It has been written to assist the media in planning and researching future stories related to space science and astronomy, particularly those with UK involvement. It is not intended to be fully comprehensive. Dates and times may be subject to change.
8 MARCH: LAUNCH OF JULES VERNE TO INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION
At 0423 GMT on 8 March the European Space Agency (ESA) is scheduled to launch the Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) ‘Jules Verne’ into space using an Ariane 5 rocket from the Kourou spaceport in French Guiana. Jules Verne is the ESA-built unmanned resupply vehicle for the International Space Station (ISS), is 10.3 m high, 4.5 m across and carries a payload of up to 9000 kg.
The ATV will arrive and dock automatically with the ISS. Astronauts will then remove the cargo and can then dispose of waste in the empty spacecraft. Eventually the refuse filled spacecraft will undock from the ISS and make a controlled re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere, before burning up over the Pacific Ocean.
FURTHER INFORMATIONEuropean Space Agency
This mission will also return French astronaut Leopold Eyharts to Earth after 4 weeks aboard the ISS, where he commissioned Columbus, the ESA-built space laboratory that was added to the space station in February. Eyharts will be replaced by NASA astronaut Garrett Reisman.
Emeritus Professor Clive Ruggles from the University of Leicester will give the next RAS public lecture, where he will set out the latest evidence of how ancient cultures worldwide related to what they saw in the sky. Professor Ruggles will explain how astronomers and archaeologists seek to understand this by looking at prehistoric evidence from across the world – from Wessex in the UK to Ireland, continental Europe, the USA, Australia, Polynesia and Ethiopia.
The lunchtime lectures are open to everyone and take place in the newly-refurbished Burlington House, the headquarters of the RAS off Piccadilly in central London. The lectures take place at 1pm on the first Tuesday of each month and the audience can take their seats from 12.45.FURTHER INFORMATION
On 14 March leading scientists will gather to discuss the latest ideas on how galaxies evolve. Delegates at the meeting will hear how new surveys, instruments and techniques are giving astronomers an insight into the development of galaxies throughout the history of the Universe, from the earliest epochs to the present day.FURTHER INFORMATION (INCLUDING MEETING PROGRAMME)
Observing the way they move in binary systems is one of the few direct methods for measuring the mass of stars. At a special meeting held to honour the work of Professor Roger Griffin of the University of Cambridge, astrophysicists will consider and discuss the latest techniques for determining stellar masses in a variety of astronomical settings.FURTHER INFORMATION
Nearly 500 astronomers and space scientists will gather for the RAS National Astronomy Meeting 2008 (NAM 2008), which will be hosted by Queen’s University Belfast and runs from 31 March to 4 April. At NAM 2008 scientists will present new research in many aspects of astronomy and space science, including the early history of the Universe, planets around other stars, the vision for space exploration, black holes and the impact of ‘space weather’ on the Earth.
Representatives of the media are cordially invited to attend and press room facilities will be available for the duration of the meeting. Please pre-register via http://nam2008.qub.ac.uk/registerpress.shtmlFURTHER INFORMATION (INCLUDING SCIENCE PROGRAMME)
Robert Massey | RAS
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Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
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For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
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