Archive of CPS News

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Comet studies in the planetary group catch media attention at the RAS National Astronomy Meeting

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Image of comet Hale-Bopp. Credit: ESO/E. Slawick

In a presentation at the Royal Astronomical Society's National Astronomy Meeting in Manchester, planetary group PhD student Yudish Ramanjooloo presented his work on using amateur images of comets to infer the properties of the surrounding solar wind. This work was picked up for a media article in Sky at Night online.

Planetary group attends the RAS National Astronomy Meeting in Manchester

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The Manchester Museum - location of the opening reception for the RAS National Astronomy Meeting

Several members of the planetary group are attending the Royal Astronomical Society's National Astronomy Meeting, hosted by the Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics at the University of Manchester, from 27-30 March 2012.

Dr. Gethyn Lewis attends a meeting of the Spacecraft Plasma Interaction Network

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Calculated charging state for the Cassini spacecraft

Dr. Gethyn Lewis will attend a consortium meeting of the Spacecraft Plasma Interaction Network of Europe (SPINE) at the European Space Agency's space research and technology centre (ESTEC) in the Netherlands, from 5 - 7 March 2012. The SPINE consortium aims to share resources and coordinate efforts to understand and model the interaction of spacecraft with their space plasma environments, including spacecraft charging. Dr. Lewis has been involved in modelling work using tools (Spacecraft Plasma Interaction System - SPIS) developed by the SPINE consortium to understand the charging of the Cassini spacecraft in orbit around Saturn.

Dione's thin oxygen exosphere

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Image of Saturn's icy moon Dione. Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

Dione is a moon of Saturn, discovered in 1684 by the Italian astronomer Giovanni Cassini. Over 300 years later, planetary scientists including Andrew Coates and Geraint Jones from MSSL-UCL, have discovered that Dione has a weak exosphere near its surface (at planets with denser atmospheres, the exosphere is the outermost layer of its atmosphere). This work was featured on BBC News Online and is also the feature of a science nugget on the planetary science group website.

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