Wednesday October 1st 2014
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Staff

Publisher and Editor - Judith Martin-Straw

The Skinny - Amy Brunell

LOCALmotion - Jozelle Smith

Looking Up - Bob Eklund

Ruth's Truths - Ruth Morris

Looking Up by Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

What is a planet? For generations of kids the answer was easy. A big ball of rock or gas that orbited our Sun, and there were nine of them in our solar system. But then astronomers started finding more Pluto-sized objects orbiting beyond Neptune. Then they found Jupiter-sized objects circling distant stars, first by the handful and then by the hundreds. Suddenly the answer wasn’t so easy. Were [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover has reached the Red Planet’s Mount Sharp, a Mount-Rainier-size mountain at the center of the vast Gale Crater and the rover mission’s long-term prime destination. “Curiosity now will begin a new chapter from an already outstanding introduction to the world,” said Jim Green, director of NASA’s Planetary Science Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington. [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Imagine living on a planet that has two suns. One you orbit, and the other is a very bright, nearby neighbor looming large in your sky. With this “second sun” in the sky, nightfall might be a rare event, perhaps only coming seasonally to your planet. A new study suggests that this could be far more common than we realized. NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope has confirmed about 1,000 [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

The Impressionist movement of the late 19th century takes its name from French artist Claude Monet’s moody, dreamlike painting “Impression, Soleil Levant” (“Impression, Sunrise”). Now, Texas State University astronomer and physics professor Donald Olson has applied his distinctive brand of celestial sleuthing to Monet’s masterpiece, uncovering new details about the painting’s [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

NASA’s Pluto-bound New Horizons spacecraft has traversed the orbit of Neptune. It is due to make a close encounter with distant Pluto on July 14, 2015. The sophisticated piano-sized spacecraft, which launched in January 2006, reached Neptune’s orbit on Aug. 25, 2014, in a record eight years and eight months. New Horizons’ milestone matches precisely the 25th anniversary of the historic [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

The Whirlpool Galaxy Messier 51 (M51) is seen from a distance of approximately 30 million light-years. This galaxy appears almost face-on and displays a beautiful system of spiral arms. A European team of astronomers was able to observe M51 with the International LOFAR Telescope in the frequency range 115-175 MHz, just above the normal commercial FM radio frequency band of 88-108 MHz. The team [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

On August 6, after a decade-long journey chasing its target, the European Space Agency’s Rosetta became the first spacecraft to rendezvous with a comet, opening a new chapter in solar system exploration. Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko and Rosetta now lie 243 million miles from Earth, about halfway between the orbits of Jupiter and Mars, rushing towards the inner solar system at nearly [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

An international team, including Dr. Christoph Baranec of the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s Institute for Astronomy, is using the world’s first robotic laser adaptive optics system—Robo-AO—to explore thousands of exoplanet systems (planets around other stars) at resolutions approaching those of the Hubble Space Telescope. The results, which shed light on the formation of exotic [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Scientists using mission data from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft have identified 101 distinct geysers erupting on Saturn’s icy moon Enceladus. Their analysis suggests it is possible for liquid water to reach from that moon’s underground sea all the way to its surface. These findings, and clues to what powers the geyser eruptions, are presented in two articles published in the current online [...]

Looking up – Bob Eklund

Looking up – Bob Eklund

The heliosphere, in which the Sun and planets reside, is a large bubble inflated from the inside by the high-speed solar wind blowing out from the Sun. Pressure from the solar wind, along with pressure from the surrounding interstellar medium, determines the size and shape of the heliosphere. The supersonic flow of solar wind abruptly slows at the termination shock, the innermost boundary of the [...]

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