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Wales Space Strategy formally launched

Llanbedr is one of eight sites identified for a possible spaceport. Credit: Department of Transport

Wales' new Space Strategy will be launched today at the UK Space Conference.

The conference is being held in Liverpool and it will give Welsh companies the chance to showcase their talent.

Optical solar reflectors, earth observation systems and satellite solar cells are some of the services and products that come from Wales.

The space industry is a growing sector in Wales and we already have significant academic and industry capabilities in this area.

Wales’ aerospace, electronics and software industries collectively employ over 50,000 people and contribute over £5billion to the economy.

With the global space sector set to grow to £400 billion by 2030, our presence at this event will be used to promote the vast and diverse aerospace skills and supply chain we have in Wales, explore research and business growth opportunities and show potential investors why we are a serious contender in this area

– Edwina Hart AM, Economy, Science and Transport Minister


Penarth primary school unveils telescope project

The telescope should offer excellent views of the night sky Credit: PA Archive

A primary school in the Vale of Glamorgan will officially open its own space observatory later.

The unveiling of the 9'' diameter telescope takes place at St Joseph's Primary School in Penarth.

It forms part of a project in association with Cardiff University scientists to teach more about astronomy in schools.

The 9'' diameter telescope is housed in a shed on the school grounds Credit: St Joseph's Primary School

Noble gas molecule found in space with Welsh help

The white areas show dust and argon hydride. Credit: See Below

Picture Credit: ESA/HERSCHEL/SPIRE and PACS/MESS GTKP supernova remnant team. NASA/ESA/Allison Loll/Jeff Hester (Arizona State University). Acknowledgment: Oli Usher (UCL).

Scientists say a molecule containing a noble gas has been discovered in space by a team which included astronomers from Cardiff University.

The find was made using SPIRE the Cardiff-led instrument aboard Europe's Herschel Space Observatory.

The molecule, argon hydride, was seen in the Crab Nebula, the remains of a star that exploded 1,000 years ago.

Noble gases rarely interact in chemical reactions and before the discovery, molecules of this kind have only been studied in laboratories on Earth.

The Crab Nebula is relatively close, at just 6,500 light years away, so it provides an excellent way to study what happens in stellar explosions.

Scientists using SPIRE were able to analyse the light emitted by spinning molecules. It has a very specific wavelengths, or colours, called emission lines.

Two of these lines proved the existence of Argon Hydride.

Planck telescope provided 'baby photo' of the Universe

An artist's impression of the Planck spacecraft Credit: ESA - C. Carreau

The Planck observatory spent four and a half years studying the evolution of stars and galaxies.

It was designed to detect faint traces of radiation from the Big Bang – also known as the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB).

“Planck has provided us with more insight into the evolution of the Universe than any mission has before,” says Alvaro Giménez, ESA’s Director of Science and Robotic Exploration.

“Planck’s picture of the CMB is the most accurate ‘baby photo’ of the Universe yet, but the wealth of data still being scrutinised by our cosmologists will provide us with even more details.”

Planck helped scientists map cosmic gas Credit: ESA/Planck Collaboration

Planck space telescope officially switched off

The Planck space telescope, built with expertise from Cardiff University, has been deactivated by the European Space Agency after reaching the end of its mission.

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