Friday February 27th 2015
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Staff

Publisher and Editor - Judith Martin-Straw

Yo Jethro - Shelly Blaisdell

Feng Shui - Janet Mitsui Brown

The Skinny - Amy Brunell

Looking Up - Bob Eklund

Ruth's Truths - Ruth Morris

Special Features - T. S. Owen

LOCALmotion - Jozelle Smith

Looking Up by Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Most of the laws of nature treat particles and antiparticles equally, but stars and planets are made of particles, or matter—not antiparticles, or antimatter. That asymmetry, which favors matter over antimatter by a very small degree, has puzzled scientists for many years. New research by UCLA physicists, published in the journal Physical Review Letters, offers a possible solution to the [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Astronomers have identified the closest known flyby of a star to our solar system: a dim star that passed through the Oort Cloud about 70,000 years ago, coming within 0.8 light years of the Sun. A group of astronomers from the U.S., Europe, Chile and South Africa have determined that a recently discovered dim star is likely to have passed through the solar system’s distant cloud of comets, [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Google Inc. has given $1 million to the University of California’s Lick Observatory in what astronomers hope is the first of many private gifts to support an invaluable teaching and research resource for the state. The unrestricted funds, spread over two years, will go toward general expenses, augmenting the $1.5 million the UC Office of the President gives annually to operate the [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

A new image taken with European Southern Observatory’s VISTA survey telescope reveals the famous Trifid Nebula in a new and ghostly light. By observing in infrared light, astronomers can see right through the dust-filled central parts of the Milky Way and spot many previously hidden objects. In just this tiny part of one of the VISTA surveys, astronomers have discovered two unknown and very [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Astronomers at the Leiden Observatory (The Netherlands) and the University of Rochester (USA) have discovered that the ring system that they see eclipse the very young Sun-like star J1407 is of enormous proportions, much larger and heavier than the ring system of Saturn. The ring system—the first of its kind to be found outside our solar system—was discovered in 2012 by a team led by [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

A strange phenomenon has been observed by astronomers right as it was happening—a “fast radio burst.” The eruption is described as an extremely short, sharp flash of radio waves from an unknown source in the universe. Over the past few years, astronomers have occasionally observed this new phenomenon—a brief burst of radio waves lasting only a few milliseconds. It was first found by [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up  – Bob Eklund

Comet Lovejoy, already being tracked by backyard astronomers worldwide, is entering its best and brightest two weeks for viewing. From about January 7 through 24, the comet is predicted to be glowing at 4th magnitude—bright enough that skywatchers with clear, dark skies might be able to just glimpse it by eye, without optical aid. And the early-evening sky during this time will be dark and [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

How many stars like our Sun host planets like our Earth? NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope continuously monitored more than 150,000 stars beyond our solar system, and to date has offered scientists an assortment of more than 4,000 candidate planets for further study—the 1,000th of which was recently verified. Using Kepler data, scientists reached this millenary milestone after validating that [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft has entered an approach phase in which it will continue to close in on Ceres, a Texas-sized dwarf planet never before visited by a spacecraft. Dawn launched in 2007 and is scheduled to enter Ceres orbit in March 2015. Dawn recently emerged from solar conjunction, in which the spacecraft is on the opposite side of the Sun, limiting communication with antennas on Earth. [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

The European Space Agency’s Venus Express has ended its eight-year mission after far exceeding its planned life. The spacecraft exhausted its propellant during a series of thruster burns to raise its orbit following the low-altitude aerobraking earlier this year. Since its arrival at Venus in 2006, Venus Express had been on an elliptical 24-hour orbit, traveling 66,000 km above the south [...]

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