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Published: 23 May 2016
More than 95% of our universe comes in the mysterious form of dark matter and dark energy that we can neither explain nor directly detect. Dr Catherine Heymans leads a team of researchers who were the first to 'map' dark matter on the largest of scales. She now uses her research to confront Einstein's theory of general relativity in an attempt to explain the nature of dark energy.
Published: 21 April 2016
You can't see it, you can't touch it, nor is it something you could hear, taste or smell. Dark matter is all around us, and its mass produces measurable gravitational effects. Other than that, it interacts with the visible universe even less than previously thought, according to the results of recent EU-funded research.
Published: 16 December 2015
When we look at galaxies far, far away, we don't see them as they are today. We see them as they were a long time ago, because their light takes a while to reach us. These images could easily fade on their epic journey, but "natural telescopes" in their path enable astronomers to study some of these postcards from the distant past.
Published: 20 November 2015
Pushing the boundaries of astronomy is only possible if you have the latest technology at hand. An EU-funded project aims to ensure that the Astronomical Observatory of Belgrade is equipped to become one of Europe's most dynamic and competitive centres of discovery.
Published: 21 January 2014
What causes the violent explosions on the Sun's surface and our communication systems to occasionally go down? How do the Sun's mysterious magnetic fields behave? To this day, researchers remain puzzled by the Sun's complex physics. Even the biggest terrestrial solar telescopes, like the one on the Canary Islands, are simply not powerful enough to understand our star's moody behaviour. So European astrophysicists have a dream.
Published: 7 January 2014
Young French astronomer Johan Richard was able to fulfil many young boys' dreams to explore the Universe through the eye of a telescope, and discovered that the first galaxies may have formed much earlier than thought just 200 million years or so after the Universe's explosive birth. And his bold journey continues...
Published: 30 January 2013
August 2013 will see the launch of Gaia, a five-year space mission packed with scientific ambition that is quite literally astronomical. The European Space Agency (ESA) aims to chart about one billion stars, or roughly 1% of the Milky Way. It is expected to discover thousands of new celestial objects, from extra-solar planets to failed stars called brown dwarfs. It is an extraordinary endeavour, taking astrometry to a new level of complexity and precision, but it will mean little if Europe's science community cannot handle the volume of data that Gaia space mission is expected to send back to Earth. And this is where ELSA comes in.
Published: 10 January 2013
Astronomers have gotten a first look at the aftermath of Saturn's 'Great Springtime Storm' thanks to the heat-seeking capabilities of the international Cassini spacecraft and two ground-based telescopes. Even though the cosmic event is hidden to the naked eye, a giant oval vortex continues to exist long after the visible effects of the storm have subsided. These spectacular observations were made possible thanks to the ground-based observations made by the Very Large Telescope of the European Southern Observatory in Chile, and NASA's Infrared Telescope Facility at the summit of Mauna Kea in Hawaii.
Published: 20 November 2012
Since the first generation of telescopes, 400 years ago, astronomers have been paying close attention to the Sun, which can be observed in a level of detail not possible with any other star. But the Sun is much more than a seemingly simple sphere of plasma; the exact structure within is incredibly complex and dynamic. European researchers are using new techniques to investigate the processes taking place inside the Sun.
NB: This article is more than 4 years old so the information may not be up to date.
Published: 18 June 2009