28th November 2019

Bell Burnell Graduate Scholarship Fund

We welcome expressions of interest from candidates interested in applying for the Bell Burnell Graduate Scholarship Fund, administered by the IOP. This is a fund donated by Prof Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell (former OU Head of Physics) to support full or part-time graduates who wish to study towards a doctorate in physics and are from groups that are currently under-represented in physics.

19th November 2019

Mercury Transit

On Monday 11th November 2019 over 100 Walton Hall based staff and students got a chance to view a rare astronomical event, the passing of the planet Mercury across the Sun’s disk. Organised by SPS PhD student, Jack Wright, observers battled the bitterly cold weather on the Mulberry Lawn on the OU campus with six solar viewers, two telescopes with white light solar filters, and one H-alpha telescope allowing the Sun to be viewed safely.

13th November 2019

Open University-ESA-NASA lunar instrument funding success

Following a successful contract negotiation meeting at ESTEC last Thursday, ESA has confirmed it will fund the Exospheric Mass Spectrometer (EMS; working title) that the Open University will develop in a partnership with NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. This was selected by NASA for inclusion in its Commercial Lunar Payloads Services initiative as part of the new Artemis program to return humans to the Moon’s surface.

6th November 2019

Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell: An Accidental Discovery

On Wednesday 23rd October we welcomed Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell to the Open University to continue our series of talks celebrating 50 years of The Open University. Jocelyn spoke to a sell-out audience in the Berrill Lecture Theatre about her ‘accidental’ discovery of pulsars whilst a graduate student working in radio astronomy at Cambridge University, a discovery for which her supervisor received a Nobel prize. She then spoke about her scientific life since, and some of the other major achievements of her career.

6th November 2019

SPS successes at Research Excellence Awards

This month saw the annual Open University Research Excellence Awards take place, held at the MK DoubleTree Hilton Hotel at the MKDons Stadium in Milton Keynes. Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell was the guest speaker; the astrophysicist who co-discovered the first radio pulsars in 1967.

It was a delight to have so many SPS staff nominated and shortlisted:

- Ian Wright was awarded the 50th Anniversary Prize

- Taff Morgan was awarded the prize for Outstanding Impact of Research on Society and Prosperity

31st October 2019

OU in Scotland plays host to members of the BEERS (Benefits of European Space Agency’s Exploration Roadmap in Socioeconomics) team

The OU in Scotland played host to members of the BEERS (Benefits of European Space Agency’s Exploration Roadmap in Socioeconomics) team including members of the School of Physical Sciences, Manish Patel, Vic Pearson and Martyna Hodges along with Leslie Budd from the Business School, at an event which attracted guests from across Scotland’s space sector.

22nd October 2019

'A Blue Planet to a Frozen Desert' talk video available online

The recording of Professor Stephen Lewis' talk: A Blue Planet to a Frozen Desert, Exploring the Environments of Venus, Earth and Mars, is now availalble to view online here.

17th October 2019

New £1 million grant to study space weather

We are delighted to announce that a team of researchers led by Dr Matthew Soman, Space Instrumentation Research Fellow, in the School of Physical Science's Centre for Electronic Imaging, has received £1 million from the UK Space Agency to contribute to the design of new sensors to study space weather.

17th October 2019

Professor Monica Grady at BlueDot festival

Monica Grady, Professor in Planetary Sciences, spoke this summer at the Bluedot festival, held annually since 2016 at Jodrell Bank Observatory in Cheshire, combining music, live science experiments, expert talks and immersive artworks. If you'd like to catch-up with her talk, the link is here: 1969 And All That.

10th October 2019

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