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New insights into Earth’s primeval atmosphere

New insights into Earth’s primeval atmosphere

A team of international scientists, led by the ETH Zurich and the National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) PlanetS, has gained new insights into Earth’s atmosphere of 4.5 billion years ago. Their results have implications for the possible origins of life on Earth. Four and a half billion years ago, Earth would have been […]

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What exoplanets have to do with the coronavirus

What exoplanets have to do with the coronavirus

Astrophysicist Kevin Heng and epidemiologist Christian Althaus have just published a joint study. In an interview with “uniaktuell”, the two researchers explain what the spread of infectious diseases such as COVID-19 has to do with exoplanetary chemistry and what they hope to gain from INPUT, a newly founded interfaculty platform. By Brigit Bucher Astrophysics and […]

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CHEOPS had to avoid space debris

CHEOPS had to avoid space debris

Space debris increasingly threatens rockets, the international space station and satellites. At the beginning of October, the CHEOPS space telescope had to make an evasive manoeuvre due to a piece of Chinese space debris. Such approaches can be extremely dangerous, because objects in Earth orbit shoot through space at many times the speed of a […]

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How giant planets turn gas to metal

How giant planets turn gas to metal

New theoretical insights and space mission data have changed our perception of the Solar system’s largest planets. Scientists from the University of Zurich, involved in the National Centre of Competence in Research PlanetS, have reviewed our current state of knowledge. Earth is a terrestrial planet. It consists of a mostly solid rocky crust and molten […]

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How water explains missing planets

How water explains missing planets

Space exploration telescopes have revealed that planets between the size of 1.3 and 2.4 Earth radii seem to be c comparatively rare. Scientists under the lead of the International Space Science Institute and the National Centre of Competence PlanetS have found a remarkably simple explanation. Since 1995, scientists have found over 4000 planets outside the […]

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Two planets around a red dwarf

Two planets around a red dwarf

The “SAINT-EX” Observatory, led by scientists from the National Centre of Competence in Research NCCR PlanetS of the University of Bern and the University of Geneva, has detected two exoplanets orbiting the star TOI-1266. The Mexico-based telescope thus demonstrates its high precision and takes an important step in the quest of finding potentially habitable worlds. […]

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NIRPS spectrograph delivers its first images in Quebec

NIRPS spectrograph delivers its first images in Quebec

The NIRPS spectrograph optical components has been successfully integrated and aligned into its cryogenic vacuum chamber and delivered its first images in August in the Université Laval’s laboratory. This is an important step before the instrument being installed on the 3.6-m ESO telescope in La Silla, Chile and joining the well-known high-resolution spectrograph HARPS to […]

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Vaporised metal in the air of an exoplanet

Vaporised metal in the air of an exoplanet

An international team of researchers led by the National Centre of Competence in Research PlanetS of the University of Bern and the University of Geneva studied the atmosphere of the ultra-hot exoplanet WASP-121b. In it, they found a number of gaseous metals. The results are a next step in the search for potentially habitable worlds. […]

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