news 2015


Astronomy/Space Science

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Physics - Astronomy / Space Science - 17.12.2015
Opinion: Large Hadron Collider sees tantalising hints of a new particle that could revolutionise physics
Harry Cliff (Cavendish Laboratory) discusses the potential discovery of a new particle at the Large Hadron Collider and its implications for particle physics. At the start of December a rumour swirled around the internet and physics lab coffee rooms that researchers at the Large Hadron Collider had spotted a new particle.

Physics - Astronomy / Space Science - 16.12.2015
Bristol physicists search for signs of supersymmetry
Bristol physicists search for signs of supersymmetry
The first results from direct searches for new physics were announced today from CERN's energy-upgraded Large Hadron Collider (LHC). Among these results was a search for signs of a new theory called supersymmetry in which members of the University of Bristol particle physics group have played a leading role.

Astronomy / Space Science - 15.12.2015
A new panorama of the X-ray universe
A new panorama of the X-ray universe
A panorama of the X-ray sky has been completed by an international team of more than 100 scientists, providing new insights into the nature of the Universe. The XXL team, which includes astrophysicists from the University of Bristol, used the European Space Agency's XMM-Newton X-ray observatory to take over 250 individual images of the sky.

Physics - Astronomy / Space Science - 14.12.2015
World's most sensitive dark matter detector gets even better
World’s most sensitive dark matter detector gets even better
The Large Underground Xenon dark matter experiment is the most sensitive dark matter detector in the world, and it just became much more sensitive. Dark matter is thought to be the dominant form of matter in the universe. Scientists are confident in its existence because the effects of its gravity can be seen in the rotation of galaxies and in the way light bends as it travels through the universe.

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 08.12.2015
Difficult birth for the universe provides clues to particle physics mystery
Difficult birth for the universe provides clues to particle physics mystery
After studying why the universe did not collapse during its birth, researchers are closer to finding a missing piece in the Standard Model of physics. Since the discovery of the Higgs particle - responsible for giving mass to all particles - at CERN in 2012, studies of its properties have thrown up a lot of questions.

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 03.12.2015
LISA Pathfinder en route to gravitational wave demonstration
The European Space Agency's LISA Pathfinder lifted off earlier today on a Vega rocket from Europe's spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, on its way to demonstrate technology for observing gravitational waves from space. Gravitational waves are ripples in the fabric of spacetime, predicted a century ago by Albert Einstein's General Theory of Relativity, published on 2 December 1915.

Astronomy / Space Science - Administration - 03.12.2015
The Sun could release flares 1000x greater than previously recorded
A superflare from a binary star found to be similar in nature to a type of the Sun's solar flares. The star, KIC9655129, regularly produces superflares. University of Warwick researchers suggest the similarity between the flare on KIC9655129 and our own Sun's flares demonstrates the potential for the Sun to superflare.

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 01.12.2015
Saturn's magnetic bubble explosions help release gas
Saturn’s magnetic bubble explosions help release gas
Scientists have found the first direct evidence for explosive releases of energy in Saturn's magnetic bubble using data from the Cassini spacecraft. Saturn creates its own magnetic bubble, known as its magnetosphere, which protects it from the solar wind. Magnetic reconnection is an explosive process in the magnetosphere that allows material such as gas and plasma (the fourth state of matter) from the solar wind to get in, and material from inside to get out.

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 30.11.2015
Cassini mission provides insight into Saturn
Scientists have found the first direct evidence for explosive releases of energy in Saturn's magnetic bubble using data from the Cassini spacecraft, a joint mission between NASA, the European Space Agency, and the Italian Space Agency. The research is reported . These "explosions" are produced in a process known as magnetic reconnection, something well studied at Earth and is an important part of Space Weather, involved in energising the radiation belts and producing displays of the Northern lights.

Astronomy / Space Science - 26.11.2015
How to escape a black hole
An international team of astrophysicists, including researchers from the University of Cambridge, has observed a new way for gas to escape the gravitational pull of a supermassive black hole. These jets are a unique tool for probing supermassive black holes Morgan Fraser The results are based on new radio observations tracking a star as it gets torn apart by a black hole.

Astronomy / Space Science - 18.11.2015
Most Earth-like planet uninhabitable due to radiation, new research suggests
Superflaring Red Dwarf star may have stripped away the planet's atmosphere, finds research led by the University of Warwick. Energy released by each superflare equivalent to 100 billion megatons of TNT. The most Earth-like planet could have been made uninhabitable by vast quantities of radiation, new research led by the University of Warwick has found.

Astronomy / Space Science - 13.11.2015
5400mph winds discovered hurtling around planet outside solar system
Research provides first ever weather map of a planet outside our solar system "This is the first ever weather map from outside of solar system." Wind 20x faster than ever recorded on Earth Measurement techniques could be used to study weather on Earth-like planets Winds of over 2km per second have been discovered flowing around planet outside of the Earth's solar system, new research has found.

Physics - Astronomy / Space Science - 13.11.2015
Research sheds new light on origins of Earth’s water
It covers more than two-thirds of the Earth's surface, but the exact origins of our planet's water are still something of a mystery. Scientists have long been uncertain whether water was present at the formation of the planet or if it arrived later, perhaps carried by comets and meteorites.

Astronomy / Space Science - Chemistry - 11.11.2015
Ancient stars at the centre of the Milky Way contain ’fingerprints’ from the very early Universe
Astronomers have discovered some of the oldest stars in the galaxy, whose chemical composition and movements could tell us what the Universe was like soon after the Big Bang. Finding these rare stars is really like looking for a needle in a haystack.

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 11.11.2015
Asteroid ripped apart to form star’s glowing ring system
Research by the University of Warwick includes first image of ring system orbiting a white dwarf The sight of an asteroid being ripped apart by a dead star and forming a glowing debris ring has been captured in an image for the first time. Comprised of dust particles and debris, the rings are formed by the star's gravity tearing apart asteroids that came too close.

Physics - Astronomy / Space Science - 02.11.2015
First evidence of ’ghost particles’
Major international collaboration has seen its first neutrinos - so-called 'ghost particles' - in the experiment's newly built detector. This is an important step towards the much larger Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE) Mark Thomson An international team of scientists at the MicroBooNE physics experiment in the US, including researchers from the University of Cambridge, detected their first neutrino candidates, which are also known as 'ghost particles'.

Environment - Astronomy / Space Science - 28.10.2015
Satellites shed light on Greenland ice sheet’s response to global warming
Small but beneficial impact on sea level forecasts detected by satellite images Research highlights the complexity of the effects of climate change on Greenland ice sheet Parts of Greenland's ice sheet have been found to be less vulnerable to climate warming than was previously thought - a discovery that could have a small but beneficial impact on sea level forecasts.

Earth Sciences - Astronomy / Space Science - 08.10.2015
NASA research: Martian lakes may have survived on surface for millions of years
NASA research: Martian lakes may have survived on surface for millions of years
Scientists have shown that early Mars sustained lakes on its surface for much longer than previously thought, following an analysis of rocks. This study provides stunning evidence that Mars really did sustain a water world for what could have been many thousands or even millions of years. A team of researchers from NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity rover mission have analysed images of thick layers of sedimentary rocks that lay exposed on the northern region of Gale crater.

Astronomy / Space Science - 05.10.2015
New kind of plant movement discovered in a carnivorous pitcher plant
The traps of the carnivorous pitcher plant Nepenthes gracilis use heavy rain as a power source to drive a fast prey capture motion, new research from the University of Bristol has found. The findings are published today in the journal PNAS. All plants can move, but most of their movements are too slow to be observed without time-lapse photography.

Environment - Astronomy / Space Science - 02.10.2015
World’s first global tree density map
The number of trees on the planet is around 3.04 trillion - a much larger number than previously thought, according to researchers publishing in Nature. Previous satellite-imagery based estimates of global tree numbers stood at around 400.25 billion, meaning for every person on the planet there were around 61 trees.
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