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Astronomy / Space Science - 13.11.2022
First image of the depths of a galaxy
First image of the depths of a galaxy
IceCube neutrinos give us the first image of the depths of an active galaxy. They allow us to get a little closer to the answer to the eternal question of the origin of cosmic rays . For the first time, an international team of scientists - including the IIIHE, Faculty of Science - has found evidence of high-energy neutrino emission in the galaxy NGC 1068.

Astronomy / Space Science - Chemistry - 14.06.2022
Gaia mission sees strange stars in most detailed Milky Way survey to date
Gaia mission sees strange stars in most detailed Milky Way survey to date
The ESA Gaia mission has released its new treasure trove of data about our home galaxy. Astronomers - including Professor Conny Aerts from KU Leuven - describe strange 'starquakes', stellar DNA, asymmetric motions and other fascinating insights in this most detailed Milky Way survey to date. Gaia is ESA's mission to create the most accurate and complete multi-dimensional map of the Milky Way.

Astronomy / Space Science - 17.05.2022
A stellar four-beat waltz
A stellar four-beat waltz
A system composed of four gravitationally bound stars has been followed by spectroscopy for several years by a team of researchers. This quadruple system is unstable and simulations of its future evolution show that, eventually, the stars may collide, which is likely to produce a thermonuclear supernova.

Astronomy / Space Science - 02.03.2022
'Closest black hole' system found to contain no black hole
’Closest black hole’ system found to contain no black hole
In 2020 a team led by European Southern Observatory (ESO) astronomers reported the closest black hole to Earth, located just 1000 light-years away in the HR 6819 system. But the results of their study were contested by other researchers, including by an international team based at KU Leuven. In a paper published today, these two teams have united to report that there is in fact no black hole in HR 6819, which is instead a "vampire" two-star system in a rare and short-lived stage of its evolution.

Astronomy / Space Science - 01.02.2022
Even dying stars can still give birth to planets
Planets are usually not much older than the stars around which they revolve. Take the Sun: it was born 4.6 billion years ago, and not long after that, Earth came into the world. But KU Leuven astronomers have discovered that a completely different scenario is also possible. Even if they are near death, some types of stars can possibly still form planets.

Computer Science - Astronomy / Space Science - 26.01.2022
Belgian researchers create ’treasure map’ to find meteorites in Antarctica
A Belgian-Dutch scientific team, including researchers from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, has created the first ever "treasure map" revealing where meteorites can be found in Antarctica. Meteorites come from space and are found on the Earth's surface as stony material. They contain crucial information about the formation and evolution of our solar system.

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 11.03.2021
Nature publication IceCube in Antarctica proves 60-year-old physics prediction with high-energy particle from the Universe
In 1960, Nobel Prize winner Sheldon Glashow predicted a process within the Standard Model, the most important model of particle physics. The theory describes the interaction of an antineutrino with an electron producing a new particle. However, no particle accelerator on Earth, not even the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, is able to make this process happen because it requires extremely high particle energy.

Astronomy / Space Science - 17.09.2020
Astronomers capture stellar winds in unprecedented detail
Astronomers capture stellar winds in unprecedented detail
Astronomers present an explanation for the mesmerising shapes of planetary nebulae. The discovery is based on an extraordinary set of observations of stellar winds around ageing stars. Contrary to common consensus, the team found that stellar winds are not spherical but have a shape similar to that of planetary nebulae.

Physics - Astronomy / Space Science - 18.06.2020
KU Leuven researchers shed new light on solar flares
KU Leuven researchers shed new light on solar flares
Plasma astrophysicists at KU Leuven have created the first self-consistent simulation of the physical processes that occur during a solar flare. The researchers used Flemish supercomputers and a new combination of physical models. Solar flares are explosions on the surface of the Sun that release an enormous amount of energy, equivalent to a trillion 'Little Boy' atomic bombs exploding at the same time.

Health - Astronomy / Space Science - 08.06.2020
University of Louvain and European Space Agency join forces to screen COVID-19
Objective: increase COVID-19 screening capacity throughout Europe via a mobile, fast and flexible method First phase: Piedmont, Italy , to screen front-line teams (medical, volunteer, police, civil protection) The University of Louvain (UCLouvain ) and the European Space Agency (ESA ) are joining forces to deploy a mobile laboratory capable of testing front-line screening teams : doctors, nurses, volunteers, police, civil protection actors.

Astronomy / Space Science - 30.04.2020
Astronomers capture rare images of planet-forming disks around stars
Astronomers capture rare images of planet-forming disks around stars
An international team of astronomers has captured fifteen images of the inner rims of planet-forming disks located hundreds of light years away. These disks of dust and gas, similar in shape to a music record, form around young stars. The images shed new light on how planetary systems are formed. They were published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics .

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 25.11.2019
Space research at KU Leuven: missions that inspire big dreams
Space research at KU Leuven: missions that inspire big dreams
Let's first state the obvious: the universe is endlessly fascinating. When the first ever picture of a black hole was released this spring, it easily made front pages.

Astronomy / Space Science - Electroengineering - 06.11.2019
132 grams to communicate with Mars
On behalf of the ESA, UCLouvain has developed antennas for the LaRa instrument that will go to Mars in 2020 to study the red planet's habitability.

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 06.11.2019
Researcher makes the heart of Mars speak
Exploring the heart (core) of Mars will elucidate the red planet's evolution and thus determine whether life would be possible in the future In 2020 the ExoMars mission will send a platform with the LaRa, a 100% Belgian-made instrument , supervised by UCLouvain researcher Véronique Dehant LaRa's objective  is to observe Mars's rotation in order to understand its core Info: https://lara.oma.be and https://exploration.esa&peri

Astronomy / Space Science - Environment - 22.10.2019
KU Leuven researchers use satellite data to calculate snow depth in mountain ranges
Bioscience engineers at KU Leuven have developed a method to measure the snow depth in all mountain ranges in the Northern Hemisphere using satellites. This technique makes it possible to study areas that cannot be accessed for local measurements, such as the Himalayas. The findings were published .

Astronomy / Space Science - Music - 06.05.2019
Blue supergiant stars open doors to concert in space
Blue supergiants are rock 'n' roll: they live fast and die young. This makes them rare and difficult to study. Before space telescopes were invented, few blue supergiants had been observed, so our knowledge of these stars was limited. Using recent NASA space telescope data, an international team led by KU Leuven studied the sounds originating inside these stars and discovered that almost all blue supergiants shimmer in brightness because of waves on their surface.

Astronomy / Space Science - 25.02.2019
Stellar wind of old stars reveals existence of a partner
Red giants are old stars that eject gaseous material and solid particles through a stellar wind. Some red giants appeared to lose an exceptionally large amount of mass this way. However, new observations reveal that this is not quite the case. The stellar wind is not more intense than normal, but is affected by a partner that was overlooked until now: a second star that circles the red giant.

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 19.07.2018
IceCube neutrinos point to long-sought cosmic ray accelerator
Ghost particle originates from supermassive black hole An international team of scientists has found the first evidence of a source of high-energy cosmic neutrinos. The measured neutrino originates from a supermassive black hole. Researchers from VUB are among those behind the sensational finding.

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 02.05.2018
Stephen Hawking and Thomas Hertog propose a new cosmological theory
Stephen Hawking's last paper, co-authored by Thomas Hertog, does away with the infinite multiverse and predicts a simpler and finite universe. Find out more in this ERC interview with Thomas Hertog. You put forward a new theory of the origin of the universe. What's wrong with the current one? "The prevailing theory of the Big Bang is called eternal inflation.

Astronomy / Space Science - Media - 22.02.2018
What have we learned about TRAPPIST-1 during this last year?
Just a year ago, on the 22 February 2017, at a press conference at NASA headquarters, an international team of researchers revealed the existence of a unique exoplanetary system, made up of seven planets orbiting a small nearby star. Known as TRAPPIST-1, this system created a hug buzz on the Web, in the media, and within the scientific community.

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