News: Space, Earth and Environment, Rymd- och geovetenskap, Energi och miljö related to Chalmers University of TechnologyFri, 15 Jan 2021 08:57:01 +0100 collisions: Hubble shows 6 galaxy mergers<p><b>​To celebrate a new year, the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has published a montage of six beautiful galaxy mergers. Each of these merging systems was studied as part of the recent HiPEEC survey to investigate the rate of new star formation within such systems. These interactions are a key aspect of galaxy evolution and are among the most spectacular events in the lifetime of a galaxy.</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">It is during rare merging events that galaxies undergo dramatic changes in their appearance and in their stellar content. These systems are excellent laboratories to trace the formation of star clusters under extreme physical conditions.</span><div><br /></div> <div>The Milky Way typically forms star clusters with masses that are 10 thousand times the mass of our Sun. This doesn’t compare to the masses of the star clusters forming in colliding galaxies, which can reach millions of times the mass of our Sun.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>These dense stellar systems are also very luminous. Even after the collision, when the resulting galactic system begins to fade into a more quiescent phase, these very massive star clusters will shine throughout their host galaxy, as long-lasting witnesses of past merging events.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>By studying the six galaxy mergers shown here, the Hubble imaging Probe of Extreme Environments and Clusters (HiPEEC) survey has investigated how star clusters are affected during collisions by the rapid changes that drastically increase the rate at which new stars are formed in these galaxies. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><div>– For me the most interesting result was that the two minor merger <span style="background-color:initial">systems (i.e., the collision between one massive galaxy and a less </span><span style="background-color:initial">massive galaxy) in the study have by far the highest cluster formation </span><span style="background-color:initial">efficiencies, says Sabine König, one of two Chalmers astronomers involved in the study. </span></div></div> <div><br /></div> <div>– So the conditions in these two galaxies support that more of the stellar mass in a galaxy is located in stellar clusters, than what can be observed in the other, major mergers of the study (collisions between two galaxies with equal masses). <span style="background-color:initial">One reason for the difference between the cluster formation efficiencies in this study could be that for the two minor mergers we have found that the stellar clusters are not located where the molecular gas is found, </span><span style="background-color:initial">as one would normally expect it to be</span><span style="background-color:initial">.</span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><div>–That's why I find it particularly important to not only study major <span style="background-color:initial">galaxy mergers and their importance for how galaxies and the Universe </span><span style="background-color:initial">evolve, but indeed the minor mergers as well, which occur much more </span><span style="background-color:initial">often than the major mergers, says Sabine König.</span></div></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Hubble’s capabilities have made it possible to resolve large star-forming “knots” into numerous compact young star clusters. Hubble’s ultraviolet and near-infrared observations of these systems have been used to derive star cluster ages, masses, and extinctions and to analyse the star formation rate within these six merging galaxies. The HiPEEC study reveals that the star cluster populations undergo large and rapid variations in their properties, with the most massive clusters formed towards the end of the merger phase.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Each of the merging systems shown here has been previously published  by Hubble.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The text is based on a <a href="">press release from ESA/NASA: When Galaxies Collide: Hubble Showcases 6 Beautiful Galaxy Mergers​</a>, edited by Christian Löwhagen.</div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">More information</h3> <div><a href="">The Hubble Space Telescope​</a> is a project of international cooperation between NASA<span style="background-color:initial">, National Aeronautics and Space Administration</span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"> and ESA</span><span style="background-color:initial">, the European Space Agency. </span></div> <span></span><div></div> <div><br /></div> <div>The HiPEEC survey was led by Angela Adamo, Stockholm University. Susanne Aalto and Sabine König, Chalmers Univsersity of Technology, the Department of Space, Earth and Environment were part of the inter<span style="background-color:initial">national team of astronomers in this study</span><span style="background-color:initial">.​ </span></div> Fri, 15 Jan 2021 07:00:00 +0100 something constructive of the report&#39;s message<p><b>​The pandemic may offer a rare opportunity for countries to transition to a new and more sustainable world, when recovery packages are to be distributed. This is stated by researchers in a new report, which also shows that current emission levels of carbon dioxide are incompatible with the climate targets of 1.5 to 2 degrees temperature increase. Filip Johnsson, professor of sustainable energy systems at Chalmers University of Technology, has read the report and comments on it here.</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">It has been five years since the Paris Agreement was concluded. The planned extraction of fossil fuels in the world will make the agreement’s global warming goals impossible to meet. A special report, <a href="">The Production Gap​</a>, was launched in December 2020. Researchers from several research institutes together with the UN's environmental program examined how much fossil fuels are planned to be used by 2030 and compared their use with the fossil-fuel reduction required to limit global warming according to climate goals. The gap has grown since last year.<br /><br /></span><div><img src="/sv/styrkeomraden/energi/nyheter/PublishingImages/filipj.jpg" alt="Filip Johnsson" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" style="margin:5px" />“The report shows a far too large gap between how much the world's fossil fuel use would need to be reduced and different countries' plans to utilize their fossil fuels. In many cases, plans are being made for the expansion of fossil fuel use, and in many cases fossil fuels are being subsidized. It is important to remember that there are many countries, unlike countries such as Sweden, which have large domestic reserves of fossil fuels and they tend to use their resources. We pointed out that challenge a couple of years ago in Dagens Nyheter: <a href="">No reduction in fossil energy despite a major investment in renewables​</a>”, says Filip Johnsson.<br /><br /></div> <div>“The positive thing is that many companies have started to communicate that they intend to become climate neutral at a certain year and that this should include all emissions resulting from their products, including emissions in connection with the extraction of materials and inputs, emissions of production and emissions caused by using the product”, says Filip Johnsson, who hopes that many politicians, business leaders and actors in the financial market will embrace the message in the report.<br /><br /></div> <div><div><strong>The pandemic has been going on for a while</strong>. Is it even possible to change course and meet climate targets now when many industries are fighting for their survival and the government is forced to present crisis package after crisis package?</div> <div>“I think there is a will among many politicians. But much of the measures and the support that has been decided on so far are to eliminate short-term effects on redundancies and unemployment, and then the capacity to act to influence is not so great. But now time has come to plan for a change”.<br /><br /></div> <div><strong>What do you think is the best thing about the report?</strong></div> <div>“That it shows in black and white that it is urgent to change the development. Not least to find ways for the EU and Sweden to establish so-called border adjustments so that carbon intensive products imported from fossil-rich countries are subject to the same carbon dioxide tax as we will have within the EU. There are many indications that it would accelerate the phasing out of fossil fuels in countries such as China and other countries, from which we import much of our consumer goods. It must be “out of fashion” with fossil fuels”.</div></div> <div></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Who should read the report?</strong></div> <div>“It is more like the opposite, who shouldn’t read it? However, it is important not to become too pessimistic and instead start doing something constructive of the report's message”, Filip Johnsson concludes.<br /><br />By: Ann-Christine Nordin</div> <div><br /></div> Wed, 23 Dec 2020 00:00:00 +0100 million for research on a sustainable energy system<p><b>​Mistra, the Swedish foundation for strategic environmental research has decided to grant the program proposal Mistra Electric Transition with Energiforsk and Chalmers University of Technology as the main applicant for the call &quot;Energy transitions - a systems perspective&quot;. The program’s vision is to accelerate a fair and competitive transition to a sustainable and efficient energy system.</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">Mistra Electric Transition has three primary goals:<br /><br /></span><div><ul><li><span style="text-indent:-18pt;background-color:initial">To describe technically feasible and cost-effective solutions that lead to a fossil-free energy system, with a special focus on electrification and to connect different sectors.</span></li> <li>To analyze how fossil-free technologies and infrastructures can implement at the pace required to achieve Sweden's emissions targets.</li> <li>To show how the energy transition can support a positive socio-economic development. The program is allocated a maximum of SEK 50 million over four years</li></ul> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">“Mistra Electric Transition can make a real difference to accelerate the ongoing positive transformation of the Swedish energy system. We are very happy and proud that Mistra gives us the confidence to implement the program together with a fantastic team. The issues we will work with are at the absolute forefront of the field, and through close collaboration between researchers and companies, we hope that the results will have a direct impact and application”, says Markus Wråke, CEO of Energiforsk, which will be the program host.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"><br /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">“I am very much looking forward to working with the program. Together with the Swedish energy industry and Energiforsk, I believe that we will show the great potential in connecting the energy sector and other industries, and also provide support for how the transition can be carried out in the best way”, says Filip Johnsson, professor of sustainable energy systems at Chalmers, who led the work of drafting the program proposal.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"><br /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">The programme's objectives involve technical, as well as social and economic methods and aspects, to increase the possibilities for an energy system in line with Sweden's climate goal of net zero emissions by 2045. Technical results and conclusions will be balanced together with political and social feasibility.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"><br /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">“In the current call, we received many exciting ideas and high-quality proposals. The program that is now being funded focuses on the possibilities of electrification and the interaction between different sectors. Technically feasible and cost-effective development paths are in focus, as is the connection to social and political opportunities. The program is characterized by an innovative methodological approach and a strong focus on societal benefits, fair adjustment and industrial competitiveness. All these parts will be needed in the transition to a fossil-free welfare society”, says Linda Bell, Mistra's program manager.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b>Special studies in the transport and industrial sectors</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">Instead of focusing on electricity, heating, transport and industry separately, the approach is electrification and sector connections. However, Mistra Electric Transition will in particular study the transport and industrial sectors, the connections between them and their relationship to the electricity system, in order to increase the understanding of how each sector can contribute to a change. Case studies with the companies involved and other stakeholders will be an important part of the results' application.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">“There are a number of research initiatives in the energy field and our approach at Mistra has been to address the complexity of the system as a whole, with an environmental strategic and long-term perspective. Our programs work transdisciplinary and intersectoral, leading to innovative approaches and solutions. Now that many regions and countries have set goals and roadmaps to achieve fossil freedom, there is a great demand for research and innovation that contributes with knowledge and concrete solutions along the way”, says Linda Bell.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"><br /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b>FACTS:<br /> </b><span lang="EN-US">Energiforsk will host the program and the work will be carried out in an interdisciplinary consortium together with Chalmers, IVL Swedish Environmental Institute, University of Exeter, Lund University and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, SLU. <b></b></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">Svenska Kraftnät, Stockholm Exergi, Fortum, Nordion Energi, Göteborg Energi, Vattenfall, Hitachi-ABB, Egain and Utilifeed, as well as other stakeholders also participate in the program.</span></p> </div>Mon, 14 Dec 2020 07:00:00 +0100 offers closer look at stellar nurseries<p><b>​Artificial intelligence can make it possible to see astrophysical phenomena that were previously beyond reach. This has now been demonstrated by scientists working together in the international ORION-B research programme, in the most comprehensive observations yet carried out of one of the star-forming regions closest to the Earth.– How the gas is distributed in star-forming regions is a difficult, decades old question in astronomy. This work develops a potentially powerful tool to address that question with the help of machine learning, says Jouni Kainulainen, Chalmers University of Technology.​</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">The gas clouds in which stars are born and evolve are vast regions of galaxies that are extremely rich in matter, and hence in physical processes. All these processes are intertwined across different size and time scales, making it almost impossible to fully understand such “stellar nurseries”. However, the scientists in the ORION-B programme have now shown that statistics and artificial intelligence can help to break down the barriers still standing in the way of astrophysicists. <a href="">They present their work in a series of three articles published in Astronomy &amp; Astrophysics</a>. </span><div><br /><span style="background-color:initial"></span><div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/SEE/Nyheter/Jouni_Jan_260.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" />– The Orion cloud complex is the most nearby “mass production factory” of new stars. Since it is closest, it is also easiest to observe and study with telescopes. The part of the complex studied in this work—Orion B—is a very young area. It gives us a possibility to look into what the gas is doing before it is going to collapse and form stars. This is very interesting from the perspective of the star formation process, because it helps us to understand where and how new stars start to form, says Jouni Kainulainen (left)​, one of the two Chalmers astronomers in the project together with colleague Jan Orkisz, both in the division of Astronomy and Plasma Physics at the Department of Space, Earth and Environment at Chalmers. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>With the aim of providing the most detailed analysis yet of the Orion B molecular cloud, the ORION-B team included in its ranks scientists specializing in massive data processing. This enabled them to develop novel methods based on statistical learning and machine learning to study observations of the cloud made at 240000 frequencies of light.</div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3"><span>New information from a large mass of data</span></h3> <div><span style="background-color:initial">Based on artificial intelligence algorithms, these tools make it possible to retrieve new information from a large mass of data such as that used in the ORION-B project. This enabled the scientists to uncover a certain number of ‘laws’ governing the Orion molecular cloud.</span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div>For instance, they were able to discover the relationships between the light emitted by certain molecules and information that was previously inaccessible, namely, the quantity of hydrogen and of free electrons in the cloud, which they were able to estimate from their calculations – without observing them directly. By analysing all the data available to them, the research team was also able to determine ways of further improving their observations by eliminating a certain amount of unwanted information.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The ORION-B teams now wishes to put their work to a further test, by applying the estimates and recommendations obtained to varying conditions and other star-forming clouds.. Another major theoretical challenge will be to extract information about the speed of molecules, and hence visualize the motion of matter in order to see how it moves within the cloud.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Jouni Kainulainen, what was your and Jan Orkisz’s contributions in this research? </strong></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">– Jan is a core member of the Orion-B team and has been closely involved in its research for years. In this particular work, he was strongly involved in analyzing the molecular line data that were used. He also contributed in developing the machine learning-based methodology that was exploited in the work. I contribute in the team by helping in the interpretation of some of the analyses and their results.   </span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><strong>Were there any results you find particularly interesting for your own research? </strong></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">– How the gas is distributed in star-forming regions is a difficult, decades old question in astronomy. This work develops a potentially powerful tool to address that question with the help of machine learning. I find this aspect especially intriguing and important: astronomy is a science characterized by large, complex data sets—connection to modern data science is imminent and the benefits of doing so concretize in works like this.</span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><strong>What does this mean for future research about star forming regions?</strong> </div> <div>– The methodology and approach of the paper will hopefully be used more broadly to infer the mass distribution of gas in star forming regions. The molecular lines needed to do the work can be easily observed for example with the ALMA interferometer, which means there is a lot of potential to apply the technique. Doing this could be specifically important in studying clouds more globally in the Milky Way, to understand star-forming regions not only on our “Galactic backyard”, but also in other parts of the galaxy.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Are the new methods applicable to other aspects or subjects in your field? </strong></div> <div>– Totally. In the essence, the technique uses a set of emission line data to predict the gas mass distribution. This work targeted a young, cold molecular cloud, but just as well one could apply the principle to other kinds of objects in which one is interested in the gas distribution. More broadly speaking, the type of machine learning methodology used in the work is widely applicable—this work demonstrates its use in case of a very specific problem.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>The research article mentions that it is “almost impossible to fully understand such stellar nurseries”. What is it like to study near-impossible topics? </strong></div> <div>– It is almost impossibly interesting! Jokes aside, many systems in nature are so complex that they are very difficult to understand completely—take our brains, for example! But what is amazing is the possibility to comprehend the fundamental basics of how such systems function. Often it turns out that there are, in fact, simple laws and rules that take a long way in understanding those basics. How new stars form in the galaxies is a prime example of this kind of topic, says Jouni Kainulainen, Head of division and assistant professor at the division of Astronomy and Plasma Physics.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The first part of this text is based on at <a href="">press release from <span style="background-color:initial">The CNRS, </span><span style="background-color:initial">The French National Centre for Scientific Research</span></a>, edited by Christian Löwhagen and Jouni Kainulainen. </div> </div>Fri, 11 Dec 2020 00:00:00 +0100 million to Mistra Carbon Exit for the conversion to net zero emissions<p><b>​​Mistra has decided to allocate funding for a second phase of Mistra Carbon Exit of up to SEK 66 million over the next four years. Program manager Lars Zetterberg is convinced that the program results will contribute to Sweden&#39;s conversion to net zero emissions.</b></p>Following an evaluation by an international panel of experts,  the Mistra board has decided to allocate research funding for the program for a second phase. The panel recommends that the various parts of the program be linked together and that the program work to ensure that content and results have a clearer impact on society. ​<br /><div></div> <div><br /></div> <div>– At a time when the consequences of a changing climate are becoming increasingly clear, Mistra Carbon Exit plays an extremely important role by contributing with scientific knowledge on how the transition to a fossil-free society should take place. It’s very satisfying that the program has been approved in the evaluation and now can proceed in a second phase, says Thomas Nilsson, program manager Mistra. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Lars Zetterberg, Program Manager for Mistra Carbon Exit:  </div> <div>– We are very happy that Mistra gives us continued confidence and support for Mistra Carbon Exit. We are convinced that our results will contribute to Sweden's conversion to net zero emissions. Our approach to value chains has proven to be effective as it helps us understand obstacles and identify new opportunities. Our close collaboration with companies and authorities is a strong contribution to making research relevant and facilitating its application. It will be very fun to continue working with this group. We feel very honored and will take on the task with great enthusiasm. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">Mistra Carbon Exit, with IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute as prog</span><span style="background-color:initial">ram host, started April 1, 2017. </span><span style="background-color:initial">The program develops new knowledge and strategies for how Swedish society and Swedish companies can be pioneers in offering products and services with low or no carbon dioxide emissions. The vision is to contribute to making Sweden an important international role model in climate work. </span><span style="background-color:initial"> ​</span><span style="background-color:initial"> </span></div> <div><br /></div> <div>– It will be extremely exciting and stimulating to continue working in this program. The work in the first phase will now be a solid basis for further analysis. We have also created a fantastic collaboration between the researchers and also with various customers for the program, says Filip Johnsson, professor of energy technology at Chalmers University of Technology, and scientific chef, Mistra Carbon Exit.</div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">More about Mistra Carbon Exit</h3> <div><span style="background-color:initial">Mistra has contributed SEK 56 million in the first phase of four years.  The program's consortium also includes Chalmers </span><span style="background-color:initial">University of Technology</span><span style="background-color:initial">, </span><span style="background-color:initial">Gothenburg University, </span><span style="background-color:initial">Linköping University and the Royal Institute of Technology, KTH, as well as the three research institutes Resources for the Future in Washington DC, the German Institute for Economic Research in Berlin and the Center for European Policy Studies in Brussels. A large number of companies, authorities and interest groups also participate.  </span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><a href="">Mistra Carbon Exit website</a>. </span></div>Thu, 10 Dec 2020 00:00:00 +0100 hybrid vehicles have an important role to play for electrification of personal transport<p><b>​Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) are those which can run on both electricity and fossil fuels. So how environmentally friendly are they? And how well can they help prepare for an eventual transition to a fully fossil-free vehicle sector? A unique study from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, now shows that PHEVs are often driven as much on electricity as ‘pure’ electric cars, with a range of about 130 km.</b></p><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/SEE/Profilbilder/Ahmet_Mandev_170.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><span style="background-color:initial">“In comparing a large number of multi-car households, we can see that households owning a fossil-fuel vehicle, and a PHEV,  can drive as many purely electric kilometres as a household owning a fossil fuel vehicle and a fully electric one,” says Ahmet Mandev, doctoral student at Chalmers.</span><div><br /><span style="background-color:initial"></span><div>After processing the data of four million driving days of PHEVs, Ahmet Mandev can also say how charging should take place to maximise electric power, while minimising fuel consumption and emissions.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Despite the fact that over 20 years have passed since the first mass-produced PHEV car appeared on the market, many questions remain regarding optimal usage of such vehicles. These are questions that Ahmet Mandev, a doctoral student at the Department of Space, Earth and Environmental Science at Chalmers, aimed to answer in his doctoral studies, supervised by Associate Professor Frances Sprei.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“The reason why we want to take a closer look at PHEVs is that there are different views on their role in electrifying personal transport. It is vital to learn as much as we can about their electrical potential, so that we can determine which policy instruments – laws, regulations and subsidies – can be most effective for such vehicles,” says Ahmet Mandev.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>In the first of the studies included in his licentiate thesis The Role of Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles in Electrifying Personal Transport - Analysis of Empirical Data from North America, he processed and analysed one year of driving data for 71 households in California.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“It is easy to see the breakdown of the kilometres for which a PHEV uses the electric motor or the internal combustion engine. But the unique thing about this study is that we looked at the household level – we mapped all the vehicles in different multi-car households. Then we saw how many kilometres a household travelled using electric power and compared that between households which own a fully electric car, or a PHEV, alongside a conventional vehicle,” he explains.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>As usual with all types of electric vehicles, range is an important factor. The study shows that households with a fully  electric car and a conventional car, drive on average 45 percent of their total kilometres on electricity, while the households with a PHEV, and a conventional car, reached 46 percent electric operation on average. This is despite the fact that the range for the vehicles at full electric operation was 130 km for the electric car – in the case of this study, the Nissan Leaf – and just under half for the plug-in hybrid - 56 kilometres.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/EoM/Profilbilder/Frances_Sprei_170x220_2.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" />&quot;​The reason that the PHEV performs better, despite the considerably shorter range, is that it is taken more often for the longer journeys. So then at least some distance of those trips is driven using electricity. The figures also show that the PHEVs are more often used while another person in the household is using the conventional vehicle. The range for both BEVs and PHEVs have increased since the study, but the results are still relevant and show that plug-in hybrid vehicles have an important role to play when it comes to electrification of personal transport. As the next step it will be interesting to follow up the effect of these longer ranges on electrification rates”, says Frances Sprei.</div> <div><br /></div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Most important to charge overnight</h3> <div>Another issue that Ahmet Mandev investigated was how and when to charge a PHEV to get as many electrically driven kilometres as possible, with the lowest possible fuel consumption and emissions. In two other studies, he used about 4 million driving days of data, collected over a ten-year period from the plug-in hybrid model Chevrolet Volt. By processing the data, Ahmet Mandev calculated how often the vehicles were charged, and can thus empirically prove several points about the PHEVs.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The most positive effects result from charging your car once a day – perhaps not so surprising. But Ahmet Mandev made a further discovery which did stand out.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“If you decrease from charging your car every night, to 90 percent of nights, emissions triple – from 1.7 kg of carbon dioxide to 5.7 kg for 100 kilometres of driving. Fuel consumption increases in a similar way, from 0.7 liters for 100 kilometers to 2.5 liters. These are still low emissions and low levels of fuel consumption, but it is a big difference for such a small change in behaviour,” he explains.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The PHEVs in the study achieve a high share of 76 percent of kilometers driven on electricity, provided, that they are fully charged once a day. Ahmet Mandev and Frances Sprei point out that supplementary charging during the day also gives positive effects, but for maximum effect, a full charge overnight is the best option.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“In our studies, we focused on studying data and drawing conclusions about charging and electric operation based on that. But if one were to translate our results into policy suggestions, it would be to give more people the opportunity to recharge vehicles overnight. Currently, many people, for example those who live in apartment buildings, do not have that opportunity,” says Ahmet Mandev.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>In his further doctoral studies, he plans to make international comparisons, to see how charging patterns and electric power differ between countries with different conditions, laws and guidelines regarding PHEVs. Based on this, it will then be possible to see which policy guidelines and recommendations would make the biggest difference. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><em>Text and photos: Christian Löwhagen. </em></div> <div><em>Illustration by </em><a href=""><em>Chaowalit Koetchuea​, the Noun Project</em></a><em>, arranged by Christian Löwhagen. </em></div> <div><br /></div> <div>The research was financed by the Swedish Electromobility centre and carried out in collaboration with UC Davis in California and the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovations Research in Germany. </div> <div><br /></div> </div>Fri, 04 Dec 2020 07:00:00 +0100 drones enable research on inaccessible volcanoes<p><b>​Specially-adapted drones developed by an international research team, with key participation from Chalmers scientists, have been gathering data from never-before-explored volcanoes that will enable local communities to better forecast future eruptions.The cutting-edge research at Manam volcano in Papua New Guinea is also improving scientists’ understanding of how volcanoes contribute to the global carbon cycle, key to sustaining life on Earth and to regulating climate. ​​</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">The University College London-led team’s findings, published in an article in <a href="">Science Advances</a>, show for the first time how it is possible to combine measurements from the air, earth and space to learn more about the most inaccessible, highly active volcanoes on the planet.</span><div><div> </div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"></span></div> <div>They co-created solutions to the challenges of measuring gas emissions from active volcanoes, through using modified long-range drones. Pioneering work in this area was demonstrated by Chalmers scientists in 2016, when they reached the volcanic cloud of Bagana, at a height of nearly 2km, in the remote island of Bougainville (<a href="/en/departments/see/news/Pages/Measuring-volcano-gases-with-drones-Chalmers-scientists-test-new-techniques-in-Papua-New-Guinea.aspx">read the full story here</a>). The Chalmers team, working in close cooperation with scientists of the Rabaul Volcano Observatory of Papua New Guinea, also donated an instrument for permanent monitoring of Tavurvur volcano, a volcano that erupted in 1994 and 2014, covering the town of Rabaul under ash. </div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>– We were there to do science that helps to save lives, say Bo Galle, professor emeritus at Chalmers, who had been part of all field campaigns in Papua New Guinea</div> <div> </div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3"><span>More data than previously possible </span></h3> <p class="chalmersElement-P">By combining in situ aerial measurements at Manam with results from sa<span>tellites and ground-based remote sensors, researchers gathered a much richer data set than previously possible. This enabled them to monitor the active volcano remotely, improving understanding of how much carbon dioxide (CO2) is being released, and, importantly, where this carbon is coming from. </span></p> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>With a diameter of 10km, Manam volcano is located on an island 13km off the northeast coast of the mainland, at 1,800m above sea level.Previous studies have shown it is among the world’s biggest emitters of sulphur dioxide (SO2), but nothing was known of its CO2 output. Calculating the ratio between sulphur and carbon dioxide levels in a volcano’s emissions is critical to determining how likely an eruption is to take place. </div> <div> </div> <div>Volcanic CO2 emissions are challenging to measure due to high concentrations in the background atmosphere. Measurements need to be collected very close to active vents and, at hazardous volcanoes like Manam, drones are the only way to obtain samples safely. Yet beyond-line-of-sight drone flights have rarely been attempted in volcanic environments.</div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>Adding miniaturised gas sensors, spectrometers and sampling devices that are automatically triggered to open and close, the team was able to fly the drone 2km high and 6km away to reach Manam’s summit, where they captured gas samples to be analysed within hours. </div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>Chalmers scientists’ experience, and the expertise of a Swedish pilot, were determinant to conduct measurements with a specially designed UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) and ground-based sensors. </div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/SEE/Profilbilder/Santiago_Arellano_170.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" />– Our drone ended up being used as a platform for measure</span><span style="background-color:initial">ments by other </span><span style="background-color:initial">colleagues in the team</span><span style="background-color:initial">, says Santiago Arellano,  a Chalmers researcher who took part in the field campaign, from real-time measurement of gas composition and flux, to the collection of gas samples in bags and especially prepared gas containers, that were then used for analyses of isotopes and halogens. This information is crucial to reveal the origin of magmas and to assess the impact of emission on the environment. The measurements could not be practically conducted in other way, concludes Arellano, who works at the division of Microwave and Optical Remote Sensing, at the Department och Space, Earth and Environment at Chalmers. </span></div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div><strong>Santiago Arellano, what was it like working at Papua New Guinea during this project? </strong></div> <div> </div> <div>– Working in PNG was challenging but highly rewarding. We had been doing fieldwork in all kinds of places in Africa, Latin America, Kamchatka. We have always had to adapt to unexpected circumstances and embrace surprises with open arms. But in PNG we sort of had them all together. We experienced a magnitude 7 earthquake with risk of tsunami on the first night, had to stop our trip due to civil war fighting, transport all supplies and equipment by airplane, car, boat and foot across the rivers…a long list. But we also got to know and learn from extraordinary people, generous and resilient, who had their own relationship with the volcanoes. You realize volcanoes are not only targets of scientific research, but they are primarily part of the environment where thousands of people live and dream.</div> <div> </div> <div><strong style="background-color:initial"><br /></strong></div> <div> </div> <div><strong style="background-color:initial">Why is it important to measure the CO2 emissions from volcanoes? </strong></div> <div> </div> <div>– Volcanoes emit gases before and during eruptions, mostly water vapor and gases containing carbon and sulfur. CO2 is released from very deep, before the other gases, and therefore it can give an early signal of unrest of a volcano. If the emission is at low altitude it can be a threat to life, if it gets too high, it can even alter the climate. At a global level, all volcanoes of the world emit together about a thousand of what human activities do, unless there would be a Toba-like eruption (the largest volcanic eruption on Earth, in Sumatra 70 000 years ago). A key difference though, is that we cannot control the emission from volcanoes.</div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>Why is it important to know where those emissions come from – mantle, crust or sediment? </strong></span></div> <div> </div> <div>– If the source of emission is magma (molten deep lava) from the mantle, the implication is totally different than if it comes, say from biogenic activity or sediments in the crust, because it would mean that the volcano is active and may produce an eruption. Usually the origin is revealed by the isotopic composition, for which samples need to be taken from concentrated sources of gas, dangerous to people but not to drones.</div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div><strong>What was Chalmers contribution to this research?</strong> </div> <div> </div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">– Chalmers had demonstrated the application of drones to reach high-altitude volcanic clouds during field campaigns in Papua New Guinea in 2016 (Tavurvur, Bagana, Ulawun, </span><span style="background-color:initial">(</span><a href="/en/departments/see/news/Pages/Measuring-volcano-gases-with-drones-Chalmers-scientists-test-new-techniques-in-Papua-New-Guinea.aspx">read the full story here</a><span style="background-color:initial">)</span><span style="background-color:initial">, and 2018 (Langila). Common challenges to these were technical (reaching up to 2500 m height above ground and 5 km distance, piloting without seeing the drone), and logistical (very remote volcanoes, basic infrastructure, import restrictions, etc.). We initiated a good cooperation with the local Rabaul Volcano Observatory and contributed also with measurements from ground, which was the initial expected contribution of our group to an international team that included colleagues from Cambridge, Bristol, Palermo, Heidelberg/Mainz, New Mexico, Costa Rica, and of course PNG. The ABOVE campaign was the final effort of the 10-year Deep Carbon Observatory project and had the ambition to join groups developing drone applications on volcanoes for a dedicated campaign in Manam, one of the strongest gas emitters in the world, and also one of the less well known. Our approach was successful to obtain the data that we were committed to provide and to help other groups to achieve their measurements.</span></div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>Were there valuable things learnt/connections made for coming project? </strong></span><br /></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div> </div> <div>– We pinpointed the source and magnitude of emissions of carbon and sulfur on these volcanoes, key to improve estimates of worldwide volcanic gas emission. The project gave a push forward to creating new instrumentation and methodologies to combine measurements from ground and air to make observations that otherwise would not be possible. We had maintained the cooperation with the other groups, but of course no more fieldwork has been possible in this year. These drone developments will hopefully be used for research on emissions from ship and industries by our group at Chalmers, says Santiago Arellano.</div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>The first part of the text is based on a press release from the ABOVE project. The press release, that can be read in its entirety here: <a href="">New drone ​</a><a href=""><div style="display:inline !important"><span style="background-color:initial">technology improves ability to forecast volcanic eruptions</span></div></a></div> <div> ​</div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3"><span>The ABOVE - </span>Aerial-based Observations of Volcanic Emissions - project </h3> <div><span></span><span style="background-color:initial">The ABOVE project was led by University College London and involved specialists from the UK, USA, Canada, Italy, Sweden, Ecuador, Germany, Costa Rica, New Zealand, and Papua New Guinea, spanning remote sensing, volcanology and aerospace engineering. Vladimir Conde, Johan Mellqvist, Jiazhi Xu, Gustav Gerdes and Tomas Krejci were also involved in Chalmers instruments and drone developments. ABOVE was funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Chalmers UAV research has been supported by FORMAS and the Swedish National Space Board</span><span style="background-color:initial">. <br /><a href="">Visit the official ABOVE website</a>. </span></div> <div> </div></div>Fri, 20 Nov 2020 00:00:00 +0100 flashes come in all different sizes<p><b>​By studying the site of a spectacular stellar explosion seen in April 2020, a Chalmers-led team of scientists have used four European radio telescopes to confirm that astronomy’s most exciting puzzle is about to be solved. Fast radio bursts, unpredictable millisecond-long radio signals seen at huge distances across the universe, are generated by extreme stars called magnetars – and are astonishingly diverse in brightness.</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">For over a decade, the phenomenon known as fast radio bursts has excited and mystified astronomers. These extraordinarily bright but extremely brief flashes of radio waves – lasting only milliseconds – reach Earth from galaxies billions of light years away. </span><div><br /></div> <div>In April 2020, one of the bursts was for the first time detected from within our galaxy, the Milky Way, by radio telescopes CHIME and STARE2. The unexpected flare was traced to a previously-known source only 25 000 light years from Earth in the constellation of Vulpecula, the Fox, and scientists all over the world coordinated their efforts to follow up the discovery.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>In May, a team of scientists led by Franz Kirsten (Chalmers) pointed four of Europe’s best radio telescopes towards the source, known as SGR 1935+2154. Their results are published today in a paper in the journal Nature Astronomy.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“We didn’t know what to expect. Our radio telescopes had only rarely been able to see fast radio bursts, and this source seemed to be doing something completely new. We were hoping to be surprised!”, said Mark Snelders, team member from the Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy, University of Amsterdam. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>The radio telescopes, one dish each in the Netherlands and Poland and two at Onsala Space Observatory in Sweden, monitored the source every night for more than four weeks after the discovery of the first flash, a total of 522 hours of observation.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>On the evening of May 24, the team got the surprise they were looking for. At 23:19 local time, the Westerbork telescope in the Netherlands, the only one of the group on duty, caught a dramatic and unexpected signal: two short bursts, each one millisecond long but 1.4 seconds apart. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Kenzie Nimmo, astronomer at Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy and ASTRON, is a member of the team.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“We clearly saw two bursts, extremely close in time. Like the flash seen from the same source on April 28, this looked just like the fast radio bursts we’d been seeing from the distant universe, only dimmer. The two bursts we detected on May 24 were even fainter than that”, she said.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>This was new, strong evidence connecting fast radio bursts with magnetars, the scientists thought. Like more distant sources of fast radio bursts, SGR 1935+2154 seemed to be producing bursts at random intervals, and over a huge brightness range. </div> <div> </div> <div>“The brightest flashes from this magnetar are at least ten million times as bright as the faintest ones. We asked ourselves, could that also be true for fast radio burst sources outside our galaxy? If so, then the universe’s magnetars are creating beams of radio waves that could be criss-crossing the cosmos all the time – and many of these could be within the reach of modest-sized telescopes like ours”, said team member Jason Hessels (Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy and ASTRON, Netherlands). </div> <div><br /></div> <img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/SEE/Nyheter/sgr1935_futselaar_magnetar_72dpi_340x340.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><div>Neutron stars are the tiny, extremely dense remnants left behind when a short-lived star of more than eight times the mass of the Sun explodes as a supernova. For 50 years, astronomers have studied pulsars, neutron stars which with clock-like regularity send out pulses of radio waves and other radiation. All pulsars are believed to have strong magnetic fields, but the magnetars are the strongest known magnets in the universe, each with a magnetic field hundreds of trillions of times stronger than the Sun’s.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>In the future, the team aims to keep the radio telescopes monitoring SGR 1935+2154 and other nearby magnetars, in the hope of pinning down how these extreme stars actually make their brief blasts of radiation. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Scientists have presented many ideas for how fast radio bursts are generated. Franz Kirsten, astronomer at Onsala Space Observatory, Chalmers, who led the project, expects the rapid pace in understanding the physics behind fast radio bursts to continue.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“The fireworks from this amazing, nearby magnetar have given us exciting clues about how fast radio bursts might be generated. The bursts we detected on May 24 could indicate a dramatic disturbance in the star’s magnetosphere, close to its surface. Other possible explanations, like shock waves further out from the magnetar, seem less likely, but I’d be delighted to be proved wrong. Whatever the answers, we can expect new measurements and new surprises in the months and years to come”, he said.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="">Read press release and access high-resolution images</a></div> <a href=""> </a><div><br /></div> <div><strong>More about the research, the telescopes and Onsala Space Observatory</strong></div> <div><br /></div> <div>The research is published in a paper <em>Detection of two bright radio bursts from magnetar</em></div> <em> </em><div><em>SGR 1935+2154</em> in Nature Astronomy, by Franz Kirsten (Onsala Space Observatory, Chalmers), M. P. Snelders, M. Jenkins (Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy, University of Amsterdam) K. Nimmo (Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy, University of Amsterdam,  and ASTRON, Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy, Netherlands), J. van den Eijnden (Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy, University of Amsterdam and Department of Physics, Astrophysics, University of Oxford), J. W. T. Hessels (Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy, University of Amsterdam, and ASTRON, Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy, Netherlands), M. P. Gawroński (Institute of Astronomy, Nicolaus Copernicus University, Toruń, Poland) and Jun Yang (Onsala Space Observatory, Chalmers).</div> <div><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">Link to research paper in Nature Astronomy: </span><span style="background-color:initial"> <a href=""></a></span><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">The paper is also available at ArXiv: </span><span style="background-color:initial"><a href="">https://a</a></span><span style="background-color:initial"><a href=""></a></span></div> <div><br /></div> <div><div>Franz Kirsten tells the story of the research project in an article &quot;Behind the paper: Hunting for Galactic counterparts to fast radio bursts​&quot; <span style="background-color:initial">at</span><span style="background-color:initial"> </span><span style="background-color:initial">Nature Astronomy Community:</span></div> <a href="" style="outline:0px"></a></div> <div><br /></div> <img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/SEE/Nyheter/onsala_20m_r_hammargren_72dpi_340x340.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><div>The observations were carried out using the 25-metre RT1 telescope at Westerbork, Netherlands, both the 25-metre and 20-metre telescopes at Onsala Space Observatory, and the 32-metre telescope in Toruń, Poland. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Onsala Space Observatory is Sweden's national facility for radio astronomy. The observatory provides researchers with equipment for the study of the earth and the rest of the universe. In Onsala, 45 km south of Gothenburg, it operates four radio telescopes and a station in the international telescope Lofar. It also participates in several international projects. The observatory is hosted by the Department of Space, Earth and Environment at Chalmers University of Technology, and is operated on behalf of the Swedish Research Council.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Contacts</strong></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Robert Cumming, communicator, Onsala Space Observatory, Chalmers, tel: +46 31-772 5500 or +46 70 493 3114,</div> <div> </div> <div>Franz Kirsten, astronomer, Onsala Space Observatory, Chalmers, +46 31-772 5532,</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong><em>Images</em></strong></div> <div><strong><em><br /></em></strong></div> <div><em>A (top) On May 24, four European telescopes took part in the global effort to understand mysterious cosmic flashes. The telescopes captured flashes of radio waves from an extreme, magnetised star in our galaxy. All are shown in this illustration. </em></div> <div><em>Credit: </em><span style="background-color:initial"><em>Danielle Futselaar, </em><em><a href=""></a></em></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><em>B Artist's impression of the magnetar </em></span><span></span><span style="background-color:initial"><em>SGR 1935+2154.<br /></em></span><div><em>Credit: </em><span style="background-color:initial"><em>Danielle Futselaar, </em><em><a href=""></a></em></span></div> <div><br /></div></div> <div><i>C Radio telescopes at Onsala Space Observatory in Sweden. Two of the telescopes at Onsala Space Observatory took part in observations of magnetar </i><i style="background-color:initial">SGR 1935+2154: the 20-metre telescope (in its protective radome) and 25-metre telescope (top right in the image). </i></div> <div><i>Foto: Chalmers/Magnus Falck</i><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><br /></div> Mon, 16 Nov 2020 17:00:00 +0100 the webinar: Hydrogen – A silver bullet in the energy system?<p><b>​Thank all of you who participated in the webinar, 4 November: Hydrogen – A silver bullet in the energy system? Watch the seminar and download the speaker&#39;s presentations:​</b></p>​<a href="">​Watch the webinar on Chalmers Play: Hydrogen – A silver bullet in the energy system?</a><div><a href=""></a><div><br /></div> <div><span style="font-weight:700">Program</span><ul><li>Moderator: Anders Ådahl, Energy Area of Advance Co-Director.</li> <li><a href="">Maria Grahn</a>, Senior researcher, department of Mechanics and Maritime Science. Maritime Environmental Science. Director of Energy Area of Advance, Chalmers.<br /><span style="font-weight:700">Download the presentation:</span> <a href="/sv/styrkeomraden/energi/nyheter/Documents/Hydrogenwebinar_M.G__overview_4%20Nov%202020_final.pdf">“Main possibilities and challenges for using hydrogen in the energy and transport sector​”​</a>​,</li> <li><a href="">Thierry Lepercq​</a>, founder of Soladvent. Former Executive Vice-President in charge of Research &amp; Technology and Innovation, ENGIE. Author of the book &quot;Hydrogen is the new oil&quot;.​<br /><span style="font-weight:700">Download the presentation:</span> <a href="/sv/styrkeomraden/energi/nyheter/Documents/Hydrogenwebinar_TL_Prez%20Chalmers%204%20November%202020.pdf"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icpdf.png" alt="" />“The view on hydrogen in Europe”, </a></li> <li><a href="">Björn Wickman​</a>, Associate Professor, Chemical Physics, Department of Physics, Chalmers.<br /><span style="font-weight:700">Download the presentation:</span> <a href="/sv/styrkeomraden/energi/nyheter/Documents/Hydrogenwebinar_BW_Fuel%20Cells_4%20Nov_2020.pdf"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icpdf.png" alt="" />“Improved fuels cells to enable a sustainable energy system”.​</a></li></ul> <div><span style="font-weight:700"><br /></span><br /></div> <div><span style="font-weight:700">Panel: </span><br /><span style="font-weight:700"></span><div><ul><li><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/karin-andersson.aspx">Karin Andersson</a>, Professor in Maritime Environmental Science Expert in sustainable shipping, Chalmers. </li> <li><a href="/en/staff/Pages/tomas-gronstedt.aspx">Tomas Grönstedt</a>, Professor at Fluid Dynamics/Mechanics and Maritime Sciences, Chalmers.</li> <li><a href="">Anna-Karin Jannasch</a>, Rise, Director of the Swedish testbed for hydrogen electrolysis and industrial application </li> <li>Monica Johansson, Principal Energy &amp; Fuel Analyst, Volvo group. Expert in alternative fuels, with knowledge in hydrogen infrastructure. </li> <li><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/koopmans.aspx">Lucien Koopmans</a>, Professor, head of the division Combustion and Propulsion Systems, Chalmers.</li> <li>Mattias Wondollek, Program Director, <a href="">Energiforsk</a>.​</li></ul></div></div></div></div>Mon, 09 Nov 2020 00:00:00 +0100​Star hunt at Swedish schools<p><b>​An intensive star hunt is currently ongoing at more than 20 Swedish schools –but it’s not any kind of talent show. It is this year&#39;s edition of the school project Help a Scientist, arranged for the tenth time by the Nobel Prize Museum. This year&#39;s theme is stars and space. The Star Hunt is a scientific search for new stars and a hunt for new knowledge about the conditions under which stars are formed.​</b></p><div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/SEE/Nyheter/Star-hunt-Giuliana_Ruben_Jonathan.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="Portrait pictures Dr. Giuliana Cosentino, Dr. Rubén Fedriani and Professor Jonathan Tan" style="margin:5px" /><div><span style="background-color:initial">D</span><span style="background-color:initial">uring September, The Star Hunt has started at the participating schools, which are spread all over the country. 32 teachers and up to 1500 school children from 67 classes learn about astronomy and get to participate in a real research project. The students involved are in the eighth and ninth grades and they will get help from several Chalmers astronomers.</span><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div>The researchers Dr. Giuliana Cosentino, Dr. Rubén Fedriani and Professor Jonathan Tan from Chalmers' Department of Space, Earth and Environment participate in this year's version of Help a Scientist. It is not only an exciting school project, but the students' results will be helpful to the researchers in their work.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“Students will analyse images taken in a variety of wavelengths of light, from radio to x-ray, by telescopes in space, in the air and on the ground. The goal is to contribute new knowledge about the birth of stars and in the long run increase the understanding of our galaxy and our own origin”, says Jonathan Tan.<span style="background-color:initial"> </span></div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Image analysis in collaboration with NASA</h2> <div>What the students will help the researchers with is to identify new stars that are born from interstellar clouds and answer the questions if these stars form alone, as twins or clustered together in great broods?  </div> <div><br /></div> <div>The images the pupils will analyse will be provided by the web-based WorldWide Telescope platform, which interfaces with NASA databases.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“We have worked with developers of this software specially for the Star Hunt project to upload some of our research datasets for the students to analyze. The students will be able to see for themselves how stars are forming in our galaxy by examining these images and cross matching them against a wide variety of other data available at the platform”, says Jonathan Tan.</div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Pilot exercises in the Gothenburg area</h2> <div>Earlier this year, pilot exercises were arranged at two different schools in the Gothenburg region, at Torslandaskolan and Torpskolan in Lerum.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“We met the classes and gave a lecture on the formation of stars and how astronomers make observations with telescopes. Then we worked together on a research exercise. The test rounds were great for us; we have been able to develop the tasks and the tools based on the feedback we received from the students”, says Jonathan Tan.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>In addition to giving lectures for students, the researchers have worked hard to produce an 80-page booklet which explains the exercises. The document also contains an introduction to the subject of astronomy and to the research group's main focus, star formation.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The researchers have also had a digital start-up conference with about thirty teachers and later this autumn, digital class visits will be done online.</div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Scientific level, creativity and design are awarded</h2> <div>Since the goal of Help a Scientist is to let the students experience a researcher's reality, they will also have to work on presenting their studies by making scientific posters that demonstrate the research process and the results from The Star Hunt. The posters are a part of a competition where different prizes are given based on science, creativity and design.</div> <div>​​<br /></div> <div>Each category has different jury groups consisting of researchers, science journalists and the pupils themselves. Students can win grants for their class funds and study visits to Chalmers where they get to meet prominent researchers.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The winners will be presented in February 2021, hopefully at a ceremony at the Nobel Prize Museum in Stockholm.</div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>Text:</strong> Julia Jansson​</span></div> Thu, 01 Oct 2020 14:00:00 +0200​On dusty roads through the Universe<p><b>​Cosmic dust grains are microscopic particles that affect virtually every process in the Universe, from the formation of planets and stars to black holes and entire galaxies. But where do the dust grains come from, and how do they develop? Researchers from Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg will try to answer this in a joint project, thanks to a large grant from the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation.– Dust is absolutely fundamental for astronomy and for us humans. Without dust, our Solar  system would not have formed, says Kirsten Kraiberg Knudsen, head of the project &quot;The Origin and Fate of Dust in our Universe&quot;.​</b></p><div><span style="background-color:initial">The Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation has granted a total of SEK 541 million to 18 outstanding basic research projects in medicine, science and technology that are considered to have the opportunity to lead to future scientific breakthroughs.</span><br /></div> <div>Kirsten Kraiberg Knudsen is a professor of extragalactic astronomy at the Department of Space, Earth and Environment at Chalmers and she is very much looking forward to starting the project together with her colleagues.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/SEE/Nyheter/Kollage-KAW-200.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" />– It feels fantastic and it is a great opportunity! We are four researchers leading the project: Susanne Aalto, Wouter Vlemmings and myself from Chalmers, together with Gunnar Nyman from the University of Gothenburg. The fact that we can combine our expertise special competencies in this project means that we can cross subject boundaries to address deal with a very fundamental question in astronomy, namely &quot;what is the origin and fate of dust in the Universe&quot;.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>For non-astronomers, dust is mostly something that gets in the way. Why is it important to study dust in the Universe?</strong></div> <div><br /></div> <div>– Dust is fundamental for astronomy and for the formation of our own planet.  Dust particles are small, and complex both in shape and composition, and they are important for most processes in the Universe. For example, dust particles are necessary for star and planet formation – without dust, our Solar system would not have formed. Dust is also important for chemical processes, because an incredible number of many molecules in space are formed on the surface of the dust particles, i e it is difficult for many molecules to form without the dust particles. And dust also affects our observations since dust grains extinct the light from the objects we want to observe, which can have major consequences for the interpretation of scientific results.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>In the project you will combine new observations with theoretical models in physical chemistry. What type of objects will you focus on?</strong></div> <div><br /></div> <div>– We will focus  on three important types of objects. One of these types is the old stars, around which the seeds of the dust grains originate. Dust grains from stars will subsequently grow in space, when molecules stick to their surfaces. The step from the formation of dust grains to when they are spread throughout the galaxy can be complicated, and the dust can be destroyed by, for example, collisions or radiation.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>– We will  also focus on two types of objects that have extreme conditions, galaxies in the early universe, and the regions around supermassive black holes. In the early universe, young galaxies, with lots of dust, have been discovered, while in such young galaxies, most stars have not grown to an age where they produce enough dust. Around supermassive black holes the dust grains are destroyed, reshaped and regrown as the density of the gas and radiation is more extreme than in ordinary parts of a galaxy.</div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>How can theoretical models complement the observations?</strong></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div>– The theoretical models and calculations are intended to describe the dust particles at a microscopic level. Because it is difficult or impossible to perform experiments on Earth that correspond to the extreme conditions that apply found in space, theoretical calculations become extra important. They are intended to help interpret and understand the observations we make.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>– One goal of the project is also to understand how the microscopic properties of dust grains affect the larger scale astronomical processes, and the other way around – how macroscopic processes affect the dust grains. An example of this is the survival of dust grains under extreme conditions. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Is there a specific question that you are especially looking forward to the project succeeding in answering?</strong></div> <div><strong><br /></strong></div> <div>– This is a complex research topic with many aspects, so and there are several fascinating questions that I hope we succeed in answering. We want to answer what happens to dust grains after they have formed near dying stars and then transported through space, where the grains need to grow before they can become part of new stars and planets. Based on this, it will be interesting how this compares to galaxies in the previous early universe and in the environment around super-massive black holes.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>– If we succeed in this, we will have made an important contribution to the topic. This combination of research fields, observations and theory will impact our understanding of the Universe, the origin and evolution of stars and galaxies and not least our own origins, says Kirsten Kraiberg Knudsen. </div> <div><br /></div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Project: ”The Origi​​n and Fate of Dust in our Universe”</h3> <div>Awarded grant: 27 700 000 SEK for a five year project. </div> <div>Professor Kirsten Kraiberg Knudsen, Chalmers University of Technology, together with colleagues professors Wouter Vlemmings and Susanne Aalto, all three at the division of Astronomy and Plasma Physics, the depart ment of Space, Earth and Environment, and professor Gunnar Nyman, Department of Chemistry &amp; Molecular Biology, The University of Gothenburg.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><span>Out of the 18 projects receiving grants from The Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, three will be conducted at Chalmers. At the Department of Physics, </span><a href="/en/departments/physics/news/Pages/Major-grant-to-explore-heavy-element-creation-in-neutron-star-mergers.aspx">Associate Professor Andreas Heinz will lead a project about the creation of heavy elements in neutron-star mergers</a> and <a href="/en/departments/physics/news/Pages/Bright-prospects-for-revolutionary-optics-research.aspx">Professor Mikael Käll will lead a project on light sources of the future</a><span style="background-color:initial">. </span><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><strong>Photo cre​dits: ​</strong></p> <strong> </strong><div><span style="background-color:initial">Top left: A</span><span style="background-color:initial"> scanning electron microscope image of an interplanetary dust particle. Credit: Donald E. Brownlee, University of Washington, Seattle, and Elmar Jessberger, Institut für Planetologie, Münster, Germany. <a href="">Original photo and more information can be found here</a>. </span><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">Top right: Kirsten Kraiberg Knudsen. Credit: </span><span style="background-color:initial">Markus Marcetic/Sveriges unga akademi​</span></div> ​​Wed, 30 Sep 2020 09:00:00 +0200 Action Plan puts nature at the heart of economy<p><b>A new study with a ​​10-point Action Plan to Create a Circular Bioeconomy of Wellbeing published by the European Forest Institute calls for collective action to put nature at the heart of the economy and set the world on a sustainable path.​​</b></p><span></span><div><span style="font-size:14px"><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/SEE/Nyheter/goran_berndes_200.jpg" alt="Göran Berndes" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" style="margin:5px" />“The transition away from fossil carbon is sometimes considered a matter of mobilising new resources to enable us to proceed in the business-as-usual direction. The 10 Point Action Plan brings forward an alternative paradigm. Contrary to the extractive and linear fossil-based economy, the circular bioeconomy relies on healthy, biodiverse and resilient ecosystems and aims to provide sustainable wellbeing for society at large”, said Göran Berndes, Professor, Biomass and Land Use at Chalmers University of Technology.</span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px"><strong>Written by a multidisciplinary team</strong> of over 25 authors, led by EFI Director Marc Palahí, the 10-point Action Plan for a Circular Bioeconomy of Wellbeing brings together the latest scientific insights and breakthrough technologies to offer a solution to current global challenges.</span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px">The publication features a Foreword by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, who says: “I have been deeply encouraged by the number of scientists and practitioners who have come together to develop a 10-point Circular Bioeconomy Action Plan inspired by my Sustainable Markets Initiative and its Circular Bioeconomy Alliance. It is time for leaders, across all disciplines, to step forward, be bold in their ambition and demonstrate what is possible so that others can follow.”</span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px"><strong>The Action Plan emphasises the importance</strong> of moving towards a circular bioeconomy to holistically transform and manage our land, food, health and industrial systems with the goal of achieving sustainable wellbeing in harmony with nature.</span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px">“It has been an honour to work with The Prince of Wales, who inspired and contributed to The Action Plan”, said Marc Palahí. “The Action Plan forms the framework for the Circular Bioeconomy Alliance established by His Royal Highness to accelerate the transition towards a Circular Bioeconomy. I am proud that EFI will coordinate such a transformative initiative.”</span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px"><strong>“Global challenges like climate change</strong>, and biodiversity loss, coupled with a growing and highly urbanised population call for new ways of producing and consuming within our planetary boundaries”, says co-author Mari Pantsar, who is Director of Carbon-neutral circular economy at The Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra. “We need a transition to a circular economy.”</span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">At</span><span style="background-color:initial"> the same time, we need to achieve sustainability w</span><span style="background-color:initial">hile ensuring equitable prosperity. The health and wellbeing of our citizens is a strong incentive to rethink our land, food and health systems, transform our industries and reimagine our cities.</span><br /></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px"><strong>The study sets out 10 Action Points</strong> which are needed to create a circular bioeconomy based on a synergistic relationship between economy and ecology:</span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px"><br /></span></div> <div><ol><li><span style="font-size:14px">Focus on sustainable wellbeing</span></li> <li>I<span style="background-color:initial">nvest in nature and biodiversity</span></li> <li>Generate <span style="background-color:initial">an equitable distribution of prosperity</span></li> <li>Rethink land, food and health systems holistically</li> <li>Transform industrial sectors </li> <li>Reimagine cities through ecological lenses</li> <li>Create an enabling regulatory framework</li> <li>Deliver mission-oriented innovation to the investment and political agenda</li> <li>Enable access to finance and enhance risk-taking capacity</li> <li>Intensify and broaden research and education</li></ol></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px">Palahí, M., Pantsar, M., Costanza, R., Kubiszewski, I., Potočnik, J., Stuchtey, M., Nasi, R., Lovins, H., Giovannini, E., Fioramonti, L., Dixson-Declève, S., McGlade, J., Pickett, K., Wilkinson, R., Holmgren, J., Trebeck, K., Wallis, S., Ramage, M., Berndes, G., Akinnifesi, F.K., Ragnarsdóttir, K.V., Muys, B., Safonov, G., Nobre, A.D., Nobre, C., Ibañez, D., Wijkman, A., Snape, J., Bas, L. 2020. Investing in Nature as the true engine of our economy: A 10-point Action Plan for a Circular Bioeconomy of Wellbeing. Knowledge to Action 02, European Forest Institute. </span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px"><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Download the study</a></span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px">The publication was developed within the framework of the Sustainable Markets Initiative of</span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px">His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales. It received support from Sitra, the Finnish Innovation Fund.</span></div> <div><br /></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px"><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />About EFI</a></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">Th</span><span style="background-color:initial">e European Forest Institute (EFI) is an independent international science organization which generates, connects and shares knowledge at the interface between science and policy. EFI has 29 member countries who have ratified the Convention, and c.120 member organizations in 38 countries, working in diverse research fields.</span><br /></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px">​<br /></span></div>Wed, 30 Sep 2020 00:00:00 +0200 and Onsala on film: Chalmers celebrates Sweden&#39;s Day and Night of Astronomy 2020<p><b>​Chalmers&#39; exoplanet experts and a new film from Onsala Space Observatory are among the highlights at national festival Astronomins dag och natt 2020.</b></p>​Sweden's Day and Night of <span style="background-color:initial">Astronomy (Astronomins dag och natt) has theme &quot;Earth 2.0&quot; with a focus on exoplanets, and a program of events, both digital and in real life.</span><div><br /></div> <div>Chalmers astronomer Carina Persson is one of three invited speakers in the national digital program for the festival, to be broadcast on</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Her colleagues Iskra Georgieva (Chalmers) and Oscar Barragán (University of Oxford) are also taking part in the digital program.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>A new film premieres showing Onsala Space Observatory and its telescopes as they have never been seen before. The five-minute short film <em>Onsala Space Observatory: aerial footage summer 2020</em>, by Roger Hammargren (Onsala Space Observatory), will be shown for the first time at 13:15 CEST during the festival Saturday.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Times for festival events with connection to Chalmers on Saturday 26 September 2020:</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>11:35 Searching for Earth 2.0</strong></div> <div>Iskra Georgieva &amp; Oscar Barragán. Lecture in English. Broadcast on <a href=""></a> and then available at <a href="">Astronomins dag och natt's YouTube channel</a> </div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>12:30 An astronomical journey in space</strong></div> <div>Swedish cutting-edge research from the Wallenberg Foundation. Film from the Wallenberg Foundation in which the astronomer Kirsten Kraiberg Knudsen and the mathematician Robert Berman participate. The Swedish version is included at <a href=""></a> and is also available in English at </div> <div><a href=""></a></div> <div><br /></div> <div><div><span style="font-weight:700">13:10 </span><b><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial">Onsala Space Observatory: aerial footage summer 2020</span></b></div> <div>Film by Roger Hammargren, Chalmers. Broadcast on <a href=""></a> and available after that at <a href="">Onsala Space Observatory's YouTube channel.​</a></div></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>14:45 Exoplanets</strong></div> <div>Talk by Carina Persson. Broadcast on and available after that at <span></span><a href="">Astronomins dag och natt's YouTube channel</a><span style="background-color:initial"> </span></div> <div><br /></div> <div>The festival's audio logo, seen and heard for the first time on September 24, also has a Chalmers connection. See it at YouTube at <a href=""></a></div> <div><br /></div> <div>The music is composed by Subramanyam Jaswanth, who did his Master's in radio astronomy at Chalmers in 2019 and whose thesis is the basis for a research article recently published in Astronomy and Astrophysics (<a href=""></a>).</div> <div><br /></div> <div><em>Images:</em></div> <div>A (top) Sweden's Day and Night of Astronomy: with plenty of exoplanets courtesy of (insets) Carina Persson and her colleagues Oscar Barragán and Iskra Georgieva, as well new aerial footage of Onsala Space Observatory.</div> <div>Sources: NASA Ames / JPL / T. Pyle (illustration); Chalmers and private (photos)</div> <div><br /></div> <div>B: Still picture from the short film <em>Onsala Space Observatory: aerial footage summer 2020</em> by Roger Hammargren. In the foreground is the round white radome that protects the observatory's 20-m telescope. All the observatory's telescopes can be seen in the film.</div> <div>Photo: Chalmers / R. Hammargren</div>Thu, 24 Sep 2020 15:00:00 +0200 the future for feasible climate action<p><b>Jessica Jewell, assistant professor in Energy Transitions at Chalmers University of Technology, has been awarded a 1.5€ million grant by the European Research Council for a project entitled MechANisms and actors of Feasible Energy Transitions (MANIFEST) which will run from 2021-2026. The project will advance our understanding of whether and under what conditions it is feasible to avoid dangerous climate change. – We know how to solve the climate change problem in mathematical models, but we need to understand how to solve it in the real world, says Jessica Jewell, at the Department of Space, Earth and Environment.​</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">Technologies needed to decarbonize the electricity system are already commercially available. And there are mathematical models of how these technologies can be deployed sufficiently fast and at a large enough scale to displace fossil fuels and meet climate targets. Yet there is no scientific method to evaluate whether these scenarios are feasible in the real world, given the socio-political and technological constraints in different countries and regions. </span><div><br /><span style="background-color:initial"></span><div>The project MANIFEST will develop a new scientific understanding of the feasibility to decarbonize the electricity sector focusing on both launching low-carbon electricity in developing countries and sustaining the growth of renewable electricity already in place in front-runner countries.  </div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/SEE/Profilbilder/Jessica_Jewell_170.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" />We asked Jessica Jewell a few questions about the grant, the project MANIFEST and the greatest challenges to overcome for the electricity sector. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>How did it feel when you heard that you were to receive this grant? </strong></div> <div><br /></div> <div>– I was surprised and super excited. My research is really interdisciplinary which is typically pretty hard to get endorsed by scientific review panels. I also feel very grateful for everyone who helped me develop as a scientist: first at Central European University where I was a doctoral student, then at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis and the University of Bergen and now at Chalmers. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>You describe the project MANIFEST as a &quot;shift in the thinking about the feasibility of climate change mitigation&quot;. Can you describe that change, and why a change is needed? </strong></div> <div><br /></div> <div>– We know how to solve the climate change problem in mathematical models, but we need to understand how to solve it in the real world. The main scholarly approach to assess whether something is feasible in the real world is to look at whether anything similar happened in the past. But for climate change this runs into a problem because both the challenge and what we need to do are unprecedented so there are no direct historical analogues. Thus, analysing the feasibility of successful climate change mitigation may scientifically seem to be at a dead end. I overcome this stalemate by looking at the past and ongoing climate actions through a particular social science lens called ‘causal mechanisms’. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>– My hypothesis is that while a lot of things are changing (e.g. clean technologies are becoming cheaper, population and energy demand grow), the political, economic and social mechanisms that shape our capacity to act on climate are the same. By understanding these mechanisms through empirically observing the past I hope to be able to predict what is and is not possible to do in the future.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>One of the methods described in this project is called &quot;dynamic feasibility space&quot;. What does that entail, and how can you use that method in this project?</strong> </div> <div><br /></div> <div>– A dynamic feasibility space is a tool I have developed to map empirical observations of past climate actions or energy transitions in order to tease out the underlying mechanisms shaping them. I’ve used this tool to map and understand the feasibility of rapid coal phase-out and in MANIFEST I want to similarly map and compare historical expansion of renewables to the expansion that countries plan in the future and that we need to see to reach the climate targets. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>What do you see as the greatest obstacles to overcome, in the shift to a fossil free electricity system? </strong></div> <div><br /></div> <div>– I see two main obstacles. First is how to sustain high growth rates in technology front-runners, countries which already have viable renewable electricity sectors providing up to 40% of their electricity supply, such as Denmark and Germany. For these nations it is important to sustain high growth rates to reach even higher levels of use of renewables. For example, recently, the growth of onshore wind power in Germany has significantly slowed down, primarily because of the lack of available sites. We need to understand whether this obstacle is simply a bureaucratic complication of handling planning permits, or whether it reflects the deeper mechanism of increasing social resistance and conflicts over land use which would be more difficult to overcome.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>– The second and bigger challenge is to figure out how to launch low-carbon electricity in developing countries, on what is called ‘the technology periphery’. Today the US and Europe with only 10% of the world’s population have 50% of global wind and solar power, but if we are to achieve climate targets, we need to deploy massive amounts of low-carbon technologies where the bulk of energy use in the 21st century will occur, i.e. in the Global South. This is a very different challenge because most of these countries do not yet have viable low-carbon electricity sectors (manufacturers of equipment, project developers and operators, functioning regulation and electricity markets) as in front-runners. How fast can all this knowledge, institutions, policies and business models diffuse from the front-runners (or emerge domestically) is a critical question, because only then can we expect the beginning of sustained growth of renewables.</div> <div><br /></div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">More info on the ERC: ​</h3> <div>The European Research Council (ERC), supports excellence in research in EU member countries. The Council primarily does this by three major systems for research that fits within the EU's Seventh Framework Programme. ERC Starting Grants for outstanding scientists who are at the beginning of his career, ERC Consolidator Grant to support researchers at the stage at which they are consolidating their own independent research team or programme and ERC Advanced Grants that can be awarded to researchers who has established their own research groups.</div> <div><a href="/en/research/our-scientists/Pages/ERC-funded-scientists.aspx"><span style="background-color:initial">Read more about the ERC funded scientists</span><span style="background-color:initial"> at Chalmers</span>​</a><span style="background-color:initial">. </span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>Text:</strong> Christian Löwhagen</span></div> </div>Thu, 03 Sep 2020 18:00:00 +0200 insights into the birth of Sun-like stars<p><b>​Astronomers have for the first time observed a crucial part of the process that our Sun went through when it was no more than a baby. A very young so called protostar was observed gathering material from the disk of matter that surrounds it – the same disk in which planets later will form.  – This is the first direct observation of a process that our Solar System would have gone through when it formed 5 billion years ago, says Rubén Fedriani, astronomer at Chalmers and member of the Irish-led research team. The study was published in Nature, August 26.​​</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">Astronomers believe that young stars acquire matter via their magnetic fields and that this material falls towards the star’s surface at supersonic velocities. The new observational findings, published August 26 in </span><div><span style="background-color:initial">Nature (</span><a href="" style="background-color:rgb(255, 255, 255)">A measure of the size of the magnetospheric accretion region in TW Hydrae in Nature</a><span style="background-color:initial">), help astronomers to better understand how stars like our Sun form, and how the disks surrounding these stellar embryos can give rise to planets similar to the Earth. </span><div><br /><span style="background-color:initial"></span><div>The team, led by Rebeca García López working at University College Dublin and the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies in Ireland, looked at one of the closest young stars to us, in the constellation of Hydra, the water snake. The star is “only” one million years old (an age equivalent to that of a human embryo). </div> <div><br /></div> <div>– This star is special because it is located very close to the Earth at only 160 light years away and the disk of material surrounding the star is directly facing us. This makes it the ideal candidate to probe how matter from a planet forming disk is channeled on to the stellar surface, says Rebeca García López. </div> <div>García López and her colleagues discovered emissions coming from hot gas and found that the size and velocity of the gas matched what theoretical models had predicted.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>– After eliminating all other scenarios, such as the hot gas could originate from matter expelled from the disk or stellar surface (that is from a  wind) there was only one remaining possibility to explain our observations: that the hot gas emission must come from the accretion flows of matter! concludes Alessio Caratti o Garatti, a study co-author from the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies in Ireland. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>The disk surrounding a young star is known as a protoplanetary disk. Such disks are the birthplace of planets, which can form when matter is still being acquired by the young star. Earth-like planets are believed to form in the inner regions of these disks where enormous amounts of energy are released by the accreting process. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>– Therefore, understanding how these processes occur is crucial to our understanding of the formation of planets and even the Earth, says Tom Ray from the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/SEE/Profilbilder/Ruben_Fedriani_170.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" />– What we want to do now is to see how the material left over from the star formation process is transformed <span style="background-color:initial">into planets, says team member, Rubén Fedriani from Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden. Rubén Fedriani’s contribution to the research helped explain some of the physical parameters, the fundamental one being the size of the gas-emitting region. </span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><a href="" style="background-color:rgb(255, 255, 255)">Link to the paper: A measure of the size of the magnetospheric accretion region in TW Hydrae in Nature</a>.</div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">More information about the research team </h3> <div>This research was conducted by an international team led by Irish astronomers with collaborators from France, Portugal, Germany and the European Southern Observatory (ESO). The team is part of the GRAVITY collaboration, named after the instrument they helped develop, which combines the light of four 8-metre ESO telescopes into a super-telescope (with a resolution equivalent to that of a telescope 130 metres in diameter). </div> <div><br /></div> <div>This work was in part supported by the European Research Council and Science Foundation Ireland. </div> </div></div>Thu, 27 Aug 2020 00:00:00 +0200