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Sentinel tracks ships’ dirty emissions from orbit

The new EU satellite tasked with tracking dirty air has demonstrated how it will become a powerful tool to monitor emissions from shipping. Sentinel-5P was launched in October last year and this week completed its in-orbit commissioning phase. But already it is clear the satellite’s data will be transformative. This …

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Rolls-Royce and Boeing invest in UK space engine

Reaction Engines Limited (REL), the UK company developing a revolutionary aerospace engine, has announced investments from both Boeing and Rolls-Royce. REL, based at Culham in Oxfordshire, is working on a propulsion system that is part jet engine, part rocket engine. The company believes it will transform the space launch market …

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Earth’s magnetic ocean tides mapped from space

This is the European Space Agency’s spectacular new view of ocean tides as they sweep around the Earth. The movie shows not the bulging movement of water directly, but rather its magnetic signature. As the Moon pulls the salty seas through our planet’s global magnetic field, electric currents are generated. …

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Map records UK’s small ups and downs

The subtle warping of the land surface across the entire UK has been mapped in detail for the first time. This view of changing topography was built from more than 2,000 radar images acquired by the European Union’s Sentinel-1 satellites. It should prove an invaluable tool for policymakers, and for …

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Iron Age study targets British DNA mystery

A project to sequence DNA from about 1,000 ancient remains could resolve a genetic mystery involving people from south-east Britain. A recent study showed that the present-day genetic landscape of Britain was largely laid down by the Bronze Age. But Prof David Reich told the BBC that this wasn’t the …

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Nazi legacy found in Norwegian trees

The relentless campaign to find and sink Germany’s WWII battleship, the Tirpitz, left its mark on the landscape that is evident even today. The largest vessel in Hitler’s Kriegsmarine, it was stationed for much of the war along the Norwegian coast to deter an Allied invasion. The German navy would …

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