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Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 09.07.2021
Scientists solve 40-year mystery over Jupiter’s X-ray aurora
A research team co-led by UCL has solved a decades-old mystery as to how Jupiter produces a spectacular burst of X-rays every few minutes. The X-rays are part of Jupiter's aurora - bursts of visible and invisible light that occur when charged particles interact with the planet's atmosphere. A similar phenomenon occurs on Earth, creating the northern lights, but Jupiter's is much more powerful, releasing hundreds of gigawatts of energy, enough to briefly power all of human civilisation*.

Astronomy / Space Science - 06.07.2021
Kepler telescope glimpses a free-floating planet population
Tantalising evidence has been uncovered for a mysterious population of 'free-floating' planets which may be alone in deep space, unbound to any host star. The results include four new discoveries that are consistent with planets of similar masses to Earth, published today in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society .

Astronomy / Space Science - 05.07.2021
Gang of black holes spotted at centre of star cluster
Scientists have been left stunned by a gang of more than 100 black holes sitting at the centre of a large collection of stars over 80,000 light years from Earth. The finding has been made inside Palomar 5, a 10-billion-year-old collection of stars that orbits around the Milky Way. Reporting their findings today in Nature Astronomy, the scientists say Palomar 5 contains about three times as many black holes as they would expect to find in a star cluster of this size, with each black hole having a mass of about 20 times that of the Sun.

Astronomy / Space Science - 29.06.2021
The odd couple: a groundbreaking new discovery from gravitational whispers
Two gravitational wave signals from an entirely new class of cosmic collisions have been discovered by researchers working on the Advanced LIGO and Advanced Virgo detectors. Each of the signals came from the merger of a black hole with a neutron star. The first signal was first detected on January 5 2020.

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 29.06.2021
First detection of gravitational waves from black holes swallowing neutron stars
For the first time, scientists have picked up the ripples in space-time caused by the death spiral of a neutron star and a black hole. University of Glasgow researchers played a key role in the international collaboration that made the detection possible. They contributed to the design of the detectors - the most sensitive scientific instruments ever built - and the advanced data analysis needed to provide an astrophysical interpretation of the signals.

Computer Science - Astronomy / Space Science - 29.06.2021
Artificial Intelligence pioneered at Oxford to detect floods launches into space | University of Oxford
Artificial Intelligence pioneered at Oxford to detect floods launches into space | University of Oxford
A new technology, developed by Oxford researchers, in partnership with the European Space Agency's (ESA) -lab, will pilot the detection of flood events from space. It was deployed on hardware on D'Orbit's upcoming 'Wild Ride' mission being launched by SpaceX's Falcon 9 from Cape Canaveral, 30 June, 20.00 UK time.

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 29.06.2021
Black hole and neutron star merger detected for first time
Black hole and neutron star merger detected for first time
Scientists have, for the first time, picked up the ripples in space-time caused by the collision of a neutron star and a black hole. Two instances of this violent cosmic event have been detected using the Advanced LIGO and Virgo gravitational wave detectors, details of which have been published today in Astrophysical Journal Letters.

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 16.06.2021
Scrambled magnetic fields and Gamma-Ray Bursts: Space scientists solve a decades-long puzzle
Scrambled magnetic fields and Gamma-Ray Bursts: Space scientists solve a decades-long puzzle
Bath astrophysicists find the magnetic field in Gamma-Ray Bursts is scrambled after the ejected material crashes into, and shocks, the surrounding medium. Last updated on Friday 18 June 2021 An international team of scientists, led by astrophysicists from the University of Bath, has measured the magnetic field in a far-off Gamma-Ray Burst, confirming for the first time a decades-long theoretical prediction - that the magnetic field in these blast waves becomes scrambled after the ejected material crashes into, and shocks, the surrounding medium.

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 14.06.2021
Dark matter is slowing the spin of the Milky Way's galactic bar
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 - 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 - 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.
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