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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

NASA has selected the potential next destination for the New Horizons mission to visit after its historic July 14 flyby of the Pluto system. The destination is a small Kuiper Belt object (KBO) known as 2014 MU69, which orbits the Sun nearly a billion miles beyond Pluto. “Even as the New Horizons spacecraft speeds away from Pluto out into the Kuiper Belt, and the data from the exciting [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Striking 3-D detail highlights a towering mountain, the brightest spots and other features on dwarf planet Ceres in a new video from NASA's Dawn mission. The video is available at: www.jpl.nasa.gov/video/details.php?id=1392 A prominent mountain with bright streaks on its steep slopes is especially fascinating to scientists. The peak's shape has been likened to a cone or a pyramid. It appears [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Using a powerful new imaging device, astronomers have espied a Jupiter-like exoplanet 100 light-years distant in the constellation of Eridanus. Unlike most planets found around other stars, 51 Eri b has been seen directly. The instrument employed to make the discovery has also made a spectroscopic analysis of the light reflected from the planet, and has detected gases similar to those in [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

A team led by scientists from the University of Hawaii has developed a new approach to searching for life on other planets. The team has measured various biological photosynthetic pigments in the laboratory. They absorb almost all solar light of specific colors in the visible and convert it into chemical bonds to store energy. For example, chlorophyll pigments absorb blue to red light and [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Colorful new maps of dwarf planet Ceres, based on data from NASA’s Dawn spacecraft, showcase a diverse topography, with height differences between crater bottoms and mountain peaks as great as 9 miles. Scientists continue to analyze the latest data from Dawn as the spacecraft makes its way to its third mapping orbit. “The craters we find on Ceres, in terms of their depth and diameter, [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Scientists analyzing four years of data from NASA’s Kepler mission have released a new catalog of exoplanet candidates. The catalog adds more than 500 new possible planets to the 4,175 already found by the famed space-based telescope. “This catalog contains our first analysis of all Kepler data, as well as an automated assessment of these results,” says SETI Institute scientist Jeffrey [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

The Breakthrough Prize Foundation and its founder, internet investor Yuri Milner, have committed $100 million to a major escalation in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, or SETI. This is about five times the amount of money now spent worldwide on SETI. The foundation has contracted with UC Berkeley and other participating institutions for a project called Breakthrough Listen, the most [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

The call everyone was waiting for is in. NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft phoned home just before 9 p.m. EDT Tuesday, July 14, to tell the mission team and the world it had accomplished the historic first-ever flyby of Pluto. “I know today we’ve inspired a whole new generation of explorers with this great success, and we look forward to the discoveries yet to come,” NASA Administrator [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Almost 2,000 exoplanets have been discovered to date, ranging from rocky Earth-like planets to hot Jupiters, and orbiting every type of star. But how many of these distant worlds are habitable? Today’s technology means that we currently have very little information about what exoplanets are like beyond their presence, size and distance from star. With the launch of the James Webb Space [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

In a long series of images obtained by New Horizons’ telescopic Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) between May 29 and June 19, Pluto and its largest moon, Charon, appear to more than double in size. From this rapidly improving imagery, scientists on the New Horizons team have found that the “close approach hemisphere” on Pluto that New Horizons will fly over has the greatest variety [...]

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