National Centre of Competence in Research PlanetS
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Author Archive

When in doubt, aim high

When in doubt, aim high

Veerle Sterken had been away from a paid job in cosmic dust science for three years. Then she convinced the European Research Council (ERC) to fund her project on interstellar dust. That kick-started her “second career” in astrophysics and led to her project being welcomed into PlanetS by the board.  “I will send out my […]

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Science taught her to stand up for herself

Science taught her to stand up for herself

Yogita Kadlag is an astrophysicist from Maharashtra, India. Since October 2019, she’s been a member of the NCCR PlanetS. From her hometown, where she is stranded due to the Corona pandemic, she spoke to us about her work, cultural differences and discrimination. “It’s raining heavily at the moment; can we try again in 20 minutes?”, […]

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Professor wanted! 

Professor wanted! 

The Space Research and Planetology Division within the Physics Institute of the University of Bern has an opening, as per 1 January 2022, for a full or associate professor (100%) in the field of Theoretical Planetology.

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The planetary scientist has one great wish

The planetary scientist has one great wish

Christoph Mordasini deals with the formation and evolution of planets inside and outside our solar system. In an interview he explains why the University of Bern has been at the forefront of space research since an experiment on the moon. And he reveals the question to which he would very much like to have an […]

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Planetary research in weightlessness

Planetary research in weightlessness

In a laboratory of a special kind, researchers from the National Centre of Competence in Research PlanetS were able to conduct experiments on planet formation on board the fourth Swiss parabolic flight campaign. It is a cool, cloudy morning at the military airfield in Dübendorf. The fourth Swiss parabolic flight campaign is about to launch […]

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ELT METIS Instrument Passes Design Milestone

ELT METIS Instrument Passes Design Milestone

METIS, the powerful imager and spectrograph for the European Southern Observatory’s Extremely Large Telescope (ELT), has passed its Preliminary Design Review.   METIS, short for Mid-infrared ELT Imager and Spectrograph, will make full use of the giant main mirror of the telescope to study a wide range of science topics, from objects in our Solar System […]

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How we might search for life in the future

How we might search for life in the future

The “LIFE” mission, proposed by PlanetS researchers, could help answer questions about the habitability of our cosmic environment by employing a direct approach. When looking up at the sky at night, sooner or later the inevitable question arises: “Are we alone?” So far, science has not found the answer, even though it has been certain […]

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Origin of two “cosmic diamonds” clarified

Origin of two “cosmic diamonds” clarified

“Bennu” and “Ryugu” are two near-Earth asteroids with a diamond-like shape, the origin of which has long been a mystery. Now simulations of asteroid break-ups show how the special shape came about. The results could also help to better understand the processes involved in the formation of the Earth. Around four and a half billion […]

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