The Centre for Planetary Sciences

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The Centre for Planetary Sciences at UCL/Birkbeck is one of the United Kingdom's leading centres for planetary and exoplanetary science. It houses expertise in understanding planets from their deep interiors, through their surfaces and atmospheres, to their space environment.  This expertise is complemented by world leaders in astronomy, terrestrial and solar science, life and chemical sciences.  Read more...

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CPS News

Venus' electric wind (credit: Dr Glyn Collinson)

Strong 'electric wind' strips planets of oceans and atmospheres

Venus has an ‘electric wind’ strong enough to remove the components of water from its upper atmosphere, which may have played a significant role in stripping the planet of its oceans, according to a new study by NASA and UCL researchers.
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Published: Jun 21, 2016 8:51:04 AM

TGO liftoff

Liftoff to Mars!

On 14 March, the first mission of the ESA-Russia ExoMars programme began its journey to Mars from the Baikonur cosmodrome. Soaring over the steppes of Kazakhstan, the Proton rocket and Briz upper stage both performed flawlessly, putting the first of the two ExoMars missions on course for Mars with arrival in October 2016. This opens a new era of European-Russian Mars exploration – with UCL-MSSL and UCL's Centre for Planetary Sciences (CPS) playing key roles.
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Published: Apr 6, 2016 2:26:13 PM

Artistic rendering of Jupiter's magnetosphere (credit: JAXA)

Solar storms trigger Jupiter's 'Northern Light'

Solar storms trigger Jupiter’s intense ‘Northern Lights’ by generating a new X-ray aurora that is eight times brighter than normal and hundreds of times more energetic than Earth’s aurora borealis, finds new UCL-led research using NASA’s Chandra X-Ray Observatory.
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Published: Mar 31, 2016 1:24:28 PM

Artist's Impression of Giotto and Comet Halley (source: ESA)

Giotto at Halley: 30 years ago!

It was the year of the tragic Challenger disaster – but UCL-MSSL was making good news in space and making history too. The Giotto spacecraft carried 10 instruments, including one led by UCL-MSSL just 596 km (MSSL to ESOC distance!) from comet Halley on the night of 13th/14th March, with some spectacular results.
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Published: Mar 14, 2016 9:27:10 PM

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Page last modified on 23 mar 16 16:34 by Joanna N Fabbri