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Into the void

The EU's Very Large Telescope in Chile is the world's most advanced visible light observatory. Image: ESO/H.H. Heyer
The EU's Very Large Telescope in Chile is the world's most advanced visible light observatory. Image: ESO/H.H. Heyer

Could the Higgs boson help shed light on dark matter, or will a ghostly X-ray signal recorded by Dutch researchers turn out to be a first sign of the mysterious substance?

In July, we hear how CERN’s Large Hadron Collider will be used to look for elusive dark matter particles, and how a surge of dark matter researchers are helping keep Europe at the forefront of experimental cosmology.

During an interview with Horizon magazine, Dr Seth Shostak, the senior astronomer at the US-based Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Institute, explains his belief that we are likely to discover an alien civilisation within our lifetimes.

We also look at EU-funded projects developing a 400-square-kilometre solar sail which could power a spacecraft across the solar system, and making magnetic shields that might be the best way to protect astronauts from deadly cosmic radiation.