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Scientists find some of Mars’ youngest volcanoes – and discover they could have supported life

It may seem that Mars was once a much more exciting planet. True, there are dust storms and possible water-seeps occurring today, but billions of years ago it was a dramatic place with huge volcanoes, a giant canyon system and branching river valleys being formed.

26th July 2017
The ALMA telescope is searching

How do you work out if a signal from space is a message from aliens?

Astronomers working at the Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico have detected a weird radio signal, spotted when pointing their telescope at the nearby star Ross 128.

19th July 2017
Scotland’s Erin Cuthbert in action as the team beat Ireland on July 7.

Women’s Euro 2017 football preview – all you need to know

As the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup draws towards its conclusion, the summer of women’s sport takes to the football pitch with the UEFA Women’s Euro 2017 competition getting underway on July 16.

17th July 2017
Man looking at phone.

The real reason you can't quit Facebook? Maybe it's because you can judge your friends

Facebook recently announced that it now has over 2 billion monthly users. This makes its “population” larger than that of China, the US, Mexico and Japan combined. Its popularity, and with it the influence it has in society, is beyond dispute. But for many the experience of actually using the site fluctuates somewhere between the addictive and the annoying. Our new research shows that the reason for this is very simple. It’s all to do with other people, and how we feel about them.

14th July 2017
The spacecraft will cruise for years before it reaches Mercury. ESA, CC BY-SA

The BepiColombo spacecraft is ready to solve the many mysteries of Mercury

The €1.65 billion BepiColombo spacecraft is now being unstacked for final tests after being displayed in its launch configuration to the world’s press at the European Space Agency’s Space Technology and Research Centre. The six-metre high assembly will soon be shipped to Kourou in French Guyana where it is anticipated to launch in October 2018.

13th July 2017
Pollution cycle.

How your pile of laundry fills the sea with plastic pollution

After decades of intense observation and campaigning by conservation groups, awareness of microplastic pollution has fortunately grown. There is now worldwide concern about tiny pieces of plastic litter that are having a harmful impact on marine species and habitats.

6th July 2017
Mars, Earth and the Moon

OU awarded £1 million to explore Mars and the Moon

Researchers in the OU's Space Science priority research area have been awarded five grants totalling more than £1 million by the UK Space Agency through its “Aurora” funding programme. These grants make up about a third of the total fund awarded, demonstrating the OU’s position as a leader in planetary science.

5th July 2017

Strict rules around contamination hamper exploration for life beyond Earth

NASA’s orbiter Cassini will make a series of decreasing orbits that will end in a fiery death dive into Saturn’s atmosphere in September

3rd July 2017
Cathy Lloyd

Diabetes and Depression: A Tale of Three Cities

Professor Cathy Lloyd delivered her inaugural lecture in July 2017 on Diabetes and Depression: A Tale of Three Cities, in which she highlighted the link between diabetes and psychosocial problems such as depression.

1st July 2017

EU citizens proposal: a lawyer examines the detail

Great news has been issued by the good people of the British government to all those EU citizens living in the UK feeling uncertain about their future after Brexit – they could soon qualify for “settled status”. What they must do now, however, is wait.

30th June 2017

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