive cluster of galaxies as an X-ray magnifying glass to peer back in time, to nearly 9.4 billion years ago. In the process, they spotted a tiny dwarf galaxy in its very first, high-energy stages of star formation. While this technique has been used to magnify objects at optical wavelengths, this is the first time scientists have leveraged it to zoom in on extreme, distant X-ray-emitting phenomena.

Astronomy / Space Science - Earth Sciences - 14.10.2019
Q&A: How exploring Venus could unlock our understanding of Earth's future
Q&A: How exploring Venus could unlock our understanding of Earth’s future
As the EnVision mission to Venus is preparing for its planned launch in 2032, we speak to the Imperial researcher who is a part of the Science Team. With its extremely high temperatures and surface veiled by thick clouds, Venus represents an unusual example of planet formation and evolution. Once thought to be a tropical paradise, it was only in the 1960s that scientists were able to observe its hostile environment.

Astronomy / Space Science - 14.10.2019
Astronomers use giant galaxy cluster as X-ray magnifying lens
Astronomers use giant galaxy cluster as X-ray magnifying lens
New lens technique spots tiny dwarf galaxy in the first, super-energetic stages of star formation. Boston Globe reporter Maria Lovato writes that MIT researchers used a large galaxy cluster to see the X-rays emitted by a galaxy 9.4 billion light-years away. "Using data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory," writes Lovato, "the astronomers studied the Phoenix galaxy cluster 5.7 billion light-years away and were able to see the youn

Astronomy / Space Science - Environment - 10.10.2019
What moons in other solar systems reveal about planets like Neptune and Jupiter
What is the difference between a planet-satellite system as we have with the Earth and Moon, versus a binary planet — two planets orbiting each other in a cosmic do-si-do? I am an astronomer interested in planets orbiting nearby stars, and gas giants — Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune in our solar system — are the largest and easiest planets to detect.

Astronomy / Space Science - Environment - 10.10.2019
River relic spied by Mars Express
River relic spied by Mars Express
Mars may seem to be an alien world, but many of its features look eerily familiar - such as this ancient, dried-up river system that stretches out for nearly 700 kilometres across the surface, making it one of the longest valley networks on the planet. The area of Mars shown in these new images from ESA's Mars Express spacecraft lies just south of the planet's equator, and is known to have been shaped by a mix of flowing water and impacts: events where rocks sped inwards from space to collide with the martian surface.
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