News from the worlds of science and technology.


News from the worlds of science and technology.



The European Space Agency has just given the go ahead for its next mission. JUICE, Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer, is expected to launch in 2022, and it should arrive at the gas giant in 2030. Michelle Dougherty, Professor of Space Physics at Imperial College London, explains what the mission is all about and why ESA has decided to investigate Jupiter’s moons more closely.

British Weather

The great British weather is wet, this may come as no surprise as it is often portrayed as such but it is making headlines in the UK. The UK has just had the wettest April since records began in 1910, yet some parts of the country are officially in a drought, and recently the records being broken were for dry spells! Is this massive variability evidence of something bigger going on? We ask Dan Williams from the UK Met Office, especially given that the UK is well known for April showers.

Cleaning water with sunlight

Drought conditions in the UK may result in some inconvenience for residents, but they will have access to clean drinking water. This though is not the case in many developing countries, and creating a cheap and easy way of sterilising water is a problem many scientists have studied. Now researchers at the University of Hull in the UK think they may have found a way to do that, using just sunlight. Dr Ross Boyle explains how his method uses sunlight to kill bacteria and even a parasite.

Star Gazing in Afghanistan

A campaign is being launched to bring astronomy to Afghanistan, to schools, orphanages, and refugee camps. The idea is to enable children to learn important basic science, using simple tools like star gazing kits, and drawing on the historical importance of studying the skies in Islam. Christopher Phillips is behind the "Reach for the Stars" project.


The BBC brings you all the week's science news.


The BBC brings you all the week's science news.

A hidden void has been uncovered under the Great Pyramid in Giza. Using a new technique using muons which are a by-product of cosmic rays from the Universe. Explorers have visualized what they think could be a large void at least 30 metres long above the Great Gallery in the 4500 year old Pharaoh Khufu’s Pyramid.

Atlas of the Underworld
When the Earth’s crust slides under the surface at subduction zones, you might expect that the rock melts and gets amalgamated into the Earth’s Mantle. They do – eventually - but over millions and millions of years. This means that ocean-bed rock and continental rock, from as far back as 300 million years ago, exist as lost continents and islands in the inner Earth. New work using earthquake waves has located almost 100 such structures.

Pharaoh’s Serpent
Some of you may remember an indoor firework trick called the ‘Pharaoh’s Serpent’. You lit an ‘egg’ with a match, stood back and watched while a snake-like substance instantly grew out of the egg, meanwhile the room was engulfed in clouds of sulphurous smoke. It’s a party trick displaying the wonder of chemistry’, that’s been around since Victorian times and videos of the remarkable reaction are having a resurgence on the internet….but what’s it all about and why are chemists now, so interested in the party trick? Chemists re-examining the chemistry of the Serpent think it may have some more practical applications in superconductors.

Picture: Pyramids of Giza, Credit: stevenallan/Getty Images

Presenter: Roland Pease
Producer: Fiona Roberts


The European Space Agency has given the go ahead for its next mission to Jupiter's moons


The European Space Agency has given the go ahead for its next mission to Jupiter's moons


The BBC brings you all the week's science news.


The BBC brings you all the week's science news.