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School of Physics and Astronomy

News

QMUL's Astronomical Observatory Captures Solar Eclipse
11 June 2021

Members of the Astronomy Unit gathered at the School of Physics and Astronomy's Observatory to witness the recent partial solar eclipse.

Important plasma waves in the solar atmosphere identified by AU researchers
11 May 2021

AU researchers have confirmed the existence of magnetic plasma waves, known as Alfvén waves, in the Sun’s photosphere.

QMUL's Astronomy Unit Celebrates International Women's Day
8 March 2021

On Monday 8th March 2021, QMUL's Astronomy Unit celebrated International Women's Day by showcasing current staff, alumni, and eminent astrophysicists. A selection of tweets celebrating this day can be found below.

Research led by the AU finds black holes could reach ‘stupendously large’ sizes
20 January 2021

A recent study suggests the possible existence of ‘stupendously large black holes’ or SLABS, even larger than the supermassive black holes already observed in the centres of galaxies.

Tessa Baker and Phil Bull AU researchers win prestigious European Research Council grants
14 September 2020

Two cosmologists in the Astronomy Unit in the School of Physics and Astronomy have been awarded prestigious Starting Grants from the European Research Council.

Comet NEOWISE (close-up), seen by Dr Thomas Haworth from Cheltenham on 10th July Rare naked-eye comet NEOWISE lights up the sky
19 July 2020

A recently-discovered comet has become visible to the naked eye during twilight. QMUL astronomer Thomas Haworth has been making the most of this rare opportunity by taking some photos!

Artist's impression of Gliese 887 V2b (RedDots collaboration) Super-Earths discovered orbiting nearby star
26 June 2020

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.

Cassini image of Saturn and Titan Saturn's Moon Titan Drifting Away Faster Than Previously Thought
8 June 2020

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. 

Image of the observatory with the QMSPEC experimental set-up (the instrument is under the black ‘cloth’ which is used to block stray light). (Clark Baker) Innovative spectrometer sees first light (and breaks a record)
1 June 2020

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
11 May 2020

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 (credit: D. Storer) Queen Mary astronomers celebrate funding success
30 April 2020

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

Astronomy Unit Hosts the Parker Solar Probe FIELDS Team Meeting
16 March 2020

The QMUL Astronomy Unit hosts a meeting for the team that designed and operates the FIELDS suite of instruments onbaord NASA's Parker Solar Probe spacecraft.

The MeerKAT radio telescope. Courtesy: SARAO. Astronomy Unit researchers help usher in a new era of radio cosmology
6 March 2020

Researchers at Queen Mary are leading the way as a new generation of cosmic surveys with radio telescopes begin.

An artists impression of Alpha Cen B, discovered as part of the pale red dots programme Updates from the Planets group at Queen Mary
5 March 2020

The Planets group at Queen Mary has had another busy year! Here are some recent highlights.

Parker Solar Probe. Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Steve Gribben Researchers uncover intense chaotic motions of the solar wind
3 February 2020

New research from Queen Mary University of London has observed the chaotic behaviour of the solar wind at distances closer to the Sun than ever before.

Queen Mary researcher awarded prestigious Eccellenza Professorial Fellowship
6 January 2020

Dr Julian Adamek, a senior postdoctoral researcher in the Astronomy Unit, has been awarded a prestigious Eccellenza Professorial Fellowship by the Swiss National Science Foundation.

Closest-ever approach to the Sun reveals dynamic origins of solar wind
5 December 2019

Queen Mary researchers were part of an international team interpreting ground-breaking results from the Parker Solar Probespacecraft, which has flown closer to the Sun than ever before.

Astronomy Unit Members Attend the Les Houches School on Plasma Physics
27 May 2019

Members of the QMUL Astronomy Unit attended the Les Houches Physics School on "The multiple approaches to plasma physics from laboratory to astrophysics" and PhD student Alice Giroul won first prize for best poster presentation at the school.

Dr Alkistis Pourtsidou to explore the universe as a Future Leaders Fellow
9 May 2019

A Queen Mary cosmologist has been announced as a Future Leaders Fellow as part of a new government initiative to give leading researchers an opportunity to deliver global impact.

Spacecraft measurements reveal mechanism of solar wind heating
14 February 2019

Queen Mary University of London has led a study which describes the first direct measurement of how energy is transferred from the chaotic electromagnetic fields in space to the particles that make up the solar wind, leading to the heating of interplanetary space.

Astronomers find a super-Earth at Barnard's star
15 November 2018

Astronomers from the School of Physics and Astronomy are members of an international team that has found a planet in orbit around the second-closest star to the Sun, known as Barnard's star. 

AU researcher wins grant to map the cosmos with MeerKAT radio telescope
7 November 2018

Dr. Alkistis Pourtsidou, a lecturer in the Astronomy Unit, has been awarded a grant to study the large-scale structure of the Universe using a new radio telescope in South Africa.

Artwork Inspired by Physicsv2 New artwork inspired by physics and astronomy
17 May 2018

On 16 May the Principal of QMUL, Prof. Colin Bailey, unveiled a new work of art in the foyer of the School of Physics and Astronomy’s G O Jones building on QMUL’s Mile End campus.

Thermosphere Aurora_100x100 Queen Mary astronomer to play key role in ESA’s Ariel exoplanet mission
27 March 2018

Dr James Cho of the School of Physics and Astronomy is a member of the UK-led international team that will develop the European Space Agency’s Ariel mission, dedicated to observing and characterising planets in orbit around other stars (exoplanets).

Small ESO Release NGC3201_100x100 QMUL Astronomer helps to find Dormant Black Hole
17 January 2018

Queen Mary astronomer Dr Guillem Anglada Escudé is a member of an international team of astronomers who have used a novel method to find a black hole hiding in a nearby group of stars.

LIGO B_0v2 Congratulations to 2017 Physics Nobel Prize winners
3 October 2017

The School of Physics and Astronomy offers warm congratulations to Rainer Weiss, Kip Thorne and Barry Barish, recipients of this year’s Nobel Prize in Physics for their contributions to the detection of gravitational waves by LIGO (the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory).

cassini_0v2 Cassini makes its dramatic exit
15 September 2017

15 September.  At around 11:30 this morning the Cassini spacecraft sent its final signal to Earth as it plunged into the thick atmosphere of the planet Saturn, bringing to an end its 20-year voyage of discovery, a voyage that has provided scientists with a wealth of data about the ringed planet and its moons, and some of the most thought-provoking images ever captured.

eso1629dv2 Queen Mary planet hunters shortlisted for Times Higher Education award
7 September 2017

The Pale Red Dot campaign, led by astronomers in QMUL’s School of Physics and Astronomy in partnership with the European Southern Observatory (ESO), has been shortlisted for a Times Higher Education Award in the category “Research Project of the Year: STEM”.

SKA Cosmology SKA Cosmology SWG Meeting
3 August 2017

We will be hosting a Cosmology SWG meeting at Queen Mary, University of London, in December 2017.

eso1629e Queen Mary Astronomer on Time magazine list of 100 most influential people
25 April 2017

Astronomer Guillem Anglada-Escudé of the School of Physics and Astronomy has been named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people of 2016. His inclusion on this prestigious list, in the Pioneers category, recognises his discovery of the exoplanet Proxima b, in orbit around the nearest star to Earth (bar the Sun, of course).

Sun rising over landscape Queen Mary Astronomer nominated for WIRED Audi Innovation Award
26 October 2016

Guillem Anglada Escudé of the School of Physics and Astronomy was one of the nominees for the prestigious WIRED Scientific Breakthrough award, one of the WIRED Audi Innovation Awards for 2016, for his discovery of a planet in orbit around the nearest star to Earth, Proxima Centauri.

blackholes100x100 LIGO’s Cosmological Revolution Heralds New Age for Queen Mary Physicists
11 February 2016

Today’s announcement from LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational wave Observatory) concerning gravitational waves has rekindled excitement in the amazing predictions of Einstein’s theory of general relativity.

groupachievementaward 2013 Royal Astronomical Society's Group Achievement Award for Geophysics
29 January 2013

2013 Royal Astronomical Society's Group Achievement Award for Geophysics will be presented to UK MHD Consortium of which QMUL’s Dr David Tsiklauri is a member of.