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Liopleurodon

Plesiosaurs, pliosaurs, hybodonts: looking back at three prehistoric predators of the Jurassic seas

The fossilised remains of a gigantic ichthyosaur, colloquially known as a “sea dragon”, were recently uncovered at the Rutland Water Nature Reserve in the UK. 

20th January 2022
Man leaning over a table with papers and coloured sticky notes on it

How to successfully develop and run interdisciplinary research teams

John Domingue explains how to foster a culture of openness and support that encourages and helps staff teams to pursue interdisciplinary research projects.

19th January 2022
The locations of 115 candidate free floating planets in the region between Upper Scorpius and Ophiuchus. European Southern Observatory, CC BY-SA

Rogue planets: how wandering bodies in interstellar space ended up on their own

We now know of almost 5,000 planets outside the Solar System. If you were to picture what it would be like on one of these distant worlds, or exoplanets, your mental image would probably include a parent star – or more than one, especially if you’re a Star Wars fan.

17th January 2022
Excavation of marine reptile skeleton. Credit: Anglian Water / Matthew Power Photography

OU PhD student is part of excavation of largest marine reptile skeleton

A second year OU PhD student was part of the excavation of the largest most complete marine reptile skeleton ever found in Britain.

11th January 2022
Fields, trees and asteroid in the sky. Triff/Shutterstock

Don’t look up: several asteroids are heading towards Earth – here’s how we deal with threats in real life

Don’t look now – but we are currently experiencing a rash of stories about a forthcoming global catastrophe. But in a change from reports of pandemics and climate change, this global catastrophe is produced by the impact of a giant asteroid. Or comet. Or both. This may feel extra ominous given the events in the recent Netflix film “Don’t Look Up”, in which the Earth is threatened by a “planet killer” asteroid.

10th January 2022
The rocket boosters for the Space Launch System that will launch Nasa’s Artemis I mission to the Moon. NASA/Kim Shiflett

Asteroids, the Moon and Mars: space missions to look forward to in 2022

Astronomers ended 2021 on a high with the launch on December 25 of the James Webb Space Telescope, a joint mission between the European Space Agency, Nasa and the Canadian Space Agency. But what else lies in store for space science this year? Here are a few missions to watch out for.

8th January 2022
River flowing through meadows

OU experts ask: Why aren’t we exploiting sustainable agriculture’s emission-reducing potential?

Professor David Gowing from the OU’s Floodplain Meadows Partnership argues governments are missing a huge opportunity by failing to make sustainable agriculture a crucial part of their policy response to the climate crisis.

4th January 2022
Image of space

Five of the most exciting telescope pictures of the universe

The forthcoming launch of the James Webb Space Telescope offers unprecedented new opportunities for astronomers. It’s also a timely opportunity to reflect on what previous generations of telescopes have shown us.

24th December 2021
Ryugu

Material from asteroid Ryugu starts to give up secrets of early Solar System

Just over a year ago, material from the Japanese Hayabusa 2 mission to Asteroid (162173) Ryugu arrived back on Earth . And this week, the first two papers reporting analysis of the material have been published in Nature Astronomy.

23rd December 2021
Man sitting at a computer

‘Please continue’ – did this simple two-word phrase lead normal people to ‘torture’ strangers?

Would you electrocute an innocent stranger if you were told to do so by someone in a position of authority? This is the dilemma hundreds of US adults were presented with in Stanley Milgram’s famous and controversial “obedience to authority” experiments that ran from 1961 to 1962.

21st December 2021

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