School of Physics and Astronomy

Astronomy Unit

  • An artist's impression of Gliese 887 V2b (RedDots collaboration)

    Super-Earths discovered orbiting nearby star

    A system of super-Earth planets has been detected orbiting one of closest stars to the Sun, Gliese 887. An international team of astronomers, including Professor Richard Nelson and Dr Gavin Coleman of Queen Mary University of London, made the discovery as part of Red Dots, a project to detect terrestrial planets orbiting stars close to the Sun.

  • A giant of a moon appears before a giant of a planet undergoing seasonal changes in this natural color view of Titan and Saturn from NASA's Cassini spacecraft.Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

    Saturn's Moon Titan Drifting Away Faster Than Previously Thought

    Research involving scientists from Queen Mary University of London has shown that the moons of Saturn are moving outwards faster than first estimated, providing new insights into how the Saturn system formed. 

  • The QMSPEC system, attached to the telescope on the roof of the G O Jones building. The spectrometer itself is shielded from light under the black cover (bottom left), and connected to the telescope by a fibre optic cable (orange).

    Innovative spectrometer sees first light (and breaks a record)

    Astronomers at QMUL have developed an extremely high-resolution spectrometer for exoplanet studies that is many times smaller, lighter, and cheaper than current alternatives. Its first-light spectrum is thought to be the highest resolution ever taken from the UK!

  • Queen Mary astronomer makes the connection to Data Science

    The QMUL School of Physics and Astronomy is a member of the Data Intensive Science Centre in the South East Physics Network (DISCnet). DISCnet is an STFC funded Centre for Doctoral Training, aimed at training a new generation scientists in data science. Paula Soares, a cosmology PhD student in the Astronomy Unit being supervised by Dr Alkistis Pourtsidou, is part of DISCnet and undertook a 3-month long data science internship in the summer of 2019.

  • Sunset over the Hydrogen Epoch of Reionization Array (HERA) in South Africa. Astronomers from Queen Mary are playing a leading role in trying to detect signals from the first stars and galaxies using HERA. (Credit: D. Storer).

    Queen Mary astronomers celebrate funding success

    Astronomers at QMUL are celebrating a bumper research funding award from the UK Government's Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC).

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