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Universität zu Köln
Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät
Fachgruppe Physik

I. Physikalisches Institut

Gibt es Leben auf dem Mars?

Dieser Frage geht Guido Sonnabend am Montag, 22.10.2012, 20h, im Bonner Pantheon Theater als Teilnehmer des "3. Bonner Science Slams" nach. Fanclub Unterstützung ist gern gesehen. Weitere Informationen finden sich hier.

Venus Weather Not Boring After All, NASA/International Study Shows

THIS team and NASA GSFC collaborators reveal interesting details about the Venus mesosphere. "The mesosphere and thermosphere of Venus are dynamically active," said lead author Dr. Guido Sonnabend of the University of Cologne, Germany. "Wind patterns resulting from solar heating and east to west zonal winds compete, possibly resulting in altered local temperatures and their variability over time." The teams measured temperature and wind speeds in Venus' upper atmosphere by observing an infrared glow emitted by carbon dioxide (CO2) molecules when they were energized by light from the sun. The width of the line revealed the temperature, while shifts in its frequency gave the wind speed.

The researchers compared observations from 1990 and 1991 using Goddard's Infrared Heterodyne Spectrometer instrument at NASA's Infrared Telescope Facility on Mauna Kea, Hawaii, to observations from 2009 using the Cologne Tunable Heterodyne Infrared Spectrometer instrument at the National Optical Astronomy Observatory's McMath Telescope at Kitt Peak, Ariz.

Full NASA press release can be found here.


Special mention from Europlanet Public Outreach Prize committee

The planetary science group at the I. Physikalische Institut in cooperation with the Junioruni program of the University of Cologne and the Odysseum received a special mention for their outreach activities for 13-15 year old kids from the "2011 Europlanet Prize for Public Engagement with Planetary Science" committee.

The committee stated that "Manuela Sornig and the group at the I.Physikalisches Institut at the University of Cologne are models for scientists wanting to develop public engagement programmes.  Their efforts to engage with networks of outreach providers, together with their success in targetting the hard-to-reach 13-15 year old audience, should be highly commended as examples of best practice ."

More information can be found here.