Award-winning landscape designer, Thomas Hoblyn, will be redesigning Peterhouse’s Cosin Court by creating several gardensLouis Ashworth

Cambridge expects UK’s first moonflower bloom

The Cambridge University Botanic Garden (CUBG) is growing an Amazon moonflower for the first time in the UK. The moonflower is an unusual species of cactus which is rarely found outside the Amazon rainforest. CUBG hopes to livestream the blooming of the moonflower, which starts at sunset and is over by sunrise. 

The plant was given to CUBG by Bonn Botanic Gardens in Germany in 2015, and, finally, the moonflower is nearly ready to open. Alex Summers, glasshouse supervisor at CUBG, stated that the flowering wasn’t “far off”. 

Botanists are hoping the moonflower will begin to flower annually and, if it produces enough seeds, CUBG will share them with other botanic gardens. 

Cambridge astronaut to visit bottom of the ocean

On 22nd February, a Cambridge-born astronaut, Richard Garriott, will become the first person to have visited both space and the bottom of the ocean.

Garriott will become one of only 14 people to travel to the Mariana Trench near the US territory of Guam, which at 11km deep, is the ocean’s deepest point. In comparison, Mount Everest’s peak is 8.85km high. 

On the trip, he will wear the same suit he wore to the International Space Station in 2008, and he also plans to bring pictures drawn by children to the bottom of the sea with him.

Renowned landscape gardener takes on Peterhouse court

Thomas Hoblyn, an award-winning landscape and garden designer appointed by Peterhouse, will start a new gardening project at the College focused on ecological diversity. The gardening project aims to redesign Cosin Court, the College’s postgraduate accommodation, by creating several courtyard gardens. 

Hoblyn has previously worked on a variety of projects, including public parks and stately houses, around the UK. He hopes to make the College’s outdoor spaces welcoming and ecologically sustainable, utilising Cambridge’s microclimate to introduce unique plants and water features. 

Peterhouse first appointed Thomas in December 2019, but the gardening work has been delayed by the pandemic.

Scientists discover new method of planet formation

Scientists from the Universities of Cambridge and Zurich, associated with the Swiss NCCR PlanetS, have learned that gravitational instabilities may be a reason for the formation of new planets. It causes dust and gas to form dense spiral structures, which eventually grow into planets. This process occurs on a very large scale, but on a smaller scale, magnetic fields are also important for the development of planets. 

These differences make planet formation difficult to model digitally, but the new computing techniques developed by the Cambridge and Zurich astronomers have created a much more accurate simulation.