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The Moon in Scotland

Professor of Planetary Science and Exploration, Mahesh Anand, returns this week from a talk series in Scotland as part of the 'Inspiring People' lectures run by the Royal Scottish Geographical Society. He spoke in Dumfries, Galashiels, Ayr and Helensburgh on 'The Next 50 Years of Lunar Exploration'. Professor Anand also took along a 1.3kg meteorite of the lunar surface with him to wow audiences. This is the largest lunar meteorite in the UK; a very impressive piece of space rock.

2nd March 2020

Hear about the early years of the OU from someone who was there

In January we were delighted to welcome Professor Emeritus of Physics, Russell Stannard, back to the Open University to speak about his personal experiences working at the University since it was founded in 1969 in a rented house in Belgravia, London before making a move to the new city of Milton Keynes.

20th February 2020

Physical Sciences Outreach Officer writes new planetarium show narrated by Lupita Nyong'o

We are delighted to announce that our Outreach and Public Engagement Officer, Dr Natalie Starkey, has just completed a year-long project writing the script for the new planetarium space show at the Hayden Planetarium of the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) in New York. Natalie left her scientific research career in 2015 to become a full-time writer and science communicator.

21st January 2020

Announcing the winners of the SPS Outreach and Public Engagement Awards

We are delighted to announce the winners of the first ever School of Physical Sciences Outreach and Public Engagement Awards. The following people were selected for having made a significant contribution to outreach and/or public engagement with research during 2019. Congratulations to all for supporting a wide and varied programme of activities, enthusing and exciting the public about the amazing research we carry out within the School.

16th December 2019

Registration open for our MSc in Space Science and Technology


Registrations are now open for our MSc in Space Science and Technology. Developed in consultation with the UK Space Agency and the space industry itself, this MSc equips you with the skills to carry out scientific investigations using space-based instrumentation, both individually and as a team.

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

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

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