Cassini mission provides insight into Saturn

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The above image is an artist's rendition of the Cassini spacecraft approaching the planet Saturn. Image credit: NASA/JPL

Scientists have found the first direct evidence for explosive releases of energy in Saturn's magnetic bubble using data from the Cassini spacecraft, a joint mission between NASA, the European Space Agency, and the Italian Space Agency. The research is reported in the journal Nature Physics.

MSSL Awards 2015

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On Monday 23rd November, staff and students gathered to recognise outstanding people at MSSL in the annual MSSL awards. The awards, presented in memory of former colleagues, are a recognition of excellence in our science, engineering and outreach programmes.

Laboratorio - Poems from MSSL

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Cover art for Laboratorio, published by Sidekick Books

Last week saw the launch at an event at Greenwhich Observatory of 'Laboratorio', a collection of poems by MSSL staff and students, edited by award-winning poet Simon Barraclough. It was the culmination of a project funded by the STFC for Simon to spend a year as 'poet in residence' at MSSL.

How did Mars lose its habitable climate? The answer is blowing in the solar wind

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Professor Andrew Coates (UCL Mullard Space Science Laboratory) explains how the solar wind has stripped Mars of its atmosphere, making it a lot less habitable than it once was. Read: The ConversationMore: Discover Magazine

Tutor in Technology Management

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The successful applicant will contribute significantly to the teaching and training activities of the Technology Management Group at MSSL, dedicating most of their time to academic Masters-level teaching at UCL’s main campus in London, and to industrial training at various locations in the UK and overseas. The successful applicant may also have the opportunity to conduct project management or systems engineering for one or more instrumentation development projects at MSSL. The post will be based at Holmbury St Mary (Surrey) or central London, to suit the applicant’s circumstances (although travel to both sites will be necessary). 

UCL Staff Engagement Survey 2015

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Staff Survey 2015 logo

UCL is launching the 2015 Staff Engagement Survey on 9 November. Participating in the staff survey helps the Senior Management Team (SMT) to understand your experience of work and the working environment and how this impacts on achieving UCL’s goals.

Prizes for the 2014/15 MSc Programmes in Systems Engineering Management and MSc in Technology Management.

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MSSL is proud to announce the winners of this year's student awards on its Systems Engineering Management and Technology Management MSc Programmes.

Europlanet 2020 Research Infrastructure launches new era of planetary collaboration in Europe

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Mars (credit: NASA, ESA)

A €9.95 million project to integrate and support planetary science activities across Europe has been launched.

MSSL involved in new NASA proposals

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The Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR), launched in 2012, is an Explorer mission that allows astronomers to study the universe in high energy X-rays. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA has selected five proposals submitted to its Explorers Program to conduct focused scientific investigations and develop instruments that fill the scientific gaps between the agency’s larger missions. MSSL's Prof. Kinwah Wu and Dr. Silvia Zane are part of the team behind the selected IXPE proposal.

Sixth Formers Sample Space Science

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Students at MSSL's Work Experience Week 2015

MSSL has just finished its second annual work experience week for sixth formers and in the words of Adi Ramani, one of the sixth formers taking part: “It was an amazing week. I don’t think anything was lacking.  It is the perfect experience for anyone wanting to pursue Physics or Engineering.”

Solar Physics Group celebrates RAS and Arthur awards

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Prof. Len Culhane, winner of the Sir Arthur Clarke Award for Lifetime Space Achievement, with Prof. Nick Brook, Dean of the UCL MAPS faculty

Members of the MSSL Solar Physics Group have been celebrating three recent awards for their achievements and service to the solar physics and wider astronomical communities. Prof. Len Culhane was awarded the Sir Arthur C. Clarke Award for Lifetime Achievement at this year's awards ceremony. Prof. Lidia van Driel-Gesztelyi was awarded the RAS Service Award and Prof. Louise Harra received the RAS Group Achievement Award on behalf of the Hinode EIS Team at this year's National Astronomy Meeting.

MSSL Signs up to UCLU's "Zero Tolerance to Sexual Harassment"

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Zero Tolerance to Sexual Harassment

MSSL has signed up to UCLU and UCL's "Zero Tolerance to Sexual Harassment Pledge for Departments". Run by UCLU, the Zero Tolerance to Sexual Harassment campaign aims to eradicate sexual harassment at UCL. The campaign has already engaged hundreds of students and UCLU societies and is now expanding across the University.

Titan’s atmosphere even more Earth-like than previously thought

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Cassini at Saturn

Scientists at UCL have observed how a widespread polar wind is driving gas from the atmosphere of Saturn’s moon Titan.

ESA shortlists three space missions with major UCL contributions

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Mission themes

The European Space Agency has announced the shortlisted proposals for its next mid-sized science mission.

All three proposed spacecraft have significant contributions from UCL, which means the university will be guaranteed a role regardless of which is chosen. The candidates are in the areas of exoplanet science, plasma physics and X-ray observations of high-energy phenomena, with teams including academics at UCL Mullard Space Science Laboratory and UCL Physics & Astronomy.

ESA Announces M4 Down-selection

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ESA has announced the three missions that will undergo Phase A studies for the fourth M-class mission in the Cosmic Visions science programme. These are the Atmospheric Remote-Sensing Infrared Exoplanet Large-survey (Ariel), the Turbulence Heating ObserveR (Thor) and the X-ray Imaging Polarimetry Explorer (Xipe). MSSL scientists and engineers will be involved in the studies for all three missions.

SMILE space mission passes first hurdle

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Solar-terrestrial interactions. From left to right: Solar Dynamics Observatory image of the Sun (Credit: NASA); Earth’s magnetosphere (Credit: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration); SMILE soft X-ray imager simulation of  emission from the magnetosheath and the cusps (the large box represents the soft X-ray imager field of view and the smaller one that of the auroral UV imager); FUV aurora from IMAGE (Credit: SMILE mission)

A space mission called SMILE (Solar Wind Magnetosphere Ionosphere Link Explorer) which is jointly led by UCL and the Chinese National Space Science Center has received the go-ahead for an initial study phase this summer by the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).

Understanding space weather's threat to the finance industry

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Canary Wharf

The risk that space weather poses to our daily lives has become more prominent in recent years.

Awareness has been enhanced by dramatic solar activity that regularly features in the media and by the inclusion of space weather in the National Risk Register. Attention is now turning to the risks posed to specific sectors and on 27 May UCL held a symposium to examine space weather risk and resilience in the financial sector.

Magnetar near supermassive black hole delivers surprises

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In 2013, astronomers announced they had discovered a magnetar exceptionally close to the supermassive black hole at the centre of the Milky Way using a suite of space-borne telescopes including NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory.

Dark matter even darker than once thought

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Collage of galaxy clusters

Astronomers using observations from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory have studied how dark matter in clusters of galaxies behaves when the clusters collide.

UCL researcher strikes Bronze for physics display in Parliament

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SET for Britain

Jason Hunt (UCL Mullard Space Science Laboratory) has struck Bronze at a competition in the House of Commons, for the excellence of his physics research, walking away with a £1000 prize.

UCL scientist takes his research to Parliament

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UCL-MSSL student Edward Malina

SET for Britain Press Release

Edward Malina, 26, a PhD Research Student at Mullard Space Science Laboratory (UCL), hailing from Watford, is attending Parliament to present his physics research to a range of politicians and a panel of expert judges, as part of SET for Britain on Monday 9 March.

Highlights from the 2015 Planck Cosmology Data Release

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Artist’s rendering of the Planck satellite with view inside the telescope shields. The focal plane unit is visible as the golden collection of waveguide horns at the focus of the telescope positioned inside the thermal shields (external envelope) which protect the telescope from unwanted stray light and aids the cooling of the telescope mirrors by having a black emitting surface on the outside and a reflective one on the inside. For reference, the Earth and Sun would be located far towards the bottom left of this picture. (Credit: ESA/Planck)

New maps from ESA's Planck satellite, forming the second major data release (Feb 2015) from the project, have unveiled the 'polarised' light from the early Universe across the entire sky, revealing that the first stars formed much later than previously thought.

Venus is slowly losing its atmosphere

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New research shows how the Sun and the atmosphere of Venus interact, making the planet lose 300kg of atmospheric gas every day. The research, published in the journal Planetary and Space Science, comes from two teams led by scientists at UCL's Mullard Space Science Laboratory.

UCL to play role in world's largest solar telescope

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The UK science community has secured a pivotal role in the world's largest ground-based solar telescope, the Daniel K Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST).

UCL scientists honoured in annual RAS awards

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Two UCL scientists and one scientific collaboration led by a UCL researcher have been recognised in this year's Royal Astronomical Society Awards.

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