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Warwick Astronomy Blog

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Exploring Warwick Astronomy

This blog collects articles from Warwick Astronomy and Astrophysics group, ranging from advice on home observing, through the history and nature of night sky objects, to accounts of our own research and the life of Warwick Astronomers.

Mon 20 Jul 2020, 11:54

Rapid-forming giants could disrupt spiral protoplanetary discs

Giant planets that developed early in a star system’s life could solve a mystery of why spiral structures are not observed in young protoplanetary discs, according to a new study by University of Warwick astronomers.

A Warwick press release on work led by our Sahl Rowther.

Thu 26 Nov 2020, 13:45 | Tags: Press Releases, Exoplanets, Disks

Planetary Protection: What we still haven't learnt from the moon

In the early years of the Cold War and the Space Race, the scientific community began to raise concerns that in the rush to be the first nation to reach certain milestones, irrevocable damage could be done to the Solar System... so what have we learnt and what haven't we learnt from the race to the Moon.

Our Catriona MacDonald writes for Warwick's Habitability Global Research Priority programme. Reblogged from the Habitability GRP.

Fri 06 Nov 2020, 08:32 | Tags: Astro History, Habitability, Human Space

Next-gen astronomical survey makes its first observations toward a new understanding of the cosmos

The newly-launched SDSS-V will continue the path-breaking tradition set by the survey's previous generations, with a focus on the ever-changing night sky and the physical processes that drive these changes, from flickers and flares of supermassive black holes to the back-and-forth shifts of stars being orbited by distant worlds. The project’s consortium includes the University of Warwick, which will lead an observational survey of all stars within 325 light years of the Earth - encompassing 350,000 systems, many of which are likely to host planetary systems.

An astro press release from Warwick's press office focussing on research led by our Prof. Boris Gänsicke.

Mon 02 Nov 2020, 10:00 | Tags: Press Releases, White Dwarfs

Dragons in the Sky

In 793CE, monks writing the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle recorded sightings of dragons in the skies above northern England. While the streaks of fire they witnessed were likely the result of a meteor shower or aurorae, they weren’t the first or the last to see dragons in the night sky. Dr Elizabeth Stanway from Warwick’s Astrophysics research group looks at some of the other legends, myths and stories linking dragons and space.

Originally posted on Warwick's Knowledge Centre

Wed 28 Oct 2020, 10:34 | Tags: Astro History, Night Sky Objects, Astronomy at Home

The Crucial Need for DebrisWatch

University of Warwick astronomers are warning that orbital debris posing a threat to operational satellites is not being monitored closely enough, as they publish a new survey finding that over 75% of the orbital debris they detected could not be matched to known objects in public satellite catalogues.

A press release from Warwick Newsroom, highlighting work led by our Prof Don Pollaco, Dr Paul Chote and PhD researcher James Blake.

Thu 24 Sep 2020, 00:00 | Tags: Press Releases, Human Space

Peering through the Cloud Tops of Exoplanets

University of Warwick astronomers have shown that water vapour can potentially be detected in the atmospheres of exoplanets by peering literally over the tops of their impenetrable clouds.

A Warwick Newsroom Press Release focussing on research led by our Dr Matteo Brogi and Dr Siddharth Gandhi

Tue 22 Sep 2020, 00:00 | Tags: Press Releases, Exoplanets

The Real Tatooines?

From Gallifrey to Tatooine, planets with multiple suns feature widely in science fiction, but there are currently only ten real ‘circumbinary’ planets identified by space scientists. Dr David Armstrong from Warwick’s Astrophysics research group considers what we know about planets with two stars – and asks if life could exist there.

Originally published on Warwick's Knowledge Centre

Thu 10 Sep 2020, 10:00 | Tags: Habitability, Exoplanets

Potatoes on Mars?

Exploring habitability, on our own world and beyond, is a research priority for the University of Warwick and an interest for Warwick's Centre for Exoplanets and Habitability. Our Ares Osborn explores one aspect of this topic - growing food on Mars.

Originally published on Warwick Knowledge Centre

Tue 18 Aug 2020, 00:00 | Tags: Habitability, Human Space

‘Lost’ world’s rediscovery is step towards finding habitable planets

The rediscovery of a lost planet could pave the way for the detection of a world within the habitable ‘Goldilocks zone’ in a distant solar system. The planet, the size and mass of Saturn with an orbit of thirty-five days, is among hundreds of ‘lost’ worlds that University of Warwick astronomers are pioneering a new method to track down and characterise in the hope of finding cooler planets like those in our solar system, and even potentially habitable planets.

A press release from Warwick Newsroom

Tue 21 Jul 2020, 10:42 | Tags: Press Releases, Exoplanets

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