Wednesday May 27th 2015
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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

Looking Up by Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

An international team of researchers led by Pieter van Dokkum of Yale University has used the W. M. Keck Observatory to confirm the existence of the most diffuse class of galaxies known in the universe. These “fluffiest galaxies” are nearly as wide as our own Milky Way galaxy—about 60,000 light-years—yet harbor only one percent as many stars. The findings were recently published in the [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

An international team of astronomers led by UC Santa Cruz and Yale University has pushed back the cosmic frontier of galaxy exploration to a time when the universe was only 5 percent of its present age. The team discovered an exceptionally luminous galaxy more than 13 billion light-years from Earth and determined its exact distance using the powerful MOSFIRE instrument on the Keck I 10-meter [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

For the first time, images from NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft are revealing bright and dark regions on the surface of faraway Pluto—the primary target of the New Horizons close flyby in mid-July. The images were captured in early to mid-April from within 70 million miles (113 million kilometers), using the telescopic Long-Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) camera on New Horizons. A [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Astronomers building an Earth-size virtual telescope capable of photographing the event horizon of the black hole at the center of our Milky Way have extended their instrument to the bottom of the Earth—the South Pole—thanks to recent efforts by a team led by Dan Marrone of the University of Arizona. Marrone, an assistant professor in the UA’s Department of Astronomy and Steward [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Saturday, April 25 is the night of all nights for you to look skyward. That’s when the whole world will be celebrating the “Global Star Party”—an evening devoted to appreciating the skies that surround our fragile planet Earth. The night’s celebration is part of Global Astronomy Month (GAM), sponsored by the astronomy advocacy organization Astronomers Without Borders (AWB). Use this [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

The Sun undergoes a type of seasonal variability with its activity waxing and waning over the course of nearly two years, according to a new study by a team of researchers led by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). This behavior affects the peaks and valleys in the approximately 11-year solar cycle, sometimes amplifying and sometimes weakening the solar storms that can buffet [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Peering into space, the surface of Mercury appears dark and unreflective, an observation that has long puzzled planetary scientists due to the planet’s very low surface abundance of iron (less than 2 percent). Iron is an important darkening material in airless bodies like the moon and asteroids. While the intense space weathering environment on Mercury, which efficiently converts the small [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

This spring, our Sun and Moon happen to be so aligned that first the Moon’s shadow falls on the Earth and then, two weeks later, the Earth’s shadow falls on the Moon. The result: sky-watchers are being treated to both a solar and a lunar eclipse. The total solar eclipse, which occurred on March 20 (by coincidence, that date was also the spring equinox), was visible along a path of totality [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

A team composed of astronomers and biologists has measured the multicolored “chemical fingerprints” of 137 different species of microorganisms in order to help future astronomers recognize life on the surface of exoplanets (planets outside our solar system). Some of the microorganisms hail from the most extreme environments on Earth; taken together, the samples should allow for a [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft has become the first to achieve orbit around a dwarf planet. The spacecraft was approximately 38,000 miles from Ceres when it was captured by the dwarf planet’s gravity at about 4:39 a.m. PST Friday, March 7. Mission controllers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California received a signal from the spacecraft March 7 that Dawn was healthy and [...]

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