Physics and Astronomy October-November 2021 Digest

As we head towards the end of the Autumn term in the School of Physics and Astronomy, the Physics Community Team would like to share some of the highlights from across the School during the past two months.

It’s nearly time for us to assemble our Yearbook for 2021 from the pages of this blog, and everyone within the School is encouraged to submit posts and stories to share, helping us to celebrate successes and achievements, and showcasing some of the best content in blogs, podcasts, radio and TV from our Physics & Astronomy Community. If you’d like your news to be captured in the 2021 Yearbook, please make sure to send it to the editor-in-chief before Friday December 10th at the latest.


We’re happy to announce that potential PhD projects for 2022 are now advertised on the university website and also discussed in this blog post – application deadlines are fast approaching in early January. More are to come, though, with the announcement of the Centenary Scholarship scheme for Autumn 2022, with more details to follow soon. Undergraduates in Year 3 and 4 will be pleased to hear that the SURE internship scheme will run in Summer 2022 – we expect to launch a call for applications early in the new year.


The awards are coming thick and fast for our community! We’d like to extend our congratulations to Dr Mervyn Roy and Dr Simon Vaughan for winning the 2021 Ignite Innovator Award at #CitizensAwards21, and to Professor Emma Bunce for winning the prestigious Bates Medal of the European Geophysical Union. Here’s to another bumper year for awards in 2022.

Our Research

With COP26 in Glasgow, this month focussed heavily on the activities of our Earth Observation Science Group. Hartmut Boesch, Professor in Earth Observation, explores how we use satellites to monitor greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere in this blog post; listen to John Remedios, Professor of Earth Observation Science, and Director of the National Centre for Earth Observation, discussing the role of physics in the study of climate change and protecting the Earth; and read the news from COP26 about how Leicester researchers will contribute to a new joint British and French space mission dedicated to monitoring atmospheric carbon dioxide.

In addition, you can learn all about how lobster eyes have influenced the development of x-ray telescopes in this clip from the BBC World Service. Several members of the Space Research Centre, Planetary Science Group, and Astrophysics Group took part in half-term activities on the James Webb Space Telescope, hosted by the National Space Centre. Dr. Leigh Fletcher discusses new findings from the Juno mission exploring the deep atmosphere of Jupiter, and was featured in the October BBC Sky at Night programme dedicated to the Ice Giants. Key hardware for the the Soft X-ray Imager on SMILE mission to study the solar wind was delivered in October. And finally, planetary scientists led by Emma Thomas live-streamed three days of observations of Uranus, in conjunction with the Royal Astronomical Society, with talks and conversations with planetary scientists across the world.

Seminars and Events

In November, we launched a new series of short, informal lunchtime seminars to showcase some of the world-leading research within our community – Dr. Suzie Imber gave a talk on the BepiColombo mission to Mercury (catch up here) – watch this space for the next announcements for December and January. And don’t forget that all are welcome to our research group talks, advertised on the blog.

Finally, we wish you a happy and productive end to the Autumn term, and please do get in touch with your posts and stories for inclusion in the blog and yearbook!

Share this page:

Share this page:

Leave a Reply

Network-wide options by YD - Freelance Wordpress Developer