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Astronomy / Space Science - Event - 10.10.2019
This Nobel Prize makes EPFL's astrophysicists proud
This Nobel Prize makes EPFL's astrophysicists proud
In 2002, EPFL awarded the distinction of doctor honoris causa to Michel Mayor, an astronomer at the University of Geneva, for discovering the first exoplanet. This past Tuesday, Mayor, along with colleague Didier Quéloz and the American scientist James Peebles, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics.

Astronomy / Space Science - Environment - 09.10.2019
Liquifying a rocky exoplanet
Liquifying a rocky exoplanet
A hot, molten Earth would be around 5% larger than its solid counterpart. This is the result of a study led by researchers at the University of Bern. The difference between molten and solid rocky planets is important for the search of Earth-like worlds beyond our Solar System and the understanding of Earth itself.

Astronomy / Space Science - 08.10.2019
Nobel Prize in Physics awarded to Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz
Nobel Prize in Physics awarded to Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz
Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz were awarded the 2019 Nobel Prize in Physics for their discovery of the first exoplanet in 1995. On October 6, 1995, Michel Mayor, Professor at the Observatory of the Faculty of Science of the University of Geneva (UNIGE), Switzerland, and the doctoral candidate Didier Queloz revolutionized the world of astrophysics when they announced the discovery of the first planet located outside our solar system.

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 26.09.2019
A planet that should not exist
A planet that should not exist
Astronomers detected a giant planet orbiting a small star. The planet has much more mass than theoretical models predict. While this surprising discovery was made by a Spanish-German team at an observatory in southern Spain, researchers at the University of Bern studied how the mysterious exoplanet might have formed.

Astronomy / Space Science - Computer Science / Telecom - 18.09.2019
Artificial intelligence probes dark matter in the universe
Artificial intelligence probes dark matter in the universe
A team of physicists and computer scientists at ETH Zurich has developed a new approach to the problem of dark matter and dark energy in the universe. Using machine learning tools, they programmed computers to teach themselves how to extract the relevant information from maps of the universe. Understanding the how our universe came to be what it is today and what will be its final destiny is one of the biggest challenges in science.

Astronomy / Space Science - 16.09.2019
The stellar nurseries of distant galaxies
The stellar nurseries of distant galaxies
An international team headed by UNIGE has discovered that the properties of molecular clouds, and the number of stars they produce, are different depending on whether they are in distant or nearby galaxies. Star clusters are formed by the condensation of molecular clouds, masses of cold, dense gas that are found in every galaxy.

Astronomy / Space Science - Earth Sciences - 29.08.2019
Hints of a volcanically active exomoon
Hints of a volcanically active exomoon
A rocky extrasolar moon (exomoon) with bubbling lava may orbit a planet 550 light-years away from us. This is suggested by an international team of researchers led by the University of Bern on the basis of theoretical predictions matching observations. The "exo-Io" would appear to be an extreme version of Jupiter's moon Io.

Physics - Astronomy / Space Science - 28.08.2019
Providing a solution to the worst-ever prediction in physics
Providing a solution to the worst-ever prediction in physics
A UNIGE physicist has proposed a new approach to solving one of the biggest theoretical problems in physics: the cosmological constant. The cosmological constant, introduced a century ago by Albert Einstein in his theory of general relativity, is a thorn in the side of physicists. The difference between the theoretical prediction of this parameter and its measurement based on astronomical observations is of the order of 10121.

Astronomy / Space Science - Environment - 09.05.2019
Rare-Earth metals in the atmosphere of a glowing-hot exoplanet
KELT-9 b is the hottest exoplanet known to date. In the summer of 2018, a joint team of astronomers from the universities of Bern and Geneva found signatures of gaseous iron and titanium in its atmosphere. Now these researchers have also been able to detect traces of vaporized sodium, magnesium, chromium, and the rare-Earth metals scandium and yttrium.

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 29.04.2019
Positive outcome from the CLASP-II solar physics experiment that involved IRSOL
Positive outcome from the CLASP-II solar physics experiment that involved IRSOL
Some of the CLASP-II scientists pose for a photograph in front of the rocket at White Sands Missile Range (New Mexico, USA) (image: U.S. Army, Louis Rosales) On April 11, 2019, at the NASA facility at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico (USA), the successful launch of a sounding rocket was performed as part of the "Chromospheric LAyer Spectro-Polarimeter" experiment (CLASP-II).

Physics - Astronomy / Space Science - 24.04.2019
Researchers Observe Slowest Atom Decay Ever Measured
Researchers Observe Slowest Atom Decay Ever Measured
The XENON1T detector is mainly used to detect dark matter particles deep underground. But a research team led by Zurich physicists, among others, has now managed to observe an extremely rare process using the detector - the decay of the Xenon-124 atom, which has an enormously long half-life of 1.8 x 10^22 years.

Astronomy / Space Science - 17.04.2019
Five planets revealed after 20 years of observation
Five planets revealed after 20 years of observation
A team of astronomers led by the UNIGE has discovered five new planets with periods of revolution between 15 and 40 years. It took 20 years of regular observations to achieve this result. Over 4000 exoplanets have been discovered since the first one in 1995, but the vast majority of them orbit their stars with relatively short periods of revolution.

Astronomy / Space Science - 10.04.2019
First image of a black hole
First image of a black hole
The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) - a planet-scale array of eight ground-based radio telescopes forged through international collaboration - was designed to capture images of a black hole. Today, in coordinated press conferences across the globe, EHT researchers reveal that they have succeeded, unveiling the first direct visual evidence of a supermassive black hole and its shadow.

Astronomy / Space Science - Computer Science / Telecom - 13.03.2019
Neural networks predict planet mass
To find out how planets form astrophysicists run complicated and time consuming computer calculations. Members of the NCCR PlanetS at the University of Bern have now developed a totally novel approach to speed up this process dramatically. They use deep learning based on artificial neural networks, a method that is well known in image recognition.

Astronomy / Space Science - Environment - 12.02.2019
"Better to dry a rocky planet before use"
Earth's solid surface and clement climate may be in part due to a massive star in the birth environment of the Sun. Without its radioactive elements injected into the early solar system, our home planet could be a hostile ocean world covered in global ice sheets. This is demonstrated by computer simulations in which the National Centre of Competence in Research PlanetS, based at the University of Bern, was involved.

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 14.01.2019
Measurement of five flashes from the depths of the universe
Measurement of five flashes from the depths of the universe
First-time precise measurement of gamma-ray bursts conducted successfully from a space station A detector called POLAR, developed at PSI, has been sent to outer space to collect data. In September 2016, the device was launched into Earth orbit on board the newest Chinese space station. From that vantage point, POLAR recorded so-called gamma-ray bursts flashing in the far reaches of the universe.

Astronomy / Space Science - 16.10.2018
Journey to Mercury with Involvement from Bern
Journey to Mercury with Involvement from Bern
On Saturday 20 October 2018, at 03:45 a.m. CET, the BepiColombo space probe is to set off on its journey to Mercury from the European spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. On board the European Space Agency (ESA) and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)'s joint space probe are instruments which were designed and built at the Physics Institute of the University of Bern: the laser altimeter BELA-the largest and most sensitive instrument of the mission-and the innovative mass spectrometer STROFIO.

Astronomy / Space Science - Environment - 09.10.2018
The Stuff that Planets Are Made of
Is there a second Earth out there in space? Our knowledge of planetary systems far, far away is increasing constantly, as new technologies continue to sharpen our gaze into space. To date, 3,700 planets have already been discovered outside our solar system. The planetary masses and radii of these exoplanets can be used to infer their mean density, but not their exact chemical composition and structure.

Astronomy / Space Science - 08.10.2018
A rare star opens a window on the beginning of time
A rare star opens a window on the beginning of time
EPFL astrophysicists actively participated in the discovery of a very rare star, which is particularly old and metal-poor. As a messenger from the distant past, it will allow the scientists to learn more about the young Universe, right after the Big Bang. "We made a major discovery, which questions our understanding of the formation of the first generations of stars in the universe".

Environment - Astronomy / Space Science - 04.10.2018
Satellite pictures reveal the condition of lakes
Satellite pictures reveal the condition of lakes
When does the poisonous blue alga reach its critical point and how does the lake react to heat waves' In the future, satellite pictures will answer these questions in real time. This is demonstrated by an Eawag researcher's new dataset. Hardly any other ecosystem is more strongly affected by environmental changes than fresh-water lakes.
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