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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

Looking Up by Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Have you ever wondered what piece of cosmic debris is whizzing past the Earth right now? Do you crave up-to-the-minute information about asteroids large and small? Well you’re in luck because today you can subscribe to a new service: the Daily Minor Planet. Developed through a partnership between scientists at the Minor Planet Center and volunteers from the Oracle Corporation, the Daily [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

In the race to discover a proposed ninth planet in our solar system, Scott Sheppard of Carnegie Institution for Science and Chadwick Trujillo of Northern Arizona University have observed several never-before-seen objects at extreme distances from the Sun in our solar system. Sheppard and Trujillo have now submitted their latest discoveries to the International Astronomical Union’s Minor Planet [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Like cosmic ballet dancers, the stars of the Pleiades cluster are spinning. But these celestial dancers are all twirling at different speeds. Astronomers have long wondered what determines the rotation rates of these stars. By watching these stellar dancers, NASA’s Kepler space telescope has helped amass the most complete catalog of rotation periods for stars in a cluster. This information [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Astronomers have found clear evidence of a planet orbiting the closest star to Earth, Proxima Centauri. The long-sought world, designated Proxima b, orbits its cool red parent star every 11 days and has a temperature suitable for liquid water to exist on its surface. This rocky world is a little more massive than the Earth and is the closest exoplanet to us—and it may also be the closest [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Step outside as the stars come out, look southwest, and you’ll see an eye-catching pattern. For the next few days, bright orange Mars shines to the right of Saturn and the reddish supergiant star Antares. The three form a tall triangle that changes every night. Mars is moving leftward on its way toward passing between the other two. On August 23 and 24, the triangle shrinks down to a nearly [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

The universe is 13.8 billion years old, while our planet formed just 4.5 billion years ago. Some scientists think this time gap means that life on other planets could be billions of years older than ours. However, new theoretical work suggests that present-day life on Earth is actually premature from a cosmic perspective. “If you ask, ‘When is life most likely to emerge?’ you might [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Light from a distant galaxy can be strongly bent by the gravitational influence of a foreground galaxy. That effect is called strong gravitational lensing. Normally a single galaxy is lensed at a time. The same foreground galaxy can—in theory—simultaneously lens multiple background galaxies. Although extremely rare, such a lens system offers a unique opportunity to probe the fundamental [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Two astronomers—with the help of Twitter—have uncovered the strongest evidence yet that an enormous X-shaped structure made of stars lies within the central bulge of the Milky Way Galaxy. Previous computer models, observations of other galaxies, and observations of our own galaxy have suggested that the X-shaped structure existed. But no one had observed it directly; and some astronomers [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

The JunoCam camera aboard NASA’s Juno mission is operational and sending down data after the spacecraft’s July 4 arrival at Jupiter. Juno’s visible-light camera was turned on six days after Juno fired its main engine and placed itself into orbit around the largest planetary inhabitant of our solar system. The first high-resolution images of the gas giant Jupiter are still a few weeks [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

NASAs Juno spacecraft will make its long anticipated arrival at Jupiter on July 4. Coming face-to-face with the gas giant, Juno will begin to unravel some of the greatest mysteries surrounding our solar system’s largest planet, including the origin of its massive magnetosphere. Magnetospheres are the result of a collision between a planet’s own magnetic field and the supersonic solar wind. [...]

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