What kind of mysteries and scientific intrigue await the European Space Agencys Venus Express once it has left Earth for its nearest planetary neighbour in 2005? A closer inspection promises to reveal a planet that is hugely different from our own despite a few similarities.
Astronomers often call Venus the Earths twin because both are about the same size and have the same mass. In other ways, however, Venus seems to be an altogether different class of planet. Scientists are keen to take a closer look at this cloudy, mysterious planet. After a 150-day cruise from Earth, Venus Express will manoeuvre into an orbit that loops over the poles of the planet once every 10 -16 hours. What will we see?
The first of many curiosities is the nature of the Venusian magnetic field. It is so weak that particles ejected from the Sun, known as the solar wind, do not go around the planet, as they do at Earth. Instead they continuously strike Venuss upper atmosphere. Scientists want to know more about how this process takes place.
Monica Talevi | alfa
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Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
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Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
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