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Astronomy / Space - Physics - 14.11.2023
Extraordinary new space phenomenon mystifies scientists
Luminous fast blue optical transients are characterized by their intense blue light and are amongst the brightest known optical phenomena in the universe. They evolve rapidly, reaching peak brightness and fading again in a matter of days, unlike supernovae which take weeks or months. Image credit: NOIRLab/NSF/AURA/M.

Astronomy / Space - Physics - 07.11.2023
Euclid's first images: the dazzling edge of darkness
Euclid’s first images: the dazzling edge of darkness
The European Space Agency (ESA) mission Euclid, whose massive optical camera was built by an international team led by UCL researchers, has released its first full-colour images of the cosmos. This is the first time a telescope has been able to create such razor-sharp astronomical images across such a large patch of the sky, and looking so far into the distant Universe.

Astronomy / Space - Physics - 01.11.2023
Infrared aurorae discovered at Uranus
Infrared aurorae discovered at Uranus
Planetary scientists including UCL's Professor Steve Miller have detected the infrared aurorae of the ice giant Uranus after searching for more than 30 years, in a new study published in Nature Astronomy. On Earth, the Northern and Southern Lights (aurorae) occur as a result of the interaction between the stream of charged particles known as the solar wind and our magnetic field, which funnels the particles in our atmosphere around the poles.

Astronomy / Space - 24.10.2023
Massive space explosion observed creating elements needed for life
Massive space explosion observed creating elements needed for life
Scientists have observed the creation of rare chemical elements in the second-brightest gamma-ray burst ever seen. Scientists have observed the creation of rare chemical elements in the second-brightest gamma-ray burst ever seen - casting new light on how heavy elements are made. Researchers examined the exceptionally bright gamma-ray burst GRB 230307A, which was caused by a neutron star merger.

Astronomy / Space - Physics - 23.10.2023
The Moon is 40 million years older than scientists thought
The Moon is 40 million years older than scientists thought, new research reveals Published: 23 October 2023 New research on crystals brought back from the Moon by Apollo astronauts in 1972 has helped pinpoint the time of the Moon's formation to at least 4.46 billion years ago. More than 4 billion years ago, when the Solar System was still young and the Earth was still growing, a giant object the size of Mars crashed into the Earth.

Astronomy / Space - Physics - 19.10.2023
Black holes could come in 'perfect pairs' in an ever expanding Universe
Black holes could come in ’perfect pairs’ in an ever expanding Universe
Researchers from the University of Southampton, together with colleagues from the universities of Cambridge and Barcelona, have shown it's theoretically possible for black holes to exist in perfectly balanced pairs - held in equilibrium by a cosmological force - mimicking a single black hole. Black holes are massive astronomical objects that have such a strong gravitational pull that nothing, not even light, can escape.

Astronomy / Space - Physics - 13.10.2023
Planetary collision in distant solar system reveals new cosmic object
Planetary collision in distant solar system reveals new cosmic object
Astronomers have for the first time observed the collision of two ice-giant planets in a distant solar system, a process they believe planet Earth underwent when it was just a few million years old leading to the creation of our moon. The international team, which included an expert from Cardiff University's School of Physics and Astronomy, says the collision has revealed the signature of a new type of astronomical object - a synestia, which is composed of a cloud of molten and vapourised rock and shaped like a doughnut.

Astronomy / Space - 10.10.2023
Latest Gaia data release reveals rare lenses, cluster cores and unforeseen science
Latest Gaia data release reveals rare lenses, cluster cores and unforeseen science
The European Space Agency's Gaia mission has released a goldmine of knowledge about our galaxy and beyond. Among other findings, the star surveyor has surpassed its planned potential to reveal half a million new and faint stars in a massive cluster, identified over 380 possible cosmic lenses, and pinpointed the positions of more than 150,000 asteroids within the Solar System.

Astronomy / Space - 02.10.2023
Massive low earth orbit communications satellites could disrupt astronomy
Massive low earth orbit communications satellites could disrupt astronomy
Observations of the BlueWalker 3 prototype satellite show it is one of the brightest objects in the night sky, outshining all but the brightest stars. Astronomers have raised concerns that without mitigation, groups of large satellites could disrupt our ability to observe the stars from Earth and perform radio astronomy.

Physics - Astronomy / Space - 28.09.2023
Scientists observe the influence of gravity on antimatter for the first time
Scientists have demonstrated the existence of gravity between antimatter and Earth, reaffirming Albert Einstein's General Theory of Relativity. It is thought that Isaac Newton's historic work on gravity was inspired by watching an apple fall to Earth from a tree. But for decades, scientists have wondered what would happen to an "anti-apple" made of antimatter - would it fall in the same way if it existed? Until now, the question has left scientists with an incomplete picture of the Universe's gravitating content.

Astronomy / Space - Environment - 27.09.2023
New simulations shed light on origins of Saturn’s rings and icy Moons
A new series of supercomputer simulations has offered an answer to the mystery of the origins of Saturn's rings - one that involves a massive collision in the recent history of the 4.5 billion-year-old Solar System. A new series of supercomputer simulations has offered an answer to the mystery of the origins of Saturn's rings - one that involves a massive collision in the recent history of the 4.5 billion-year-old Solar System.

Astronomy / Space - Physics - 25.09.2023
Methane and carbon dioxide found in atmosphere of habitable zone exoplanet
Methane and carbon dioxide found in atmosphere of habitable zone exoplanet
Astronomers have for the first time discovered carbon-based molecules in the atmosphere of an exoplanet in the habitable zone. The international team, which includes Cardiff University astrophysicist Dr Subi Sarkar, used data from the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) to detect methane and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere of K2-18 b. Orbiting a red-dwarf star 124 light years away in the constellation of Leo, K2-18 b is a 'sub-Neptune' exoplanet 2.6 times the size of Earth and 8.6 times the mass of Earth.

Astronomy / Space - 22.09.2023
Abundance of Milky Way-like galaxies in early Universe, rewriting cosmic evolution theories
Galaxies from the early Universe are more like our own Milky Way than previously thought, flipping the entire narrative of how scientists think about structure formation in the Universe, according to new research published today. Using the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), an international team of researchers including those at The University of Manchester and University of Victoria in Canada discovered that galaxies like our own Milky Way dominate throughout the universe and are surprisingly common.

Astronomy / Space - 08.09.2023
University brings space to Earth with working replica Mars rover
University brings space to Earth with working replica Mars rover
A team from the University of Southampton has built a fully functioning replica of NASA's Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover, to demonstrate how space technology can be lifesaving on Earth. The replica will be used to get more people interested in science. The replica uses the same Raman technology as the NASA rover, which was sent to Mars in 2020 to seek out extraterrestrial life.

Astronomy / Space - Physics - 14.08.2023
Dark energy could be measured by studying the galaxy next door
Dark energy could be measured by studying the galaxy next door
Researchers have found a new way to measure dark energy - the mysterious force that makes up more than two-thirds of the universe and is responsible for its accelerating expansion - in our own cosmic backyard.

Astronomy / Space - Physics - 08.08.2023
Gravitational waves may reveal nature of dark matter
Gravitational waves may reveal nature of dark matter
Observations of gravitational waves from merging black holes may reveal new insights about dark matter, suggests a new study from a UCL-led international team. The study, presented at the 2023 National Astronomy Meeting in Cardiff and now published in the journal Physical Review D , used computer simulations to study the production of gravitational wave signals in simulated universes with different kinds of dark matter.

Chemistry - Astronomy / Space - 08.08.2023
Chemical contamination on International Space Station is out of this world
Chemical contamination on International Space Station is out of this world
Astronauts on the International Space Station are exposed to higher levels of potentially harmful chemical compounds than are found in homes on earth. Concentrations of potentially harmful chemical compounds in dust collected from air filtration systems on the International Space Station (ISS) exceed those found in floor dust from many American homes, a new study reveals.

Astronomy / Space - 02.08.2023
New exoplanet discovery builds better understanding of planet formation
New exoplanet discovery builds better understanding of planet formation
An international team of scientists have discovered an unusual Jupiter-sized planet orbiting a low-mass star located in the Corvus constellation. An international team of scientists have discovered an unusual Jupiter-sized planet orbiting a low-mass star called TOI-4860, located in the Corvus constellation.

Astronomy / Space - 24.07.2023
Retired stars still have a role to play in planet formation
Retired stars still have a role to play in planet formation
Old stars roaming through new star-forming regions could be responsible for a radioactive heat source thought to be important for young planets. The discovery of an older star travelling through a star-forming region shows how these kinds of stars could provide essential radioactive elements to developing solar systems.

Astronomy / Space - Physics - 19.07.2023
Two-faced star exposed in first for astronomy
An unusual white dwarf star is made of hydrogen on one side and helium on the other. In a first for white dwarfs, the burnt-our cores of dead stars, astronomers from institutions including the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and the University of Warwick have discovered that at least one member of this cosmic family is two faced.