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Stories by Kelly Oakes

Looking forward to Lindau

In less than two weeks time I'll be boarding a plane from London to Zurich and then zipping across the Swiss-German border to Lindau by train. I'm pretty excited about it – it will be the first time I've stepped foot outside of the UK since before I started my Physics degree five years ago, and my first time at the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting.In its motto, the meeting promises to "educate, inspire and connect scientific generations"...

June 19, 2012 — Kelly Oakes

Zooming in on an intergalactic collision

Point a camera at a particular patch of sky for more than 50 hours and what do you get? This image of Centaurus A, a galaxy 12 million light years away: Well, for "camera" read (after taking a deep breath) "Wide Field Imager of the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope at the European Southern Observatory's La Silla Observatory in Chile"...

May 18, 2012 — Kelly Oakes

They came from Mars

A glowing fireball descended through the sky over North Africa last July, accompanied by two sonic booms. Observers saw the fireball turn from yellow to green, then split into two parts before one fell to the ground in a valley and the other crashed into a mountain...

April 26, 2012 — Kelly Oakes

Crushed comets give star a dusty belt

Two thousand comets a day collide around nearby star Fomalhaut creating a continually replenished dust belt in the outskirts of the star's system, according to a new paper recently published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics.Fomalhaut is a young star...

April 17, 2012 — Kelly Oakes

Supernova turns inside out and kicks neutron star

Astronomers have taken a fresh look at an old supernova and found that it was turned inside out during its explosion. Iron, which forms during the stars death, is usually in the centre of the supernova remnant...

April 3, 2012 — Kelly Oakes

Faster-than-light neutrinos expose the inner workings of science

It looks like the faster-than-light neutrino saga – or should that now be slower-than-light or the-same-speed-as-light? – may nearly be over. On Friday, CERN updated their statement on the initial OPERA result with some new results from ICARUS, another experiment at the Gran Sasso laboratory in Italy...

March 19, 2012 — Kelly Oakes

How `UFOs' Curb Black Hole Growth

Something unusual has been spotted lurking around several galaxies' central black holes. Astronomers think it may be limiting the growth of the black holes – and stars elsewhere in the galaxies, too.Astronomers studying nearby galaxies have found a new type of outflow called an ultra-fast outflow, or UFO...

February 29, 2012 — Kelly Oakes

Faster-than-light neutrinos explained?

The faster-than-light neutrinos seen by the OPERA particle physics experiment last year may have just been explained. By a loose cable. I wish I was joking.To back up a little, the OPERA collaboration based at the Gran Sasso laboratory underneath the mountain of the same name in Italy published a paper to pre-print server arxiv.org last September saying that they had seen neutrinos, a type of sub-atomic particle, travel faster than the speed of light...

February 22, 2012 — Kelly Oakes

Dropout Electrons Get Pushed out of Van Allen Belt

Judging by the many flares erupting from the sun at the moment, it is well on track to reach its next peak in activity early next year. As this peak approaches, we can expect many more huge bursts of energy that erupt from the sun and send lots of energetic particles, and sometimes magnetic fields, our way...

February 17, 2012 — Kelly Oakes

Where Do Aurorae Come From?

The Sun is hotting up, and we can see the results right here on Earth. Across the northern hemisphere, fantastic light displays have been visible of late, and the frequency of these events is set only to increase as the Sun heads toward a peak in its magnetic activity.In light of this (no pun intended), I decided a post about what is going on during an aurora was in order...

January 31, 2012 — Kelly Oakes
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