All these worlds…

Ben Fernando This blog wasn’t originally going to be about exoplanets, but given exciting NASA announcements on this subject in the last few months I couldn’t resist. To anyone who follows science news, the discoveries of planets orbiting other stars (exoplanets) has been one of the hottest topics of the last few years. Worlds with... Continue Reading →


The Great American Eclipse

Isabelle Taylor I remember seeing a solar eclipse from London in 1999, and even though I was very young at the time it’s an experience I’ve never forgotten. One of the great things about doing a PhD is the opportunity to travel- a chance to see new places and meet new people. In the last... Continue Reading →

An Event to Eclipse all others

Matt Brown Sorry about the title, I’m sure that pun has been made thousands of times before. But to be honest, right now – over a week since it happened – I still can’t think of a better way to describe it. We’re somewhere in the middle of the emptiness that is the sandhills of... Continue Reading →

Penguins – a life amongst space dust

Martin Suttle and Fiona Jones In our collective mind’s eye, we imagine Antarctica as a bitterly cold, endless expanse of ice and snow, where brave adventurers from past ages hauled sledges to the South Pole. In this near-pristine environment, almost free from human activity, a flightless bird makes its home. Four species of penguin endure... Continue Reading →

Interview: From Cosmochemist to Cosmonaut? GW4+ Student and BBC Astronaut Candidate Tim Gregory

Lucy Kissick As NASA and SpaceX reveal their increasingly-extraordinary plans for spaceflight and interplanetary colonisation, a lowly DTP student could be forgiven for feeling distant from this glamorous, seemingly untouchable world of astronautical advancement. But third-year geologist Tim Gregory, with neighbouring DTP the GW4+, has brought the subject rather closer to home. More precisely, to... Continue Reading →

Cassini’s Swan Song

Kaja Fenn On 15th September Cassini will begin its journey into Saturn’s thick atmosphere. There its last bit of fuel will be used to point its antenna towards the Earth. Eventually it will lose its battle against the atmospheric forces causing it to spin, severing its radio link with the Earth. Just before 13:00 (BST)... Continue Reading →

The Geysers of Enceladus

Ben Fernando In 1979 the twin Voyager spacecraft flew past Saturn, photographing its stunning ring system, dynamic atmosphere and many of its moons. Hitherto unseen features were revealed, but a myriad of mysteries were also uncovered. Titan, the planet’s largest moon, had a hydrocarbon atmosphere which was totally opaque to the probes’ instruments. The origin... Continue Reading →

Where no one has gone before

Ben Fernando In the summer of 1965 Gary Flandro was a young graduate student working at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. His task was to consider possible spacecraft trajectories for travel to the unexplored outer planets in our Solar System: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. Even if launched with the most powerful... Continue Reading →

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