Skip to content

Toggle service links

You are here

  1. Home
  2. OU Space research finding ranks among world breakthroughs

OU Space research finding ranks among world breakthroughs

Astronomy research from the STEM School of Physical Sciences (SPS) among Physics World 2016 top breakthroughs.

The discovery of a planet orbiting our nearest star, Proxima Centauri, has been highly commended among Physics World 2016 top 10 breakthroughs.

As part of an international team of astronomers, Postdoctoral Researcher Dr John Barnes of SPS was instrumental in establishing that the observed ‘wobble’ of Proxima Centauri was caused by a nearby planet, which is referred to as Proxima b.

He said: “Once we had established that the wobble wasn’t caused by star spots, we knew that that there must be a planet orbiting within a zone where water could exist, which is really exciting. If further research concludes that the conditions of its atmosphere are suitable to support life, this is arguably one of the most important scientific discoveries we will ever make.”

For more information about this amazing discovery visit the article on the Science News website.

Meet our Academics

Head and shoulders of male OU academic

In addition to teaching on Open University modules our academics are engaged in ground breaking research that benefits individuals and society.

Request your prospectus

Request a prospectus icon

Explore our qualifications and courses by requesting one of our prospectuses today.

Request prospectus

Are you already an OU student?

Go to StudentHome