Sunday December 4th 2016
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Staff

Publisher and Editor - Judith Martin-Straw

The Skinny - Amy Brunell

Looking Up - Bob Eklund

Ruth's Truths - Ruth Morris

Special Features - T. S. Owen

LOCALmotion - Jozelle Smith

High School Sports - Steven Trilling

Get Smart - Jamie Wallace

Archived Posts

Looking Up by Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Frozen beneath a region of cracked and pitted plains on Mars lies as much water as what’s in Lake Superior, largest of the Great Lakes, researchers using NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter have determined. Scientists examined part of Mars’ Utopia Planitia region, in the mid-northern latitudes, with the orbiter’s ground-penetrating Shallow Radar (SHARAD) instrument. Analyses of data [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Two geo-scientists at Arizona State University have made a discovery among hot springs in Chile that may spur scientists to revisit a location on Mars explored several years ago by NASA’s Spirit rover. The discovery involves fingerlike structures that form in the hot spring deposits by processes that combine biological and non-biological activity. The Chilean hot springs are at a place [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Beneath Pluto’s “heart” lies a cold, slushy ocean of water ice, according to data from NASA’s New Horizons mission. In a paper published in the journal Nature , the New Horizons team reports that the dwarf planet’s most prominent surface feature—a heart-shaped region named Tombaugh Regio—may harbor a bulging, viscous, liquid ocean just below its surface. The existence of a [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Laser-zapping of a globular, golf-ball-size object on Mars by NASA’s Curiosity rover confirms that it is an iron-nickel meteorite fallen from the Red Planet's sky. Iron-nickel meteorites are a common class of space rocks found on Earth, and previous examples have been seen on Mars, but this one, called “Egg Rock,” is the first on Mars examined with a laser-firing spectrometer. To do so, [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Astronomers using observations from NASA’s Kepler and Swift missions have discovered a batch of rapidly spinning stars that produce X-rays at more than 100 times the peak levels ever seen from the Sun. The stars, which spin so fast they’ve been squashed into pumpkin-like shapes, are thought to be the result of close binary systems where two Sun-like stars merge. “These 18 stars rotate in [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

With the conclusion of the international Cassini mission orbiting Saturn and its moons set for Sept. 15, 2017, the spacecraft is poised to soon begin a thrilling two-part endgame. Cassini will enter the first part of this denouement on Nov. 30, 2016, when the spacecraft begins a series of 20 passes just beyond the outer edge of the main rings. These weekly loops around Saturn are called the F [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Planet Nine—the undiscovered planet at the edge of the solar system predicted by Caltech's Konstantin Batygin and Mike Brown in January 2016—appears to be responsible for the unusual tilt of the Sun. The large and distant planet may be adding a wobble to the solar system, giving the appearance that the Sun is tilted slightly. “Because Planet Nine is so massive and has an orbit tilted [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

In August, astronomers announced that the nearest star, Proxima Centauri, hosts an Earth-sized planet (called Proxima b) in its habitable zone. At first glance, Proxima Centauri seems nothing like our Sun. It’s a small, cool, red dwarf star that’s only one-tenth as massive and one-thousandth as luminous as the Sun. However, new research shows that it is Sun-like in one surprising way: It has [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Rosetta’s mission is over. After the last signal on Sept. 30, 2016, the spacecraft was crash-landed on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, taking measurements and sending them to Earth right until the very end. The final descent image of the comet was taken from the European Space Agency (ESA) Rosetta spacecraft moments before its controlled impact into the comet’s surface. Confirmation of [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Astronomers using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope have imaged what may be water vapor plumes erupting off the surface of Jupiter’s moon Europa. This finding bolsters other Hubble observations suggesting the icy moon erupts with high-altitude water vapor plumes. The observation increases the possibility that missions to Europa may be able to sample Europa’s ocean without having to drill [...]

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