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UCL to lead European mission to study new planets

UCL is leading a multi-million pound European mission to study newly discovered planets after it was selected today as the next European Space Agency science mission. More...

Data on 400 million astronomical objects released

Scientists on the Dark Energy Survey (DES), which includes UCL Astrophysics Group (P&A) researchers, announce their first three years of data including information on about 400 million astronomical objects such as distant galaxies billions of light years away as well as stars in our own galaxy. More...

Professor Hiranya Peiris

Professor Hiranya Peiris shares Breakthrough Prize for early universe mapping

A leading UCL cosmologist has shared this year’s $3 million Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics for creating detailed maps of the early Universe. More...

Nasa Crop

Catching the first light from a gravitational wave event

Light and gravitational waves produced by the same event – a pair of neutron stars exploding – have been detected for the first time by a huge international collaboration involving UCL researchers. More...

UCL-led Twinkle exoplanet mission completes design milestone

27 June 2016

Twinkle, a mission led by UCL scientists that will unravel the story of planets in our galaxy, has completed a key design milestone.  The results of the “payload study” demonstrate that Twinkle’s instruments will be able to achieve the mission’s science objectives.

Twinkle illustration

Twinkle’s will analyse light transmitted through, and emitted or reflected by, the atmospheres of exoplanets in order to give radical insights into worlds orbiting distant stars.

“This is a big step for Twinkle,” said Dr Giorgio Savini (UCL Physics and Astronomy), and Twinkle’s Payload Lead, who is responsible for the study. “We can now demonstrate that Twinkle will have the agility, stability and sensitivity required to pick out this light, analyse the spectra and allow us to extract information on the gases present.”

Twinkle Exploded View

The Twinkle spacecraft will be constructed by the world-leading small satellite company, Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL), and will carry a payload weighing less than 100kg that includes the scientific instrumentation, electronics, a cooling system and a fine guidance system.

The whole payload package is about the size of a water boiler and will be built by a consortium of UK companies and institutions.  The UCL Mullard Space Science Laboratory is responsible for the overall mechanical design.

Page last modified on 27 jun 16 13:48