Cardiff University

  • On February 23, 1987, a supernova lit up the night sky, visible to the naked eye for the first time in almost 400 years. Now, more than 30 years on astronomers say they’ve finally found the neutron star that was produced in the explosion.
  • New fossils found in the African country of Gabon have turned up the earliest evidence of life showing some initiative and moving around of its own accord. It now seems that life was mobile some 1.5 billion years earlier than previously thought.
  • ​The European nightjar is a protected species in the UK, so when forestry or construction work is planned to take place in their habitat, ecologists first need to check for nesting sites. A new study suggests that drones could make the task much easier, and do a better job at spotting the birds.
  • ​If you like free money, one illegal way of getting it is to falsely claim that you bought an item which got stolen, so your insurance will cover the cost of a new one. You'll have to fill out a police report, however, and you could soon be caught out by software that detects bogus reports.
  • While NASA has plans to possibly send a lander to Europa in the coming years, a new discovery might make touchdown tricky – there’s a chance that large swathes of Europa’s surface are covered in ice spikes almost 50 ft (15 m) high.
  • We may be more alone in the Universe than we realize. According to Cardiff University astronomers, the chemical element phosphorus is abundant on Earth, but may be very rare outside of our Solar System. Because phosphorus is essential to life, it's rarity may mean that life may be equally rare.
  • Science
    ​When tsunami-triggering events such as underwater earthquakes occur, sound waves known as acoustic gravity waves (AGWs) are sent out through the water. Now, scientists from Cardiff University have developed a method of analyzing those waves, to predict how destructive the tsunami will be.
  • Science
    A new study from Cardiff University points to a method that could have helped rescuers narrow down the search zone for Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 and may make it easier to find future downed craft, along with a host of other violent sea-based events.
  • Supercomputers and quantum computers rely on a “brute force” approach to solve problems, performing billions of calculations very quickly until they arrive at the optimal solution. But a new system has the potential to outperform them, using “magic dust” as a beacon to highlight the solution.
  • If you kick a ball on the ground, it will roll away from you – that’s pretty basic science. But mathematicians have found that a quantum ball would roll toward your foot instead. When a force is applied to them, quantum particles can move in the opposite direction, in an effect known as “backflow.”
  • Ice core records show that temperatures suddenly soared several times during the last glacial period. A new study has found evidence that these sudden spikes may be triggered by a slow rise in atmospheric CO2 levels, up to a “tipping point” that abruptly affects ocean circulation and global climate.
  • Science
    Dr Usama Kadri of Cardiff University’s School of Mathematics believes that it may one day be possible to use acoustic-gravity waves against tsunamis to mitigate or even halt their effects.​