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Astronomy / Space Science - 29.06.2022
Simulate defense of the Earth
Simulate defense of the Earth
NASA's Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission is the world's first full-scale planetary defense test against potential asteroid impacts on Earth. Researchers of the University of Bern and the National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) PlanetS now show that instead of leaving behind a relatively small crater, the impact of the DART spacecraft on its target could leave the asteroid near unrecognizable.

Astronomy / Space Science - Earth Sciences - 27.06.2022
Long-term liquid water also on non-Earth-like planets?
Long-term liquid water also on non-Earth-like planets?
Liquid water is an important prerequisite for life to develop on a planet. As researchers from the University of Bern, the University of Zurich and the National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) PlanetS report in a new study, liquid water could also exist for billions of years on planets that are very different from Earth.

Astronomy / Space Science - Earth Sciences - 09.06.2022
Ground-breaking number of brown dwarfs discovered
Ground-breaking number of brown dwarfs discovered
Brown dwarfs, mysterious objects that straddle the line between stars and planets, are essential to our understanding of both stellar and planetary populations. However, only 40 brown dwarfs could be imaged around stars in almost three decades of searches. An international team led by researchers from the Open University and the University of Bern directly imaged a remarkable four new brown dwarfs thanks to a new innovative search method.

Physics - Astronomy / Space Science - 31.05.2022
The Sun is spinning round again
The Sun is spinning round again
An international team led by astronomers from the UNIGE has succeeded in developing a model to solve part of the 'solar problem'. All was amiss with the Sun! In the early 2000s, a new set of data brought down the chemical abundances at the surface of the Sun, contradicting the values predicted by the standard models used by astrophysicists.

Environment - Astronomy / Space Science - 19.05.2022
Satellite Monitoring of Biodiversity Moves Within Reach
Satellite Monitoring of Biodiversity Moves Within Reach
Global biodiversity assessments require the collection of data on changes in plant biodiversity on an ongoing basis. Researchers from the universities of Zurich and Montréal have now shown that plant communities can be reliably monitored using imaging spectroscopy, which in the future will be possible via satellite.

Astronomy / Space Science - Chemistry - 25.02.2022
Cosmic web orchestrates the progression of galaxies
Cosmic web orchestrates the progression of galaxies
The shape of galaxies and how they evolve depend on a web of cosmological filaments that run across the Universe. According to a recent study headed by EPFL's Laboratory of Astrophysics, this cosmic web plays a much bigger role than previously thought. Across the Universe, galaxies are distributed along what's called the cosmic web, a complex network of filaments made up of ordinary and dark matter.

Astronomy / Space Science - 10.02.2022
ESPRESSO detects the lightest exoplanet
ESPRESSO detects the lightest exoplanet
Thanks to the ESPRESSO spectrograph developed at the University of Geneva, an international team has discovered an ultralight exoplanet in orbit around Proxima Centauri, our closest neighbour. An international team including researchers from the University of Geneva has detected a third candidate planet around our closest neighbor, the star Proxima Centauri.

Astronomy / Space Science - Earth Sciences - 28.01.2022
Extreme exoplanet has a complex and exotic atmosphere
Extreme exoplanet has a complex and exotic atmosphere
An international team including researchers from the University of Bern and the University of Geneva as well as the National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) PlanetS analyzed the atmosphere of one of the most extreme known planets in great detail. The results from this hot, Jupiter-like planet that was first characterized with the help of the CHEOPS space telescope, may help astronomers understand the complexities of many other exoplanets - including Earth-like planets.

Astronomy / Space Science - 11.01.2022
CHEOPS reveals a rugby ball-shaped exoplanet
CHEOPS reveals a rugby ball-shaped exoplanet
A research team involving the Universities of Bern and Geneva has identified the strong tidal influence on WASP-103b. With the help of the CHEOPS space telescope, an international team including researchers from the Universities of Bern and Geneva as well as the National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) PlanetS, was able to detect the deformation of an exoplanet for the first time.

Astronomy / Space Science - Earth Sciences - 07.01.2022
Eccentric exoplanet discovered
Eccentric exoplanet discovered
Led by the University of Bern, an international research team has discovered a sub-Neptune exoplanet orbiting a red dwarf star. The discovery was also made thanks to observations performed by the SAINT-EX observatory in Mexico. SAINT-EX is run by a consortium including the Center for Space and Habitability (CSH) at the University of Bern and the National Center of Competence in Research NCCR PlanetS.

Astronomy / Space Science - 11.11.2021
Discovering exoplanets using artificial intelligence
Discovering exoplanets using artificial intelligence
By implementing artificial intelligence techniques similar to those used in autonomous cars, a team from the UNIGE and the UniBE, in partnership with the company Disaitek, has discovered a new method for detecting exoplanets. The majority of exoplanets discovered to date have been discovered using the transit method.

Astronomy / Space Science - 27.10.2021
The upside-down orbits of a multi-planetary system
The upside-down orbits of a multi-planetary system
Astronomers led by the UNIGE have discovered exoplanets that orbit in planes at 90 degrees from each other. When planets form, they usually continue their orbital evolution in the equatorial plane of their star. However, an international team, led by astronomers from the University of Geneva , Switzerland, has discovered that the exoplanets of a star in the constellation Pisces orbit in planes perpendicular to each other, with the innermost planet the only one still orbiting in the equatorial plane.

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 14.10.2021
The planet does not fall far from the star
The planet does not fall far from the star
A compositional link between planets and their respective host star has long been assumed in astronomy. For the first time now, a team of scientists, with the participation of researchers of the National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) PlanetS from the University of Bern and the University of Zürich, deliver empirical evidence to support the assumption - and partly contradict it at the same time.

Astronomy / Space Science - Environment - 13.10.2021
Did Venus, Earth's twin sister, ever have oceans?
Did Venus, Earth’s twin sister, ever have oceans?
Astrophysicists led by the UNIGE and the NCCR PlanetS have investigated the past of Venus to find out whether Earth's sister planet once had oceans. The planet Venus can be seen as the Earth's evil twin. At first sight, it is of comparable mass and size as our home planet, similarly consists mostly of rocky material, holds some water and has an atmosphere.

Astronomy / Space Science - 22.09.2021
Very old Universe reveals new galaxies
Very old Universe reveals new galaxies
Scientists serendipitously discover two heavily dust-enshrouded galaxies that formed when the Universe was only 5% of its present age. While investigating the data of young, distant galaxies observed with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array, Yoshinobu Fudamoto from Waseda University and the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan noticed unexpected emissions coming from seemingly empty regions in space that, a global research team confirmed, came actually from two hitherto undiscovered galaxies heavily obscured by cosmic dust.

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 08.09.2021
Surprise: the Milky Way is not homogeneous
Surprise: the Milky Way is not homogeneous
Astronomers from the UNIGE have observed the composition of the gases in our galaxy and have shown that, contrary to the models established until now, they are not homogeneously mixed. In order to better understand the history and evolution of the Milky Way, astronomers are studying the composition of the gases and metals that make up an important part of our galaxy.

Physics - Astronomy / Space Science - 19.08.2021
Researchers from IRSOL and IAC solve twenty-year-old paradox in solar physics
Researchers from IRSOL and IAC solve twenty-year-old paradox in solar physics
In 1998, the journal Nature published a seminal letter concluding that a mysterious signal, which had been recently discovered analysing the polarization of sunlight, implies that the solar chromosphere (a very important layer of the solar atmosphere) is practically unmagnetised, in sharp contradiction with common wisdom.

Astronomy / Space Science - Environment - 29.07.2021
Small force, big effect: How the planets could influence the sun
Small force, big effect: How the planets could influence the sun
A new theory supports the controversial hypothesis that the planets affect solar activity. It puts forward a mechanism by which the very small influence of the planets could exert its rhythm on such a large system as the Sun. If the theory is confirmed, it could possibly be used to predict solar activity more accurately.

Physics - Astronomy / Space Science - 26.07.2021
On eternal imbalance
On eternal imbalance
Some physical systems, especially in the quantum world, do not reach a stable equilibrium even after a long time. An ETH researcher has now found an elegant explanation for this phenomenon. If you put a bottle of beer in a big bathtub full of ice-cold water, it won't be long before you can enjoy a cold beer.

Astronomy / Space Science - Earth Sciences - 22.07.2021
Advancing to the core thanks to marsquakes
Advancing to the core thanks to marsquakes
Researchers at ETH Zurich and the University of Zurich have been able to use seismic data to look inside Mars for the first time. Marsquakes recorded by NASA's InSight lander provided information about the structure of the planet's crust, mantle and core. We know that Earth is made up of layers: a thin crust of light, solid rock surrounds a thick mantle of heavy, viscous rock, which in turn envelopes a core consisting mainly of iron and nickel.
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