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Astronomy / Space Science - Innovation - 20.12.2022
Science and Engineering: a review of our top stories
2022 was another packed year for news from the Faculty Science and Engineering. From dinosaurs, to robots and amazing students to distant stars, here are some of our highlights: Palaeontologists working on the Ichthyosaur skeleton found at Rutland Water August 26 2021 Matthew Power Photography www.matthewpowerphotography.co.uk 07969 088655 matthew@matthewpowerphotography.co.uk @mpowerphoto In January we kicked the year off with a colossal story.

Physics - Astronomy / Space Science - 19.12.2022
How magnetic waves interact with Earth's bubble
How magnetic waves interact with Earth’s bubble
A new study involving UCL has uncovered how magnetic waves are transmitted past a standing shock wave, known as the bow shock, that forms ahead of Earth as a result of the solar wind hitting our magnetic bubble (magnetosphere). Shock waves occur in air when a plane travels faster than the speed of sound and also occur in plasma (a fourth state of matter that makes up 99% of the visible Universe) in space.

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 09.12.2022
Webb telescope reaches new milestone in its search for distant galaxies
Webb telescope reaches new milestone in its search for distant galaxies
New findings confirm that JWST has surpassed the Hubble telescope in its ability to observe the early Universe So many questions about galaxies have been waiting for the transformative opportunity of Webb, and we are thrilled to be able to play a part in revealing this story Sandro Tacchella An international team of astronomers, including scientists at the Universities of Cambridge, Hertfordshire and Oxford, has reported the discovery of the earliest galaxies ever confirmed in our Universe.

Astronomy / Space Science - 08.12.2022
NASA space telescope shows stars don’t die alone
JWST image of the Southern Ring planetary nebula, using a filter that shows molecular hydrogen. The nebula has a bright distorted ring consisting of 10,000 globules, surrounded by a faint halo with radial stripes and arcs JWST image of the Southern Ring planetary nebula, using a filter that shows molecular hydrogen.

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 30.11.2022
Mysteriously bright flash is a black hole jet pointing straight toward Earth, astronomers say
Mysteriously bright flash is a black hole jet pointing straight toward Earth, astronomers say
Astronomers have determined the source of an incredibly bright X-ray, optical and radio signal appearing from halfway across the Universe. The signal, named AT 2022cmc, was discovered earlier this year by the Zwicky Transient Facility in California. Findings published today in Nature Astronomy, suggest that it is likely from a jet of matter, streaking out from a supermassive black hole at close to the speed of light.

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 28.11.2022
Non-detection of key signal allows astronomers to determine what the first galaxies were - and weren't - like
Non-detection of key signal allows astronomers to determine what the first galaxies were - and weren’t - like
Researchers have been able to make some key determinations about the first galaxies to exist, in one of the first astrophysical studies of the period in the early Universe when the first stars and galaxies formed, known as the cosmic dawn.

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 24.11.2022
Shock waves trigger black holes' powerful jets
Shock waves trigger black holes’ powerful jets
Powerful jets of material released by black holes are accelerated far into space by shock waves within the jets, an international collaboration involving UCL researchers has found. The study, published in Nature , helps to solve a decades-old mystery about how these jets are produced. The research team was able to rule out alternative causes of the jets - such as magnetic reconnection - and, out of a number of theoretical models of how the particles in the jets are accelerated, showed that just one model was correct.

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 22.11.2022
New era of exoplanet exploration begins with 'remarkable' JWST study of WASP-39b
New era of exoplanet exploration begins with ’remarkable’ JWST study of WASP-39b
Studies of one exoplanet's atmosphere using James Webb Space Telescope instruments have revealed the detection of new molecules and cloud structures. In a suite of studies across five papers, a large international team including Imperial College London researchers has demonstrated the power of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) for investigating exoplanets.

Astronomy / Space Science - Computer Science - 18.11.2022
Worldwide dataset captures Earth in finest ever detail
Worldwide dataset captures Earth in finest ever detail
A global open-source dataset of high-resolution images of Earth - the most extensive and detailed of its kind - has been developed by experts led by UCL with data from the European Space Agency (ESA). The free dataset, WorldStrat, will be presented at the NeurIPS 2022 conference in New Orleans. It includes nearly 10,000km˛ of free satellite images, showing every type of location, urban area and land use from agriculture, grasslands and forests to cities of every size and polar ice caps.

Astronomy / Space Science - 14.11.2022
Study of 'polluted' white dwarfs finds that stars and planets grow together
Study of ’polluted’ white dwarfs finds that stars and planets grow together
A team of astronomers have found that planet formation in our young Solar System started much earlier than previously thought, with the building blocks of planets growing at the same time as their parent star. Some white dwarfs are amazing laboratories, because their thin atmospheres are almost like celestial graveyards Amy Bonsor A study of some of the oldest stars in the Universe suggests that the building blocks of planets like Jupiter and Saturn begin to form while a young star is growing.

Physics - Astronomy / Space Science - 03.11.2022
Magnetism could help explain Earth’s formation
A peculiar property of the Earth's magnetic field could help us to work out how our planet was created 4.5 billion years ago, according to a new scientific assessment. There are several theories about how the Earth and the Moon were formed, most involving a giant impact. They vary from a model where the impacting object strikes the newly formed Earth a glancing blow and then escapes, through to one where the collision is so energetic that both the impactor and the Earth are vaporized.

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 03.11.2022
Can cosmic inflation be ruled out?
Can cosmic inflation be ruled out?
Astrophysicists say that cosmic inflation - a point in the Universe's infancy when space-time expanded exponentially, and what physicists really refer to when they talk about the -Big Bang can in principle be ruled out in an assumption-free way. Is it possible in principle to test cosmic inflation in a model-independent way? Sunny Vagnozzi The astrophysicists, from the University of Cambridge, the University of Trento, and Harvard University, say that there is a clear, unambiguous signal in the cosmos which could eliminate inflation as a possibility.

Physics - Astronomy / Space Science - 03.11.2022
Magnetised dead star likely has solid surface
Magnetised dead star likely has solid surface
A signature in the X-ray light emitted by a highly magnetised dead star known as a magnetar suggests the star has a solid surface with no atmosphere, according to a new study by an international collaboration co-led by UCL researchers. The study, published in the journal Science , uses data from a NASA satellite, the Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE), which was launched last December.

Astronomy / Space Science - 27.10.2022
Epic meteoroid impact on Mars
Epic meteoroid impact on Mars
NASA instruments have detected a Mars meteoroid impact that left a crater one and a half times the size of Trafalgar Square. It is the largest crater-forming impact ever observed in the solar system. The van-sized space rock weighed 200 tonnes and produced a blast zone around the crater equivalent in size to the area inside London's M25 motorway.

Earth Sciences - Astronomy / Space Science - 24.10.2022
Science sleuths solve century-old mystery of Martian meteorite’s discovery
A toxin which makes pigs vomit is the surprising key which has unlocked the century-old mystery of the origins of a Martian meteorite, and the possible identity of the Black student who discovered it. In 1931, an unusual stone stored in the geological collection of Purdue University in the USA was identified as a pristine example of a meteorite - a piece of space rock blasted from the surface of Mars millions of years ago before being pulled into the Earth's atmosphere.

Physics - Astronomy / Space Science - 17.10.2022
This Sussex Life. Physicist Prof Xavier Calmet: 'I'm glad I didn't listen to my father.'
This Sussex Life. Physicist Prof Xavier Calmet: ’I’m glad I didn’t listen to my father.’
Physicist Professor Xavier Calmet describes how the ill advice of his father sent him on a journey to black holes - and a scientific breakthrough. I had a telescope in the back yard when I was a child . It was enough to dream, to look at the stars and wonder what could be out there. I had a broad interest in science, but I always thought it was so beautiful to watch the stars and to realise that we were so little and there's so much out there that we don't understand.

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 12.10.2022
’Wobbling black hole’ most extreme example ever detected
Researchers at Cardiff University have identified a peculiar twisting motion in the orbits of two colliding black holes, an exotic phenomenon predicted by Einstein's theory of gravity. Their study, which is published in Nature and led by Professor Mark Hannam, Dr Charlie Hoy and Dr Jonathan Thompson, reports that this is the first time this effect, known as precession, has been seen in black holes, where the twisting is 10 billion times faster than in previous observations.

Astronomy / Space Science - Earth Sciences - 29.09.2022
New evidence for liquid water beneath the south polar ice cap of Mars
An international team of researchers has revealed new evidence for the possible existence of liquid water beneath the south polar ice cap of Mars. Scientists from the University of Sheffield are part of an international team of researchers that have revealed new evidence for the possible existence of liquid water beneath the south polar ice cap of Mars The findings provide the first independent line of evidence, using data other than radar, that there is liquid water beneath Mars- south polar ice cap Like Earth, Mars has thick water ice caps at both poles.

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 26.09.2022
Deep space: Massive light burst detected on Earth came from 'infant' Universe
Deep space: Massive light burst detected on Earth came from ’infant’ Universe
Astrophysicists have discovered that a gamma-ray burst detected on earth came from an explosion that occurred when the Universe was only 880 million years old. On September 5, 2021, light from a very energetic gamma-ray burst (GRB) - an immensely energetic explosion that occurred in a distant galaxy - reached our planet.

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 20.09.2022
Satellite mission confirms cornerstone of general relativity is unshakeable
Satellite mission confirms cornerstone of general relativity is unshakeable
The MICROSCOPE mission has confirmed the 'equivalence principle' with unprecedented accuracy, bolstering Einstein's general relativity. The result, announced this month by a team led by the French space agency CNES and including an Imperial College London researcher, is a triumph for Einstein's general relativity.