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Concept view of the ARIEL spacecraft. Credit: ESA

ARIEL mission to reveal 'Brave New Worlds' among exoplanets

An ambitious European mission is being planned to answer fundamental questions about how planetary systems form and evolve. ARIEL will investigate the atmospheres of several hundreds planets orbiting distant stars. It is one of three candidate missions selected last month by the European Space Agency (ESA) for its next medium class science mission, due for launch in 2026.  The ARIEL mission concept has been developed by a consortium of more than 50 institutes from 12 countries, including UK, France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Belgium, Austria, Denmark, Ireland, Portugal.  The mission will be presented today at the Pathways 2015 conference in Bern, Switzerland, by ARIEL’s Principal Investigator, Prof Giovanna Tinetti of UCL.  More...

Professor Bruce Swinyard

In memoriam: Professor Bruce Swinyard

May 22nd 2015 More...

Polarisation of the Cosmic Microwave Background

A brand new sky from Planck

New maps from ESA's Planck satellite, forming the second major data release (February 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. More...



It is with great regret that we must announce the death of Dr William (Bill) M. Glencross. More...

The Astrophysics Group of UCL's Dept of Physics & Astronomy

We are one of the largest astrophysics groups in the UK, comprising about 90 members of academic, research and support staff. Our research areas cover massive stars, star formation, interstellar and circumstellar processes, astrochemistry, cosmology, galaxy formation and evolution, extra-solar planets, atmospheric physics and instrumentation. An overview of the group's research can be found in the most recent Departmental Annual Review.

Our group members are also playing leadership roles in many international projects, covering a time line from the present to 2020 or so.  They include the Dark Energy Survey, DESI, Euclid, the Hubble Space Telescope, JWST, SPICA, Cassini, Laplace / JUICE, EChO, LOFAR, Planck, Herschel, e-MERLIN and ALMA. In addition, we are part of UCL's Institute of Origins which promotes inter-departmental research, including with UCL's MSSL Astrophysics Group.

Head of Group: Prof. Mike Barlow
Administrator:  Mrs Kay Nakum

2015 Royal Society and STFC Fellowship Application Deadlines

The Royal Society have set a September 03rd 2015 deadline for applications for their University Research Fellowship scheme. Our internal deadline for the receipt of completed UCL costing forms for RSURF applications is August 06th;the UCL forms that need to be completed can be obtained from Ms Kay Nakum, (k.nakum@ucl.ac.uk) and should be returned by August 6th to Ms Jen Barrett (j.barrett@ucl.ac.uk). Applicants should send their draft 3-page research case and CV/publication list to Professor Mike Barlow (mjb@star.ucl.ac.uk) before August 19th in order that feedback on their case can be provided before the Royal Society deadline.

The STFC have set a deadline of Thursday September 24th 2015 for applications for Ernest Rutherford Fellowships. Potential applicants should send draft 3-page science cases plus CVs (including a list of publications) to Ms Kay Nakum (k.nakum@ucl.ac.uk) by Tuesday August 18th. We will then rank the applications and let candidates know within 10 days whether we are able to include them within the applicant quota limit assigned to us by STFC, so that UCL costing forms can be completed and submitted by applicants in time. Informal enquiries can be addressed to Professor Mike Barlow (mjb@star.ucl.ac.uk).

STFC encourages returners to research and our quota limit will not apply to any applications from candidates who are intending to return to research from a career break (normally of at least two years). Ernest Rutherford Fellowship applications from returners may be submitted in excess of the departmental limit. Returner applications will be judged solely on the applicantʼs track record prior to their career break. The STFC Fellowship Panel will look to the track record for evidence of the qualities of excellence and potential expected of a fellowship holder.

Current vacancies in the Astrophysics group are listed on the Physics and Astronomy Vacancies page. 

Neutrino Jelly Beans
Cosmology Stars and Galaxies Instrumentation Planetary Science: Earth, Solar System and Exoplanets

Page last modified on 27 jul 15 12:16