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Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 15.01.2020
Interstellar journey of life's building block phosphorus unveiled
Interstellar journey of life’s building block phosphorus unveiled
Phosphorus, present in our DNA and cell membranes, is an essential element for life. But how it became available on the early Earth when life appeared here about 4 billion years ago is something of a mystery. For the first time, astronomers - among them researchers from the University of Bern - have now been able to show that molecules with phosphorus are formed in star-forming regions and probably came to Earth with comets.

Astronomy / Space Science - 13.01.2020
Meteorite contains the oldest material on Earth
Meteorite contains the oldest material on Earth
Researchers determined the age of stardust from a meteorite to be seven billion years - the oldest solid material ever found on Earth. Stars have life cycles. They're born when bits of dust and gas floating through space find each other and collapse in on each other and heat up. They burn for millions to billions of years, and then they die.

Astronomy / Space Science - 08.01.2020
Cosmic magnifying glasses show faster expanding universe
Cosmic magnifying glasses show faster expanding universe
New measurements using gravitational lensing, an innovative method that EPFL researchers have been working on for many years, suggest the universe is expanding faster than previously thought. A team of astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have announced that the universe is expanding faster than expected.

Physics - Astronomy / Space Science - 08.01.2020
A neural network as an anchor point
A neural network as an anchor point
Quantum mechanics is a well-established theory, but at a macroscopic level it leads to intractable contradictions. Now ETH physicists are proposing to resolve the problem with the aid of neural networks. Necessity is the mother of invention.

Astronomy / Space Science - 18.12.2019
CHEOPS launched successfully
CHEOPS launched successfully
Following the successful launch of CHEOPS, and once routine tests of the satellite in orbit have been completed, operations are set to begin at the end of March 2020 and last around four years.

Astronomy / Space Science - Chemistry - 09.12.2019
Stardust from red giants
Stardust from red giants
Some of the Earth's building material was stardust from red giants, researchers from ETH Zurich have established. They can also explain why the Earth contains more of this stardust than the asteroids or the planet Mars, which are farther from the sun. Around 4.5 million years ago, an interstellar molecular cloud collapsed.

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.
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