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Physics - Astronomy / Space - 16.07.2024
Neutrino interaction rates measured at unprecedented energies
Neutrino interaction rates measured at unprecedented energies
A team including researchers from the Laboratory for High Energy Physics at the University of Bern has successfully measured the interaction rates of neutrinos at unprecedented energies using the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN. A better understanding of these elusive elementary particles can help answer the question of why there is more matter than antimatter in the universe.

Astronomy / Space - Environment - 15.07.2024
How climate change is altering the Earth’s rotation
When the Earth's ice masses melt, the way the planet rotates also changes. Researchers at ETH Zurich have now been able to show how climate change is altering the Earth's axis of rotation and the length of the day. The speed of rotation, which was hitherto mainly influenced by the moon, will now also depend much more on the climate.

Astronomy / Space - Earth Sciences - 28.06.2024
New class of Mars quakes reveals daily meteorite strikes
New class of Mars quakes reveals daily meteorite strikes
An international team of researchers combine orbital imagery with seismological data from NASA's Mars InSight lander to derive a new impact rate for meteorite strikes on Mars. Seismology also offers a new tool for determining the density of Mars' craters and the age of different regions of a planet.

Astronomy / Space - Campus - 27.06.2024
The density difference of sub-Neptunes finally deciphered
The density difference of sub-Neptunes finally deciphered
An international team has shown the existence of two distinct populations of sub-Neptunes, resolving a debate in the scientific community. The majority of stars in our galaxy are home to planets. The most abundant are the sub-Neptunes, planets between the size of Earth and Neptune. Calculating their density poses a problem for scientists: depending on the method used to measure their mass, two populations are highlighted, the dense and the less dense.

Astronomy / Space - Physics - 17.06.2024
High-precision measurements challenge the understanding of Cepheids
High-precision measurements challenge the understanding of Cepheids
Scientists, through the VELOCE project, have clocked the speed of Cepheid stars - "standard candles" that help us measure the size of the universe - with unprecedented precision, offering exciting new insights about them. Photo: RS Puppis , one of the most luminous Cepheid variable star s, rhythmically brightens and dims over a six-week cycle.

Astronomy / Space - Earth Sciences - 10.06.2024
First detection of frost on the Solar System's tallest volcanoes on Mars
First detection of frost on the Solar System’s tallest volcanoes on Mars
For the first time, water frost has been detected on the colossal volcanoes on Mars, which are the largest mountains in the Solar System. The international team led by the University of Bern used high-resolution color images from the Bernese Mars camera, CaSSIS, onboard the European Space Agency's ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter spacecraft.

Astronomy / Space - 14.05.2024
Discovery of a planet around an ultra-cool star
Artist's concept of the exoplanet SPECULOOS-3 b orbiting its ultra-cool red dwarf star. The planet is as big as Earth, while its star is slightly larger than Jupiter, but much more massive. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech An international team of astronomers - including members of the NCCR PlanetS , the University of Geneva and the University of Bern (UNIBE) - has discovered, for only the second time, an Earth-sized exoplanet (SPECULOOS-3 b) around an ultra-cool Red Dwarf star.

Astronomy / Space - Earth Sciences - 08.05.2024
Hints of a possible atmosphere around a rocky exoplanet
Hints of a possible atmosphere around a rocky exoplanet
Researchers using NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope may have detected an atmosphere surrounding 55 Cancri e, a rocky exoplanet 41 light-years from Earth. This is the best evidence to date for a rocky planet atmosphere outside our solar system. Brice-Olivier Demory, Professor of Astrophysics at the University of Bern and member of the the National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) PlanetS, was part of the international research team that just published the results in Nature.

Astronomy / Space - Physics - 24.04.2024
Eruption of mega-magnetic star lights up nearby galaxy
Eruption of mega-magnetic star lights up nearby galaxy
Thanks to ESA satellites, an international team including researchers has detected a giant eruption coming from a magnetar, an extremely magnetic neutron star. While ESA's satellite INTEGRAL was observing the sky, it spotted a burst of gamma-rays - high-energy photons - coming from the nearby galaxy M82.

Astronomy / Space - Physics - 16.04.2024
Gaia spots a large dormant black hole in our Galaxy
Gaia spots a large dormant black hole in our Galaxy
A high-mass stellar black hole has been discovered in preliminary data from the Gaia satellite by an international team led by astronomers from the University of Geneva. Wading through the inestimable wealth of data from ESA's Gaia mission, a team of scientists, including astronomers from the University of Geneva , uncovered a ''sleeping'' giant.

Astronomy / Space - 15.04.2024
How Pluto got its heart
How Pluto got its heart
The mystery of how Pluto got a giant heart-shaped feature on its surface has finally been solved by an international team of astrophysicists led by the University of Bern. The team is the first to successfully reproduce the unusual shape with numerical simulations, attributing it to a giant and slow oblique-angle impact.

Astronomy / Space - 08.04.2024
Largest 3D map of the universe ever made
Largest 3D map of the universe ever made
The first results from the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument, or DESI, project, with significant contributions from EPFL astrophysicists, has mapped galaxies and quasars with unprecedented detail measuring how fast the universe expanded over 11 billion years. The Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument project, an international collaboration of more than 900 researchers from over 70 institutions around the world including EPFL, has released its first results - a map of galaxies and quasars with unprecedented detail, creating the largest 3D map of the universe ever made.

Astronomy / Space - Earth Sciences - 05.04.2024
CHEOPS detects a ''rainbow'' on an exoplanet
CHEOPS detects a ’’rainbow’’ on an exoplanet
New observations from the space telescope point to the existence of a 'glory' in the atmosphere of WASP-76b, a luminous phenomenon like a rainbow. The CHEOPS space telescope, whose scientific operations centre is based at the University of Geneva , is providing new information on the mysterious exoplanet WASP-76b.

Astronomy / Space - Physics - 15.03.2024
The baritone of Red Giants refines cosmic distance measurements
The baritone of Red Giants refines cosmic distance measurements
A fresh look at red giant stars offers key insights into cosmic distance measurements and a way to measure the Universe's expansion with the highest accuracy. In a constantly expanding universe, measuring cosmic distances is like trying to find a reliable ruler in a vast, ever-stretching fabric. One tool that astrophysicists use is the Hubble constant, (H0), which measures how fast the Universe is expanding and sets the age and observable size of the Universe.

Astronomy / Space - Earth Sciences - 28.02.2024
Do we have cosmic dust to thank for life on Earth?
Do we have cosmic dust to thank for life on Earth?
It might be that what set prebiotic chemistry in motion and kept it going in the early days of the Earth was dust from outer space accumulating in holes melted into ice sheets. Researchers at ETH Zurich and the University of Cambridge have used a computer model to test this scenario. Before life existed on Earth, there had to be chemistry to form organic molecules from the chemical elements nitrogen, sulphur, carbon and phosphorus.

Astronomy / Space - Earth Sciences - 26.02.2024
Earth as a test object
Earth as a test object
Physicists at ETH Zurich and the University of Zurich wanted to know whether the planned LIFE space mission could really detect traces of life on other planets. Yes, it can. The researchers reached this conclusion with the help of observations of our own planet. Life is indeed possible on Earth. This has been demonstrated in a study conducted by the Institute of Particle Physics and Astrophysics at ETH Zurich.

Astronomy / Space - 26.02.2024
Impact of the DART space probe could have deformed an asteroid
Thanks to simulations with a software system developed at the University of Bern, an international team under Bernese leadership has provided important insights into the impact of NASA's DART space probe on the asteroid Dimorphos: it is very likely that not just a crater was created, but the entire asteroid was reshaped.

Astronomy / Space - Earth Sciences - 09.02.2024
Water-worlds, the key to an exoplanet enigma
Water-worlds, the key to an exoplanet enigma
Exoplanets with a radius twice that of the Earth are rare. A team from MPIA, UNIGE and UNIBE has come up with new explanations. Why are so few exoplanets about twice the size of Earth detected? On the basis of computer simulations, a team from the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy (MPIA) and the Universities of Geneva (UNIGE) and Bern (UNIBE) has confirmed that the migration of sub-Neptunes planets - water-worlds - could explain this absence.

Astronomy / Space - Physics - 18.01.2024
Moon rocks with unique dust found
Moon rocks with unique dust found
A research team from the University of Münster has discovered for the first time meter-sized rocks on the surface of the moon that are covered in dust and presumably have unique properties - magnetic anomalies, for example. The findings help to understand the processes that form and change the lunar crust.

Astronomy / Space - Physics - 15.12.2023
Scientists measure the distance to stars by their music
Scientists measure the distance to stars by their music
A team of astronomers has used asteroseismology, or the study of stellar oscillations, to accurately measure the distance of stars from the Earth. Their research examined thousands of stars and checked the measurements taken during the Gaia mission to study the near Universe. For most of us, the countless bright spots in the nighttime sky all seem to be stars.
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