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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.

Astronomy / Space Science - Event - 10.10.2019
This Nobel Prize makes EPFL's astrophysicists proud
This Nobel Prize makes EPFL's astrophysicists proud
In 2002, EPFL awarded the distinction of doctor honoris causa to Michel Mayor, an astronomer at the University of Geneva, for discovering the first exoplanet. This past Tuesday, Mayor, along with colleague Didier Quéloz and the American scientist James Peebles, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics.

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 09.10.2019
Scientists Observe Year-long Plateaus in Decline of Type Ia Supernova Light Curves
A team of scientists, including a researcher from the University of Birmingham, has discovered that the fading of infrared light following Type Ia supernovae explosions can be interrupted, with brightness staying the same for up to a year. This is a surprising finding as astronomers had expected that the light curve would not only continue decreasing but even experience a sharp drop, rather than flattening into a plateau.

Astronomy / Space Science - 09.10.2019
Astronauts and citizens team up against light pollution
Astronauts and citizens team up against light pollution
For an astronaut looking out of the International Space Station windows, city lights are brighter than the stars. To tackle light pollution citizen scientists are urged to help map out the problem on their smartphones by identifying images of cities taken from space. Astronaut pictures are the highest-resolution, colour images of night available from orbit.

Astronomy / Space Science - Environment - 09.10.2019
Liquifying a rocky exoplanet
Liquifying a rocky exoplanet
A hot, molten Earth would be around 5% larger than its solid counterpart. This is the result of a study led by researchers at the University of Bern. The difference between molten and solid rocky planets is important for the search of Earth-like worlds beyond our Solar System and the understanding of Earth itself.

Earth Sciences - Astronomy / Space Science - 08.10.2019
Global analysis of submarine canyons may shed light on Martian landscapes
Global analysis of submarine canyons may shed light on Martian landscapes
On a map, submarine canyons seem identical to land canyons - so much so that researchers surmised they are shaped by the same physical laws. New research reveals distinct differences for the first time. Submarine canyons are a final frontier on planet Earth. There are thousands of these breathtaking geological features hidden within the depths of the ocean - yet scientists have more high-resolution imagery of the surface of Mars than of Earth's ocean floor.

Astronomy / Space Science - 08.10.2019
Nobel Prize in Physics awarded to Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz
Nobel Prize in Physics awarded to Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz
Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz were awarded the 2019 Nobel Prize in Physics for their discovery of the first exoplanet in 1995. On October 6, 1995, Michel Mayor, Professor at the Observatory of the Faculty of Science of the University of Geneva (UNIGE), Switzerland, and the doctoral candidate Didier Queloz revolutionized the world of astrophysics when they announced the discovery of the first planet located outside our solar system.

Astronomy / Space Science - Environment - 08.10.2019
A dormant volcano: the black hole at the heart of our galaxy
A dormant volcano: the black hole at the heart of our galaxy
3.5 million years ago, a supermassive black hole at the heart of our Galaxy spat out an enormous flare. Our researchers worked with an international team to make the discovery. Physicist and astronomy expert, Professor Joss Bland-Hawthorn explains how they did it. The supermassive black hole at the heart of our Galaxy spat out an enormous flare of radiation 3.5 million years ago that would have been clearly visible from Earth.

Astronomy / Space Science - Environment - 07.10.2019
Ancient oasis once existed on Mars
Ancient oasis once existed on Mars
New findings from the ChemCam instrument show a dynamic Martian climate LOS ALAMOS, N.M., Oct. 7, 2019-The surface of Mars was once home to shallow, salty ponds that went through episodes of overflow and drying, according to a paper published today . These findings result from an analysis of rocks enriched in mineral salts in Gale Crater, a 100-mile-wide dry lakebed, performed with the ChemCam instrument, which sits atop NASA's Curiosity rover and shoots Martian rocks with a laser to determine their chemical make-up.

Astronomy / Space Science - 04.10.2019
Observing the Cosmic Web
The Cosmic Web is believed to contain huge threads of gas that connect multiple galaxies across the universe. Now our astronomers have observed these threads extending over three million light years. This is the first time that the Cosmic Web has been imaged in such detail on large scales joining together several galaxies.

Astronomy / Space Science - 04.10.2019
A Cosmic Pretzel
A Cosmic Pretzel
Twin baby stars grow amongst a twisting network of gas and dust Astronomers using ALMA have obtained an extremely high-resolution image showing two disks in which young stars are growing, fed by a complex pretzel-shaped network of filaments of gas and dust. Observing this remarkable phenomenon sheds new light on the earliest phases of the lives of stars and helps astronomers determine the conditions in which binary stars are born.

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 03.10.2019
New 'fuzzy' dark matter research disrupts conventional thinking
New ’fuzzy’ dark matter research disrupts conventional thinking
New research conducted at the University of Sussex has simulated dark matter in a new way for the first time, disrupting conventional thinking about the make-up of the universe. The research, published in Physical Review Letters , was done alongside Princeton, Harvard, Cambridge and MIT universities and others.

Astronomy / Space Science - 03.10.2019
Revealed: the violent past of Andromeda, our neighbouring galaxy
Revealed: the violent past of Andromeda, our neighbouring galaxy
A team of astronomers, led by Professor Geraint Lewis, has revealed two periods over billions of years where Andromeda shredded incoming galaxies to create star clusters. Our galaxy is next on the menu.
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