news 2021


Astronomy/Space Science

Results 1 - 20 of 42.
1 2 3 Next »

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 14.06.2021
Dark matter is slowing the spin of the Milky Way’s galactic bar
The spin of the Milky Way's galactic bar, which is made up of billions of clustered stars, has slowed by about a quarter since its formation, according to a new study by UCL and University of Oxford researchers. For 30 years, astrophysicists have predicted such a slowdown, but this is the first time it has been measured.

Astronomy / Space Science - 11.06.2021
Astronomers spot a 'blinking giant' near the centre of the Galaxy
Astronomers spot a ’blinking giant’ near the centre of the Galaxy
Astronomers have spotted a giant 'blinking' star towards the centre of the Milky Way, more than 25,000 light years away. There are certainly more to be found, but the challenge now is in figuring out what the hidden companions are, and how they came to be surrounded by discs, despite orbiting so far from the giant star Leigh Smith An international team of astronomers observed the star, VVV-WIT-08, decreasing in brightness by a factor of 30, so that it nearly disappeared from the sky.

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 10.06.2021
Astronomers join Twinkle space mission
Astronomers join Twinkle space mission
Astronomers from the School of Physics and Astronomy have joined the Science Team of the Twinkle space mission, a pioneering space telescope designed to study the atmospheres of exoplanets - planets orbiting stars beyond our solar system. Twinkle will be launched in 2024 and will operate for seven years, making sensitive visible and infrared spectroscopic measurements to detect molecules in the atmospheres of planets as they pass in front of their host stars.

Health - Astronomy / Space Science - 06.06.2021
Astronomers apply their skills to cancer research
Astronomers apply their skills to cancer research
You might not think that studying the universe could benefit research into serious illnesses like cancer, but Durham's astronomers have joined forces with cancer researchers to improve the diagnosis and treatment of patients. We're working with the NHS, healthcare researchers and biotech experts on the 1million CUP-COMP project to improve outcomes for people with cancer of unknown primary (CUP).

Environment - Astronomy / Space Science - 04.06.2021
Arctic sea ice thinning faster than expected
Sea ice in the coastal regions of the Arctic may be thinning up to twice as fast as previously thought, according to a new modelling study led by UCL researchers. Sea ice thickness is inferred by measuring the height of the ice above the water, and this measurement is distorted by snow weighing the ice floe down.

Astronomy / Space Science - 27.05.2021
Dark matter mapped using light from 100 million galaxies
The largest ever map of dark matter - invisible matter thought to account for 80% of the total matter of the Universe - has been created by a team co-led by UCL researchers, as part of the international Dark Energy Survey (DES). As matter curves space-time, astronomers are able to map its existence by looking at light travelling to Earth from distant galaxies; if the light has been distorted, this means there is matter in the foreground, bending the light as it comes towards us.

Astronomy / Space Science - 18.05.2021
Finding quasars: rare extragalactic objects are now easier to spot
Finding quasars: rare extragalactic objects are now easier to spot
Astrophysicists have developed a new method for finding changing-looking quasars - important but extremely rare objects in deep space. Last updated on Tuesday 18 May 2021 Astrophysicists from the University of Bath have developed a new method for pinpointing the whereabouts of extremely rare extragalactic objects.

Astronomy / Space Science - 17.05.2021
Dating the stars - scientist provide most accurate picture yet
Dating the stars - scientist provide most accurate picture yet
Scientists have succeeded in dating some of the oldest stars in our galaxy with unprecedented precision by combining data from the stars' oscillations with information about their chemical composition. The team led by researchers at the University of Birmingham, surveyed around a hundred red giant stars, and were able to determine that some of these were originally part of a satellite galaxy called Gaia-Enceladus, which collided with the Milky Way early in its history.

Physics - Astronomy / Space Science - 14.05.2021
Scientists hunt for evidence of 'lensed' gravitational waves
Scientists hunt for evidence of ’lensed’ gravitational waves
Scientists searching for evidence of lensed gravitational waves have published new research outlining the most recent findings on their quest for the first detection of these elusive signals. Gravitational lensing has been predicted by Einstein himself, and observed by scientists for decades: light emitted by distant objects in the Universe is bent by the gravitational pull of very massive galaxies, as they cross the line-of-sight of the light source.

Environment - Astronomy / Space Science - 14.05.2021
New report highlights satellite observation as vital to tackling climate change
Professor Marian Scott of the School of Mathematics and Statistics is one of the co-authors of a new briefing paper from the COP26 Universities Network. Although the UK is at the forefront of developing and harnessing technology to turn Earth Observation (EO) data into actionable information, more education and training is needed to maximise its potential and help the world to meet challenging climate targets.

Astronomy / Space Science - Computer Science - 14.05.2021
Supercomputer simulations unlock space weather puzzle
Scientists have long questioned why the bursts of hot gas from the Sun do not cool down as fast as expected, and now a UCL-led team of researchers have used a supercomputer to find out why. The team will now compare their simulations with 'real' data from the European Space Agency's flagship Solar Orbiter mission, with the hope that it will confirm their predictions and provide a conclusive answer.

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 14.05.2021
Five-year quest to create 3D map of the universe
A five-year mission to create an unprecedented 3D map of the universe using the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI), designed and built in part by UCL physicists, formally starts today.

Astronomy / Space Science - 12.05.2021
Furthering the exploration of space
Furthering the exploration of space
Durham's researchers are helping to build some of the world's most powerful new telescopes to further our exploration of space. Our astronomers and cosmologists are also involved major international projects that will hunt two of the universe's most mysterious ingredients - dark matter and dark energy - and investigate how the universe formed.

Astronomy / Space Science - Computer Science - 11.05.2021
Building a universe in a supercomputer
Building a universe in a supercomputer
You can't physically crash a planet into another planet in a lab to see what happens or look quite far enough back in time to see how the universe might have formed. So what do you do? At Durham we use supercomputer technology to simulate the universe as we seek to unravel its mysteries. How do galaxies form? What are dark matter and dark energy? And what will be the ultimate fate of the universe? COSMA supercomputer The COSMA supercomputer - with the memory of about 25,000 high-powered laptops - allows researchers to answer these big cosmological questions.

Health - Astronomy / Space Science - 11.05.2021
Impacting life on Earth
Impacting life on Earth
Our Astronomy and Cosmology research is having an impact on life here on Earth. Our researchers are using their skills to help newborn babies, stop the spread of Covid-19 and protect coffee plants. Newborn babies Drawing on their experience of dealing with huge amounts of astronomical data, our researchers have worked with the NHS to establish the standard for recognising vital signs in healthy newborn babies.

Astronomy / Space Science - Chemistry - 10.05.2021
Discovery of methanol in a 'warm' planet-forming disk
Discovery of methanol in a ’warm’ planet-forming disk
Astronomers have identified the molecule methanol in the 'warm zones' of a protoplanetary disk circling a star about 360 light years from Earth. The finding is significant because although methanol - CH3OH - is one of the simpler complex carbon-based molecules, it is a precursor chemical involved in the creation of more complex substances such as amino acids and proteins, the building blocks of life.

Astronomy / Space Science - 10.05.2021
At the forefront of space research
At the forefront of space research
We're at the forefront of research that is furthering our understanding of the universe and the exploration of space. Durham's research spans from black holes to dark matter, planet formation to galaxy evolution and the Cosmic Web that binds the universe together. We also work on building some the biggest and best new telescopes.

Astronomy / Space Science - 30.04.2021
’Campfires’ offer clue to solar heating mystery
Miniature solar flares nicknamed "campfires", recently discovered near the surface of the Sun, are about 1,000 to 5,000 km tall and between 1-1.5 million degrees hot, finds a new study co-authored by UCL researchers. The study compared data from Solar Orbiter, the Sun-observing mission by ESA and NASA, with observations from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory to triangulate the height of the campfires.

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 28.04.2021
Black hole-neutron star collisions may settle dispute over Universe’s expansion
Studying the violent collisions of black holes and neutron stars may soon provide a new measurement of the Universe's expansion rate, helping to resolve a long-standing dispute, suggests a new simulation study led by researchers at UCL. Our two current best ways of estimating the Universe's rate of expansion - measuring the brightness and speed of pulsating and exploding stars, and looking at fluctuations in radiation from the early Universe - give very different answers, suggesting our theory of the Universe may be wrong.

Astronomy / Space Science - 23.04.2021
Black holes to dark matter – an evolving universe
Black holes to dark matter – an evolving universe
From supermassive black holes to the hunt for dark matter, Durham's scientists are at the forefront of investigations into the evolution of the universe. Our astronomers and cosmologists are world-leaders working with fellow researchers across the planet to further our understanding of the cosmos and our place in it.
1 2 3 Next »