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Author Archive

Why Uranus and Neptune are different

Why Uranus and Neptune are different

The two outermost giant planets of the Solar system have similar masses but there are also striking differences. Researchers of the NCCR PlanetS at the University of Zurich have found an explanation for this long-standing unsolved mystery: Two different giant impacts could have had completely separate effects. Uranus and Neptune are the outermost planets of the Solar […]

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PlanetS General Assembly 2020

PlanetS General Assembly 2020

134 members and associates gathered from 27 to 29 January 2020 in Montreux to present and discuss their research projects, establish contacts between the different institutions in Bern, Geneva and Zürich, and talk about new ideas at the annual NCCR PlanetS General Assembly. With loud, enthusiastic applause the PlanetS scientists acknowledged the news on the […]

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Capturing alien comets

Capturing alien comets

There should be interstellar comets hiding in our Solar system after making a journey of many lightyears. Maybe we have already seen one but believed it was a “normal” comet formed in the Solar system. This concludes Tom Hands, astrophysicist at the University of Zürich and member of the NCCR PlanetS. Comets that suddenly light […]

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CHEOPS successfully launched

CHEOPS successfully launched

The relief was huge when the Soyuz Fregat rocket with CHEOPS on board took off shortly before 10 a.m. MEZ on Wednesday, 18 December 2019. The spectators at the University of Bern followed the ESA live coverage from Kourou, French Guiana, with great applause. The day before, an error in the Fregat upper stage had […]

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CHEOPS launch postponed

CHEOPS launch postponed

Liftoff is currently scheduled for Wednesday, December 18, 2019 at 9:54:20 CET.   On Tuesday morning, 1 hour 25 minutes before liftoff during final countdown operations, the Soyuz-Fregat launcher’s automated sequence was interrupted. The rocket with the CHEOPS space telescope on board should have taken off from ESA’s spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana on 17.12.2019 […]

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Learning AI from NASA and Silicon Valley

Learning AI from NASA and Silicon Valley

Bern researcher and NASA take a cue from Silicon Valley to hatch Artificial Intelligence Technologies. Could the same computer algorithms that teach autonomous cars to drive safely help identify nearby asteroids or discover life in the universe? NASA scientists are trying to figure that out by partnering with pioneers in artificial intelligence (AI) — companies […]

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At the interface between PlanetS and SNSF

At the interface between PlanetS and SNSF

By Leonore Lovis As finance coordinator, I am at the interface between PlanetS and SNSF for all financial aspects (from the global view on PlanetS financial situation up to details on specific expenses) as well as for matters related to the employment of PlanetS members. In addition, at the local level, this position includes the […]

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New initiatives

New initiatives

The NCCR PlanetS Board at its meeting on Friday November 8, 2019 has decided to attribute CHF 350’000 to two new initiatives. Holly Capelo and Monika Lendl describe what the new projects are about. TEMPus VoLA: The Timed Epstein Multi-Pressure-Vessel at Low Accelerations from Holly L. Capelo UBE, Jean-David Bodénan ETHZ/UZH, Clement Surville UZH, Jonas Guillaume Kühn UBE, […]

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Survey: PlanetS Members feel well informed

Survey: PlanetS Members feel well informed

In October, the communication team conducted a survey of PlanetS members and associates on communication and outreach. With the survey, the communication team wanted to find out how well the PlanetS members are informed about the latest news and topics relevant to them, which communication channels and service offerings are used for outreach and how, […]

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