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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

If a lot of us feel baffled by simply how to survive the next 24 hours, astronomers are taking a longer view—way out to the year 2028. That’s when the European Space Agency (ESA) plans to launch the Athena orbiting X-ray Observatory as its second ‘large-class’ science mission in the 21st century. Athena will be the largest X-ray telescope ever built, with a 120-inch diameter X-ray [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

“Up above the world so high, like a diamond in the sky....” A team of astronomers, using multiple telescopes, has identified the coolest, faintest white dwarf star known. White dwarfs are the extremely dense end states of stars like our Sun: after their nuclear fuel is exhausted, they collapse from the size of a star (about 1,000,000 miles across) to the size of the Earth (7,000 miles [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover completed a full Martian year—687 Earth days—as of June 24, having accomplished the mission’s main goal of determining whether Mars once offered environmental conditions favorable for microbial life. One of Curiosity’s first major findings after landing on the Red Planet in August 2012 was an ancient river-bed at its landing site. Nearby, at an area known [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

NASA scientists using Earth-based radar have produced sharp views of a recently discovered asteroid as it slid silently past our planet. Captured on June 8, 2014, the new views of the object designated “2014 HQ124” are some of the most detailed radar images of a near-Earth asteroid ever obtained. An animation of the rotating asteroid and a collage of the images can be seen at [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

The “Man in the Moon” appeared when meteoroids struck the Earth-facing side of the Moon, creating large flat seas of basalt that we see as dark areas called maria. But no “face” exists on the far side of the Moon and now, Penn State astrophysicists think they know why. “I remember the first time I saw a globe of the Moon as a boy, being struck by how different the far side looks,” [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

NASA’s orbiting Chandra X-ray Observatory has revealed a spiral galaxy similar to the Milky Way glittering with hundreds of X-ray points of light. The galaxy is officially named Messier 51 (M51), but often goes by its nickname of the “Whirlpool Galaxy.” Like the Milky Way, the Whirlpool is a spiral galaxy with spectacular arms of stars and dust. It is located 30 million light-years from [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Scientists working with data from NASA’s Cassini mission have developed a new way to understand the atmospheres of exoplanets by using Saturn’s smog-enshrouded moon Titan as a stand-in. The new technique shows the dramatic influence that hazy skies could have on our ability to learn about these alien worlds orbiting distant stars. The work was performed by a team of researchers led by [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

After eight years in orbit, the European Space Agency’s Venus Express has completed routine science observations and is preparing for a daring plunge into the planet’s hostile atmosphere. Venus Express was launched on a Soyuz-Fregat from the Russian Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on 9 November 2005, and arrived at Venus on 11 April 2006. It has been orbiting Venus in an elliptical [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

A team of researchers led by University of Texas at Austin astronomer Ivan Ramirez has identified the first “sibling” of the Sun—a star that was almost certainly born from the same cloud of gas and dust as our star. Ramirez’ methods will help other astronomers find other “solar siblings,” work that could lead to an understanding of how and where our Sun formed, and how our solar [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Beautiful streamlined islands and narrow gorges were carved by fast-flowing water pounding through a small plateau region near the southeastern margin of the vast Vallis Marineris canyon system. Images captured on 7 December 2013 by the European Space Agency’s Mars Express show the central portion of Osuga Valles, which has a total length of 164 km. It is some 170 km south of Eos Chaos, [...]

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