Leicester's out of this world research to be showcased at New Scientist Live

Leicester’s pioneering research explores the future of planet Earth and space science.

Out of this world research into the future of our planet and space science will be presented by leading Leicester experts at New Scientist Live 2018 (20-23 September).

New Scientist Live is an award-winning, mind-blowing festival of ideas and discoveries for everyone curious about science and why it matters.

During this year’s festival, the University of Leicester will be showcasing the innovative space instrument - The Mercury Imaging X-ray spectrometer (MIXS) - Leicester researchers have developed which will be used to help provide the most complete exploration and study of the planet Mercury to date. Physics professors and students will be demonstrating how craters are formed and explaining their importance in identifying the composition of planets.

On Thursday 20 September, Professor Emma Bunce, who is Principal Investigator on the development of the MIXS instrument from the Department of Physics and Astronomy, will describe what we know about Mercury and how instruments on board the BepiColombo mission, launching in October, will help us make new discoveries about both Mercury and the wider solar system.

While the University of Leicester is climbing on board the exciting journey to Mercury, our planet is also undergoing some drastic changes which will affect its environment significantly in the future – and Leicester experts will be delving deep into the cryptic billion-year history of skeletons in order to tell this tale.

From the enormous bones of the blue whale to the microscopic plates of marine algae to the planetary-scale accumulations of coral reefs, skeletons underpin much of life on Earth. But when and why did skeletons form, and how did they provide a durable framework for evolution?

On Saturday 22 September, Professors Mark Williams and Jan Zalasiewicz, from the University of Leicester’s School of Geography, Geology and the Environment, will tell the billion year-scale story of skeletons on Earth, consider how the warp-speed evolution of techno-skeletons is now shaping our planet’s future, and explore the possibilities of skeleton formation on other planets. They will show that there is much more to skeletons than a lot of old bones.

  • Leicester is the UK’s leading space city, home to the National Space Centre, Space Park Leicester and the University of Leicester’s #outofthisworld space research.
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