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Latest News and Events

Astrobiology and Planetary Exploration (APEX) Meetings

The APEX series of meetings is held on Thursdays at 1pm in the Garwood Lecture Theatre, located on the 1st Floor of the South Wing, UCL: APEX programme

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CPS News

John Guest

Guest crater on the Moon

A crater on the Moon has been named after the late John Guest (1938-2012), a pioneer in volcanology and planetary science, who inspired generations of colleagues and students at UCL for over half a century. During his time at UCL, John established the emerging disciplines of planetary geology and physical volcanology and, in 1980, he founded the first NASA Regional Planetary Image Facility outside the USA.  More...

The International Journal of Astrobiology

The intellectual and social benefits of astrobiology

In a new article soon to be published by the International Journal of Astrobiology, Professor Ian Crawford aims to explain the broader aims of astrobiology:  More...

Professor Ian Crawford

Professor Ian Crawford elected Vice President of the Royal Astronomical Society

Congratulations to CPS member Professor Ian Crawford on his recent election to the role of Vice President (Geophysics) of the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS).   A full report can be found in the Birkbeck news article linked below. More...

ANCIENT HOLDFAST This filament and clump of iron ore (lower right) may have once been a strand of microbial cells attached to rocks around hydrothermal vent openings. Credit: M. Dodd

World’s oldest fossils unearthed

Remains of microorganisms at least 3,770 million years old have been discovered by an international team led by UCL scientists and CPS members PhD student Matthew Dodd and Dr Dominic Papineau, providing direct evidence of one of the oldest life forms on Earth. More...

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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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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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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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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55 Cancri e

First detection of gases in super-Earth atmosphere

CPS members led by UCL PhD student Angelos Tsiaras have made the first successful detection of gases in the atmosphere of a super-Earth,  revealing the presence of hydrogen and helium, but no water vapour. More...

Saturn

Saturn and Enceladus produce the same amount of plasma

The first evidence that Saturn’s upper atmosphere may, when buffeted by the solar wind, emit the same total amount of mass per second into its magnetosphere as its moon, Enceladus, has been found by UCL scientists working on the Cassini mission. More...

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Page last modified on 04 feb 15 14:57 by Joanna Fabbri