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Astronomy / Space Science - Chemistry - 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.

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 - 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".

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 02.10.2018
New tool helps scientists better target the search for alien life
New tool helps scientists better target the search for alien life
An EPFL scientist has developed a novel approach that boosts the chances of finding extraterrestrial intelligence in our galaxy. His method uses probability theory to calculate the possibility of detecting an extraterrestrial signal (if there is one) at a given distance from Earth.

Astronomy / Space Science - 21.09.2018
Space research: What happens to soils in weightlessness?
Space research: What happens to soils in weightlessness?
In the future, astronauts on long missions in space will have to take care of their own farming. But will that even work? An unusual experiment by Eawag researcher was designed to find some of the answers. Life on our planet has always been under the influence of gravity. But how would soils, plants and other organisms react in a zero-gravity situation? Scientists have been puzzling over this question since last decades until now, and Eawag hydrologist and soil physicist, Joaquin Jimenez-Martinez and his colleagues are also keen to understand how zero gravity affects soil processes.

Astronomy / Space Science - Innovation / Technology - 07.09.2018
Scientists sketch out the foundations of a colony on Mars
Scientists sketch out the foundations of a colony on Mars
EPFL scientists have mapped out the steps required to build a self-sustaining research base on Mars that would be habitable for the long term. Their work can help researchers set priorities for space programs exploring Mars as well as the solar system as a whole. If there was ever life on Mars, its traces are most likely to be found at the planet's poles.

Astronomy / Space Science - 27.08.2018
Jupiter had growth disorders
Jupiter had growth disorders
How Jupiter was formed? Data collected from meteorites had indicated that the growth of the giant planet had been delayed for two million years. Now the researchers have found an explanation: Collisions with kilometer-sized blocks generated high energy, which meant that in this phase hardly any accretion of gas could take place and the planet could only grow slowly.

Astronomy / Space Science - 23.08.2018
New comet models thanks to
New comet models thanks to "Chury" data
The MiARD project (Multi-instrument Analysis of Rosetta Data) was a 30-month international research project led by the University of Bern to make the best use of the vast amount of data produced by the Rosetta mission. The most important results, models and an artistic project on MiARD have now been presented.

Astronomy / Space Science - Chemistry - 23.08.2018
Iron and titanium discovered in the atmosphere of an exoplanet
Iron and titanium discovered in the atmosphere of an exoplanet
For the first time, researchers of the universities of Bern and Geneva have proven the presence of iron and titanium in the atmosphere of an exoplanet. The existence of these elements in gas form was theoretically predicted by a team led by the Bernese astronomer Kevin Heng and has now been confirmed by Geneva-based astronomers.

Earth Sciences - Astronomy / Space Science - 19.07.2018
Aquatic research from an altitude of 800 km
Aquatic research from an altitude of 800 km
Thanks to Copernicus - the EU Earth Observation Programme initiated in 2014 - environmental researchers now have access to vast amounts of high-quality satellite data. As this is also invaluable for aquatic research, Eawag is currently expanding its capacity in the area of remote sensing. "That's probably the most successful proposal I've ever made!" says Professor Johny WŁest, his eyes sparkling.

Astronomy / Space Science - Innovation / Technology - 26.06.2018
How to find signs of life in space
How to find signs of life in space
A series of new papers, that lay out strategies to search for signs of life beyond our solar system, assume that the detection of atmospheric signatures of a few potentially habitable planets may possibly come before 2030. Three years ago, NASA has gathered researchers from around the world to support and accelerate techniques to answer the question: Are we alone?

Astronomy / Space Science - Innovation / Technology - 25.06.2018
Where Medical Technology and Astrophysics Meet
Where Medical Technology and Astrophysics Meet
At the University of Bern, astrophysicists of the Center for Space and Habitability (CSH) teamed up with medical technology researchers to develop a new method to analyse spectra of atmospheres of planets beyond our solar system. The unusual collaboration applied an artificial intelligence tool to study the chemistry of exoplanetary atmospheres.

Astronomy / Space Science - 21.05.2018
Cosmic ravioli and spaetzle
Cosmic ravioli and spaetzle
The small inner moons of Saturn look like giant ravioli and spaetzle. Their spectacular shape has been revealed by the Cassini spacecraft. For the first time, researchers of the University of Bern show how these moons were formed. The peculiar shapes are a natural outcome of merging collisions among similar-sized little moons as computer simulations demonstrate.
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