Tim Peake’s spacecraft on display

The Soyuz spacecraft, TMA-19M, which carried Tim Peake to the International Space Station has gone on display at the Science Museum. On March 24th you can take a virtual reality trip from space to Earth in a Suyuz space capsule and you can book your tickets now!



Trump and Global Warming

One hundred researchers, including many of the most prominent climate scientists in Britain, have written to Theresa May to warn her of the potential threats posed by Donald Trump, who has made it clear he does not accept that human activities contribute to global warming.

The letter warns that Trump’s administration may severely weaken climate change research. If the world class climate science now performed in the US is wound down under Trump, the UK must be ready to respond decisively, the letter states. One response would be to rapidly expand British climate science by offering jobs to disaffected US researchers.

Fires in lithium-ion batteries reduced

Lithium-ion batteries are found in devices such as mobile phones, laptops etc. However, these devices can occasionally catch fire. Unfortunately, adding a flame retardant to the electrolyte makes the battery less efficient.

Scientists have now come up with fibres, containing a flame retardant inside a plastic shell, which can be added to the electrolyte. If the battery heats up too much, the plastic melts and the flame retardant escapes.



More climate change effects

Something is happening to the floating sea ice of the Arctic; scientists are finding that Arctic sea ice is getting younger and thinner, which is set to continue in March, when US research reveals the winter maximum, and September, when it reveals the summer minimum, making it more vulnerable to a catastrophic and unprecedented break-up.

Nasa researchers have found that the thicker multi-year ice, which has survived several summer melt seasons, is being rapidly replaced by thinner one-year ice formed over a single winter. This change makes the polar region increasingly vulnerable to storms that could smash their way through the final remnants of thinner, one-year sea ice, making a completely ice-free summer in the Arctic increasingly likely.

Birth of the ‘Boom Star’!

1795 years ago two rather dim stars, in the constellation Cygnus, collided creating a Red Nova (dubbed the ‘Boom Star). Light from this new star is travelling towards us and we will be able to view the birth of this star with the naked eye. Unfortunately we will have to wait until the summer of 2022 to see this phenomena!