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Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 31.07.2020
Universe is more uniform than theory predicts
The Universe is nearly 10 percent more uniform than predicted, according to new results from the Kilo-Degree Survey (KiDS) co-led by UCL astronomers. The findings, submitted as part of a series of five papers to Astronomy & Astrophysics , suggest that dark matter - which makes up one quarter of the Universe - is more evenly spread than previously thought.

Physics - Astronomy / Space Science - 30.07.2020
CERN reports first evidence for ultra-rare process that could lead to new physics
The CERN NA62 collaboration, which is part-funded by the UK's Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) and involves scientists from the University of Bristol, presented at the ICHEP 2020 conference in Prague the first significant experimental evidence for the ultra-rare decay of the charged kaon into a charged pion and two neutrinos, (i.e.

Physics - Astronomy / Space Science - 29.07.2020
NA62 experiment at CERN reports first evidence for ultra-rare process that could lead to new physics
Scientists at CERN, including experts from the University of Birmingham, have reported on their first significant evidence for a process predicted by theory. The findings pave the way for searches for evidence of new physics in particle processes that could explain dark matter and other mysteries of the universe.

Physics - Astronomy / Space Science - 29.07.2020
NA62 experiment at CERN reports first evidence for ultra-rare process that could lead to new physic
Scientists at CERN, including experts from the University of Birmingham, have reported on their first significant evidence for a process predicted by theory. The findings pave the way for searches for evidence of new physics in particle processes that could explain dark matter and other mysteries of the universe.

Astronomy / Space Science - 21.07.2020
’Lost’ world’s rediscovery is step towards finding habitable planets
The rediscovery of a lost planet could pave the way for the detection of a world within the habitable 'Goldilocks zone' in a distant solar system. NGTS-11b is an interesting find that takes us one step closer to finding planets in the Goldilocks zone Ed Gillen The planet, the size and mass of Saturn with an orbit of thirty-five days, is among hundreds of 'lost' worlds that astronomers, including from the University of Cambridge, are using new techniques to track down and characterise, in the hope of finding cooler planets like those in our solar system, and even potentially habitable planets.

Astronomy / Space Science - Computer Science - 21.07.2020
Using techniques learnt in astrophysics, researchers can now forecast drought up to ten weeks ahead
Researchers at the University of Sussex have developed a system which can accurately predict a period of drought in East Africa up to ten weeks ahead. Satellite imagery is already used in Kenya to monitor the state of pastures and determine the health of the vegetation using a metric known as the Vegetation Condition Index.

Physics - Astronomy / Space Science - 14.07.2020
Gravitational wave researchers go beyond the quantum limit
Scientists working at the LIGO facility in the United States, including a team from the University of Birmingham, have demonstrated how the ultra-fine tuning of the instruments enable it to push the boundaries of fundamental laws of physics. The US-based Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory detects gravitational waves produced by catastrophic events in the universe, such as mergers of neutron stars and black holes.

Physics - Astronomy / Space Science - 01.07.2020
Tabletop quantum experiment could detect gravitational waves
Tiny diamond crystals could be used as an incredibly sensitive and small gravitational detector capable of measuring gravitational waves, suggests new UCL-led research. Predicted by Einstein's general theory of relativity, gravitational waves are ripples in space-time generated by certain movements of massive objects.

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 23.06.2020
LIGO-Virgo finds mystery object in ’mass gap’
An unusual gravitational wave signal is casting new light on the 'mass gap' between neutron stars and black holes. When the most massive stars die, they collapse under their own gravity and leave behind black holes. When stars that are a bit less massive than this die, they explode in a supernova and leave behind dense, dead remnants of stars called neutron stars.

Astronomy / Space Science - 23.06.2020
Gravitational wave scientists grapple with the cosmic mystery of GW190814
A highly unusual gravitational wave signal, detected by the LIGO and Virgo observatories in the US and Italy, was generated by a new class of binary systems (two astronomical objects orbiting around each other), an international team of astrophysicists has confirmed. Scientists from the LIGO and Virgo Collaboration, which includes researchers from the Institute for Gravitational Wave Astronomy at the University of Birmingham, detected the signal, named GW190814, in August 2019.

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 23.06.2020
Cardiff student at the centre of LIGO’s mysterious new discovery
A Cardiff University student has found himself at the centre of a major breakthrough discovery that could potentially help to solve a decades-old mystery. Charlie Hoy, currently in the third year of his PhD and a member of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) Scientific Collaboration, has played a leading role in deciphering new data observed from the violent collision of two objects roughly 800 million light-years away from Earth.

Astronomy / Space Science - 22.06.2020
’Twisted’ sound experiment helps confirm 50-year-old science theory
A 50-year-old theory that began as speculation about how an alien civilisation could use a black hole to generate energy has been experimentally verified for the first time in a Glasgow research lab. In 1969, British physicist Roger Penrose suggested that energy could be generated by lowering an object into the black hole's ergosphere - the outer layer of the black hole's event horizon, where an object would have to move faster than the speed of light in order to remain still.

Astronomy / Space Science - Environment - 16.06.2020
Solar Orbiter makes first close approach to the Sun
ESA's Sun-exploring mission Solar Orbiter, which carries instruments proposed, designed and built at UCL, has made its first close approach to the Sun on June 15, getting as close as 77 million km to the star's surface, about half the distance between the Sun and Earth. In the week following this first perihelion, the point in the orbit closest to the Sun, the mission scientists will test the spacecraft's ten science instruments to prove that Solar Orbiter's telescopes are ready for future scientific observations.

Physics - Astronomy / Space Science - 11.06.2020
First space-based measurement of neutron lifetime
Our researchers have helped to find a way of measuring neutron lifetime from space for the first time. The discovery could teach us more about the early universe as knowing the lifetime of neutrons is key to understanding the formation of elements after the Big Bang 13.8 billion years ago. Scientists used data from NASA's MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft.

Astronomy / Space Science - Environment - 26.05.2020
Astronomers create cloud atlas for hot, Jupiter-like exoplanets
Giant planets in our solar system and circling other stars have exotic clouds unlike anything on Earth, and the gas giants orbiting close to their stars - so called hot Jupiters - boast the most extreme. A team of astronomers from the United States, Canada and the Universities of Bristol and Oxford in the UK have now come up with a model that predicts which of the many types of proposed clouds, from sapphire to smoggy methane haze, to expect on hot Jupiters of different temperatures, up to thousands of degrees Kelvin.

Astronomy / Space Science - 14.05.2020
Mysterious delta scuti stars start to surrender secrets
The key to unlocking the secrets of a large group of pulsating stars has been discovered by an international team of astrophysicists. Pulsations are a common feature of stars. They are natural resonances, formed by trapped waves like those in musical instrument, and provide a unique way to look inside stars.

Astronomy / Space Science - 20.04.2020
Gravitational wave discovery shows merger of two black holes with unequal masses
The third observing run of LIGO and Virgo is offering new insights into the late inspiral and merger phase of binary black hole systems. The first gravitational-wave event detected back in 2015, GW150914, originated from a binary black hole merger, and since then this class of events has become the most prominent.

Physics - Astronomy / Space Science - 15.04.2020
Strongest evidence yet that neutrinos explain how the universe exists
New data throws more support behind the theory that neutrinos are the reason the universe is dominated by matter. The current laws of physics do not explain why matter persists over antimatter - why the universe is made of 'stuff'. Scientists believe equal amounts of matter and antimatter were created at the beginning of the universe, but this would mean they should have wiped each other out, annihilating the universe as it began.

Physics - Astronomy / Space Science - 15.04.2020
Matter-antimatter difference found in neutrino oscillations
One of the great scientific puzzles of our time is why we live in a universe full of matter rather than antimatter. Wherever we look, we observe that matter dominates over antimatter, yet we believe that matter and antimatter were created in equal amounts soon after the Big Bang. To reconcile these two facts there must be some difference in the way matter and antimatter behave.

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 13.04.2020
Supernova that outshines all others
A supernova at least twice as bright and energetic, and likely much more massive than any yet recorded has been identified by an international team of astronomers, led by the University of Birmingham. The team, which included experts from Harvard , Northwestern University and Ohio University , believe the supernova, dubbed SN2016aps, could be an example of an extremely rare 'pulsational pair-instability' supernova, possibly formed from two massive stars that merged before the explosion.