Category: natural sciences

Kiruna – All Fired up for an Icy Adventure

by Christoph Kulmann and Greta Sondej

Fig. 1: With a bit of luck, you can see northern lights (Aurora borealis) in the night sky during the training week. Copyright © WikiImages 2012 / Pixabay

Long anticipated and eagerly awaited, our student training week starts in snowy Lapland near Sweden’s northernmost city: Kiruna (from the North Sami “giron”, meaning “snow grouse”).

Bremen Airport is already getting us in the mood for the weather that awaits us in Lapland… 

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REXUS/BEXUS – Experiments Soar Into Space!

An European Education Programme Empowers Students to Develop Their own Space Mission

by Greta Sondej and Christoph Kulmann

Fig. 1: Have you always wanted to send an experiment into space? In this case, the German-Swedish student programme REXUS/BEXUS is the right choice for you. Copyright © Arek Socha 2016 / Pixabay

In our last article, we told you about our FORAREX project, which we developed within the framework of the German-Swedish REXUS/BEXUS programme. 

But what exactly does this REXUS/BEXUS programme entail? And who can participate? 

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FORAREX – Astronaut in Miniature Form

How a Single-Celled Organism Finds its Way From the Sea Into Outer Space

by Team FORAREX

Fig. 1: Maximum relaxation – lounging on the seabed and swaying to the rhythm of the waves. Copyright © StockSnap 2017 / Pixabay

Imagine you are living under the sea. You see the suns rays shining through the water. There is sand beneath you. The water flows around you to the rhythm of the wave – and you sway with it (see Fig. 1). Everything feels very pleasant. You are thinking how wonderful your home is. The waves, the light – everything is perfect.

But suddenly a dark shadow looms over you – and this shadow takes you out of this paradise and catapults you into space! Isn’t that a disturbing and rather improbable idea?

But that is in fact my story. 

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Foraminifera – A Hard Shell With a Soft Core

by Christoph Kulmann and Greta Sondej

Fig.1: Left: Close-up of a foraminifera with pseudopodia; right: Four foraminifera in direct size comparison with a pinhead. Copyright © FORAREX 2018

Foraminifera (Latin for “hole bearers”, informally called “forams”) are single-celled organisms that usually have a multi-chambered shell, which can be built in various ways depending on the species. They are the stars of the FORAREX (FORAminifera Rocket EXperiment) project, in which we investigate their behaviour and shell growth under microgravitational conditions. 

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The Studies of the Historical Books Made of Ice

About Ice Cores Part II

by Hanna Sophie Knahl

Cross-section of an ice core. Photo: Sepp Kipfstuhl

In the first article about ice cores, we learned why ancient stories lie dormant in the ice. We got to the icy library and looked at how the stories can be recovered in the form of ice cores. This article will deal with the question how we can reveal the stories of the ice cores. To do this, we need to understand the different languages of the ice.

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The Story of Giant Libraries Made of Ice

About Ice Cores Part I

by Hanna Sophie Knahl

A transforming icy library slowly descending towards the valley. Glacier in the northeast of Greenland. Photo: Jan Rohde

On earth there is a lot of ice and snow and not only in winter – at least at the moment. At the poles there are huge sheets of ice and in between exist many smaller and larger glaciers on high mountains. Stories are preserved in the ice. Stories from long ago. How this happened and how these stories can be brought to the surface, we will learn in this article.

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