Tuesday May 24th 2016
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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

A thrilling chapter in the exploration of the solar system will soon conclude, as NASA’s Saturn-orbiting Cassini spacecraft makes its final close flyby of the ocean-bearing moon Enceladus. Cassini flew past Enceladus at a distance of 3,106 miles on Saturday, Dec. 19. Although the spacecraft will continue to observe Enceladus during the remainder of its mission (through September 2017), it [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

A team of Spanish astrophysicists has obtained precise measurements for the innermost region of a disc of matter in orbital motion around a supermassive black hole in the lensed quasar known as Einstein’s Cross (Q2237-0305). It constitutes the most precise set of measurements achieved to date for such a small and distant object. The researchers used microlensing to resolve the distorted [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

A long time ago in a galaxy half the universe away, a flood of high-energy gamma rays began its journey to Earth. When they arrived in April, NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope caught the outburst, which helped two ground-based gamma-ray observatories detect some of the highest-energy light ever seen from a galaxy so distant. The observations provide a surprising look into the environment [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Dwarf planet Ceres reveals some of its well-kept secrets in a study published in the journal Nature, thanks to new data from NASA’s Dawn spacecraft. They include highly anticipated insights about mysterious bright features found all over the dwarf planet’s surface and especially in the crater Occator. Ceres has more than 130 bright areas, and most of them are associated with impact [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Life on other planets? A recent study by University of Nevada Las Vegas astrophysicist Jason Steffen is shedding new light on this persistently challenging question. In our galaxy, there may be billions of planetary systems where more than one planet is habitable. NASA’s Kepler spacecraft has found planet pairs on very similar orbits—with orbital distances differing by as little as 10 [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

One hundred years ago this month, Albert Einstein published his general theory of relativity, one of the most important scientific achievements in the last century. A key result of Einstein’s theory is that matter warps space-time, and thus a massive object can cause an observable bending of light from a background object. The first success of the theory was the observation, during a solar [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

On its way to higher layers of the mountain where it is investigating how Mars’ environment changed billions of years ago, NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover will take advantage of a chance to study some modern Martian activity at mobile sand dunes. In the next few days, the rover will get its first close-up look at these dark dunes, called the “Bagnold Dunes,” which skirt the northwestern [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Scientists have discovered a new exoplanet that, in the language of “Star Wars,” would be the polar opposite of frigid Hoth, and even more inhospitable than the deserts of Tatooine. But instead of residing in a galaxy far, far away, this new world is, galactically speaking, practically next door. The new planet, named GJ 1132b, is Earth-sized and rocky, orbiting a small star located a mere [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Every two to seven years, an unusually warm pool of water—sometimes 4 to 5 degrees Fahrenheit higher than normal—develops across the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean to create a natural short-term climate change event. This warm condition, known as El Niño, affects the local aquatic environment, but also spurs extreme weather patterns around the world, from flooding in California to droughts [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

NASA scientists are tracking the upcoming Halloween flyby of asteroid 2015 TB145 with several optical observatories and the radar capabilities of the agency’s Deep Space Network at Goldstone, California. The asteroid will fly past Earth at a safe distance slightly farther than the Moon’s orbit on Oct. 31 at 10:05 a.m. PDT. Scientists are treating the flyby of the estimated 1,300-foot-wide [...]

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