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Super-Earth planets detected orbiting nearby star

A system of super-Earth planets – possibly rocky worlds, but larger than Earth – has been detected orbiting the nearby star Gliese 887.

An international team of astronomers, including Professor Carole Haswell and Dr John Barnes of The Open University, made the discovery as part of Red Dots, a project to detect terrestrial planets close to the Sun.

26th June 2020

Newly detected green light observed around Mars

OU scientists, as part of an international team, have identified a never-before-seen, green glow surrounding Mars with the same characteristics as the Aurora Borealis, also known as the Northern Lights.

Using the NOMAD-UVIS instrument onboard the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO), a joint space mission between the European Space Agency (ESA) and Roscosmos, scientists were able to detect an atmospheric green glow of oxygen surrounding the red planet.

16th June 2020

BAFTA nomination for '8 Days: To the Moon and Back'

We are congratulating Mahesh Anand, Professor of Planetary Science and Exploration on being shortlisted for a BAFTA on the television awards this year for “8 Days: To the Moon and Back”. This programme, for which Mahesh was lead academic, has been shortlisted in the category Specialist Factual.

8th June 2020

SPS-led research selected as highlight from 10 years at LOFAR telescope

The International LOFAR (Low Frequency Array) Telescope is celebrating its 10th anniversary on 12th June, and work, published last year, led by Dr Beatriz Mingo of The School of Physical Sciences, has been selected as one of ten science highlights from LOFAR's first decade. Beatriz works closely with

8th June 2020

UK Space Academic Institutions Covid-19 Survey

The Space Academic Network (SPAN) is working closely with the UK Space Agency (UKSA) to coordinate a survey of universities and research centres across the UK with regards to the impact of the Covid-19 virus on their space research activities. The survey is launched every two weeks and two rounds have been completed.

2nd June 2020

Funding success to design sensors for X-ray telescopes

OU researchers within the School of Physical Sciences have been awarded €1 million by the European Space Agency (ESA) to develop a prototype sensor needed for the next generation of X-ray telescopes.

2nd June 2020

SPS astronomers find signs of a disintegrating planet around a nearby star

Using data from NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite space telescope, a team of OU astronomers within the School of Physical Sciences, led by Dr Mark Jones, have possibly discovered a planet in its final death throes. They studied a nearby star, called DMPP-1, which is about 200 light-years away and was already known to harbour a system of planets.

2nd June 2020

Civilisations beyond our galaxy

How many civilisations might there be in our Galaxy, and how could we find out?

To celebrate the 90th birthday (28th May 2020) of Frank Drake, who formulated his famous equation in 1961 as a step towards answering this fundamental question, we present 30 minutes of ‘fly on the wall’ video of Frank Drake in conversation with presenter Dallas Campbell.

22nd May 2020

New study reveals mud volcanoes on Mars may flow like lava

European researchers, including Dr Manish PatelDr Matt Balme and Dr Matthew Sylvest from The Open University(OU), have found that mud volcanoes on Mars may look similar to lava flows found on Earth.

19th May 2020

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