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An artist’s impression of the dark side of ultra-hot Jupiter WASP-121b. Credit: Patricia Klein / MPIA, CC BY-SA

Ruby clouds and water behaving strangely – what we found when studying an exoplanet’s dark side

Since astronomers discovered the first planet orbiting a star other than the Sun, we have found many worlds that are very unlike the ones in our own Solar System.

22nd February 2022
Books being burned in a fire

How 17th century’s Britain’s ‘cancel culture’ can help us understand the importance of free speech

Free speech is the right to express one’s opinions without censorship or restraint. It is a cornerstone of modern liberal democracies. Nowadays, it is considered a basic right in the UN’s 1948 Declaration of Human Rights and it is is enshrined in British law.

16th February 2022
Image of flooded roads

The Sheep Look Up: cult 1970s sci-fi novel predicted today’s climate crisis

This is not a bad dream version of recent climate change headlines. This is the dark vision in the 50-year-old dystopian novel, The Sheep Look Up, by John Brunner. A British author, Brunner was one of a handful of writers who were early advocates of environmental activism.

11th February 2022
Concept of a black hole acting as a lens on background light.

Astronomers think they’ve just spotted an ‘invisible’ black hole for the first time

Astronomers famously snapped the first ever direct image of a black hole in 2019, thanks to material glowing in its presence. But many black holes are actually near impossible to detect. Now another team using the Hubble Space Telescope seems to have finally found something nobody has seen before: a black hole which is completely invisible.

9th February 2022
Settlement on the Moon

New space agency funding brings living on the Moon one small step closer

The UK Space Agency (UKSA) has awarded OU space researchers close to £175,000 to develop a one of a kind construction method that could one day enable us to build on the Moon from lunar soil.

7th February 2022
Soar Telescope, Chile

Asteroid sharing Earth’s orbit discovered – could it help future space missions?

Research has shown that the Earth trails an asteroid barely a kilometre across in its orbit about the Sun – only the second such body to have ever been spotted.

4th February 2022
Astronauts in Space

OU wins UK Space Agency funding to grow regional space activity

The Open University (OU) is one of 10 organisations to be given a boost from UK Space Agency (UKSA) regional funding announced on Wednesday 2 February 2022.

2nd February 2022
Bee flying above flower

Research finds flowers trapped in 100-million-year-old fossil tree resin

An OU researcher is part of a team which has discovered 100-million-year-old fossil flowers preserved in fossil amber, more commonly known as tree resin.

1st February 2022
Image of the moon with a rocket on it

Moon: crashing rocket will create new crater – here’s what we should worry about

It’s not often that the sudden appearance of a new impact crater on the Moon can be predicted, but it’s going to happen on March 4, when a derelict SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will crash into it.

31st January 2022
Colombo wetlands

From stopping the spread of malaria to monitoring the global risk of flooding

An OU academic who led a research project to stop the spread of malaria is now co-leading one which will monitor the potential extent of flooding globally.

25th January 2022

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