news 2017



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Astronomy / Space - Physics - 21.12.2017
A century of galaxy discrimination revealed by giant European astronomy survey
A huge European astronomy survey, whose results are released today (21 December 2017), has revealed that the view of the Universe provided by traditional optical telescopes is seriously biased. The Herschel ATLAS (H-ATLAS) was a survey carried out by an international team led by researchers at Cardiff University with European Herschel Space Observatory in the far-infrared waveband, which consists of electromagnetic waves with wavelengths 200 times greater than optical light.

Astronomy / Space - Physics - 21.12.2017
Sunlight holds the key to planet’s shine
Scientists have discovered how the sun's influence on the remote planet Uranus changes its brightness in the sky. Changes in solar activity influence the colour and formation of clouds around the planet, researchers at Oxford and Reading universities found. The icy planet is second furthest from the sun in the solar system and takes 84 Earth years to complete a full orbit - one Uranian year.

Astronomy / Space - Earth Sciences - 20.12.2017
Mars: Not as dry as it seems
Image shows modern Mars (left) dry and barren, compared with the same scene over 3.5 billion years ago covered in water (right). The rocks of the surface were slowly reacting with the water, sequestering it into the Martian mantle leading to the dry, inhospitable scene shown on the left. Image credit: Jon Wade When searching for life, scientists first look for an element key to sustaining it: fresh water.

Astronomy / Space - Physics - 07.12.2017
European satellite confirms general relativity with unprecedented precision
A space mission to test how objects fall in a vacuum has released its first results, providing an improved foundation for Einstein's famous theory. The first results of the 'Microscope' satellite mission were announced today by a group of researchers led by the French space agency CNES and including Imperial scientists.

Astronomy / Space - 06.12.2017
Massive primordial galaxies found nestling in vast halo of dark matter
Two giant galaxies seen when the universe was only 780 million years old, or about 5% of its current age, have been identified by an international team involving UCL scientists using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA). The latest observations push back the epoch of massive-galaxy formation and reveal that these uncommonly large galaxies are nestled inside an even larger cosmic structure, a halo of dark matter several trillion times bigger than the sun.

Environment - Astronomy / Space - 24.11.2017
Can citizen scientists locate the world’s seagrass?
Citizen scientists have the potential to secure a future for seagrass meadows by collecting new data about the meadows globally, according to the lead author of a new study and a scientific adviser for BBC's Blue Planet II . Led by Cardiff University's Sustainable Places Research Institute along with Swansea University and James Cook University in Australia, the study suggests that citizen scientists may be key to helping answer global questions about seagrass meadows, their location, health, reproductive status and associated fauna.

Physics - Astronomy / Space - 23.11.2017
Antarctic telescope shows how the Earth stops high-energy particles
The IceCube Laboratory at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, in Antarctica, hosts the computers collecting raw data. Due to satellite bandwidth allocations, the first level of reconstruction and event filtering happens in near real-time in this lab. Only events selected as interesting for physics studies are sent to UW-Madison, where they are prepared for use by any member of the IceCube Collaboration.

Astronomy / Space - Earth Sciences - 21.11.2017
Mars might be drier than previously thought
The wall of the Newton Crater on Mars. The dark thick lines spread out horizontally in the picture while the Recurring Slope Lineae run downwards. Credit C. Dundas NASA/JPL/USGS Dark features previously proposed as evidence for significant liquid water flowing on Mars have now been identified as granular flows, where sand and dust move rather than liquid water, according to a new study.

Physics - Astronomy / Space - 15.11.2017
Hunt for dark matter is narrowed by new University of Sussex research
Hunt for dark matter is narrowed by new University of Sussex research Scientists at the University of Sussex have disproved the existence of a specific type of axion - an important candidate 'dark matter' particle - across a wide range of its possible masses. The data were collected by an international consortium, the Neutron Electric Dipole Moment (nEDM) Collaboration, whose experiment is based at the Paul Scherrer Institut in Switzerland.

Astronomy / Space - Physics - 14.11.2017
Vitamin D linked to better live birth rates in women undergoing assisted reproduction treatment
An international team of astronomers have discovered, for the first time, observational evidence in how some features at the surface of the hot massive supergiant star 'Zeta Puppis' induce the formation of fundamental structures in its wind. In contrast to cool low-mass stars like the Sun, hot massive stars are scarce, possess extremely strong winds, and catastrophically end their lives as supernovae that stir up and enrich the interstellar medium with chemical elements involved in the creation of new stars and even planets like Earth.

Astronomy / Space - Physics - 07.11.2017
Call for Europe-wide screening of babies for heart defects
For the first time, scientists have directly detected gravitational waves - ripples in space and time - in addition to light from the spectacular collision of two neutron stars. This is the first time that astronomers have been able to study the same event with both gravitational waves and light. The discovery was made using the U.S.-based Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO); the Europe-based Virgo detector, and some 70 groundand space-based observatories.

Astronomy / Space - Environment - 07.11.2017
First coast-to-coast land motion map of Scotland derived from satellite radar images
The first country-wide map of relative land motion has been created by a team at the University of Nottingham. Using hundreds of satellite radar images the team, working with Geomatic Ventures Limited (GVL), an innovative University spin-out company, created a complete map of mainland Scotland. The map covers a two-year period from 2015 to 2017 and was created using Intermittent Small Baseline (ISBAS) analysis, a novel satellite remote sensing technique.

Astronomy / Space - 03.11.2017
Cold dust discovered around nearest star Proxima Centauri
Dust detected around the closest star to the solar system, Proxima Centauri, may indicate the presence of an elaborate planetary system. The observations, presented in Astrophysical Journal Letters, were made at The ALMA Observatory in Chile by researchers from the Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (CSIC) and Queen Mary University of London (QMUL).

Astronomy / Space - 31.10.2017
’Monster’ planet discovery challenges formation theory
A giant planet - the existence of which previously thought extremely unlikely - discovered around a small star by an international collaboration of astronomers, with University of Warwick taking a leading role NGTS-1b is the largest planet compared to the size of its companion star ever discovered in universe - contradicts theories that a planet of this size could not be formed by such a small star Discovered using the state-of-the-art Next-Gene

Astronomy / Space - Physics - 16.10.2017
First detection of gravitational waves from colliding neutron stars
Scientists have for the first time directly observed gravitational waves, in addition to light, emitted from the spectacular collision of two neutron stars. The detection marks the first time that a cosmic event has been viewed in both gravitational waves and light. The gravitational wave signal, named GW170817, was detected at 1:41pm UK time on 17 August by two identical detectors in Washington and Louisiana and a third detector in Pisa, Italy.

Astronomy / Space - Physics - 16.10.2017
First detection of gravitational waves and light produced by colliding neutron stars
In a galaxy far away, two dead stars begin a final spiral into a massive collision. The resulting explosion unleashes a huge burst of energy, sending ripples across the very fabric of space. In the nuclear cauldron of the collision, atoms are ripped apart to form entirely new elements and scattered outward across the Universe.

Astronomy / Space - Physics - 16.10.2017
Light captured alongside a gravitational wave for the first time ever
University of Bath astrophysicists have been closely involved in the first ever combined detection of both light and gravitational waves from the merging of two neutron stars, a cataclysmic cosmic event. The findings, involving an international team of thousands using a global collection of gravitational wave detectors and groundand space-based astronomical telescopes, heralds a new era in modern astrophysics and help us understand the most powerful and violent events in the Universe.

Astronomy / Space - Environment - 11.10.2017
Dual project supports understanding of climate change and astronomy
The THz sounder TARDiS (Terahertz Atmospheric/ Astrophysics Radiation Detection in Space) will sit on the International Space Station (ISS) and support scientists to better understand the effects of climate change on space, and the origin of the stars and planets. Image credit: Shutterstock Scientists from the University of Oxford are to play a key role in new missions that will help to both better monitor the effects of climate change on space and understand the origin of the stars and planets.

Earth Sciences - Astronomy / Space - 04.10.2017
New research uncovers 90 million years of history of Martian volcano
Analysis of Martian meteorites has uncovered 90 million years' worth of new information about one of the red planet's volcanoes - and helped pinpoint which volcano the meteorites came from. Geologists based in the UK and the USA have used advanced mass spectrometry techniques to learn more about the origins of six meteorites known as 'nakhlites' - pieces of Martian terrain which were blasted from the face of the red planet by an impact event 11 million years ago, then drifted through space before landing on Earth.

Astronomy / Space - Physics - 28.09.2017
University of Glasgow partners in European gravitational wave discovery
The fledgling scientific discipline of gravitational wave astronomy has made an important step forward with the detection of a gravitational wave signal using a network involving the European Virgo detector. In a new paper accepted today by the journal Physical Review Letters, scientists outline details of the first-ever gravitational wave signal received by the Virgo detector in Italy, alongside the LIGO detectors in the USA.
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