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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

The brilliant flash of an exploding star’s shockwave—what astronomers call the “shock breakout”—has been captured for the first time in the optical wavelength or visible light by NASA’s planet-hunter, the Kepler space telescope. An international science team led by Peter Garnavich, an astrophysics professor at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, analyzed light captured by [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Following a long series of tests, the European Space Agency’s LISA Pathfinder has started its science mission to prove key technologies and techniques needed to observe gravitational waves from space. Predicted by Albert Einstein a century ago, gravitational waves are fluctuations in spacetime produced by exotic astronomical events such as supernova explosions or the merging of two black [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Pluto’s largest moon may have gotten too big for its own skin. Images from NASA’s New Horizons mission suggest that Pluto’s moon Charon once had a subsurface ocean that has long since frozen and expanded, pushing out on the moon’s surface and causing it to stretch and fracture on a massive scale. The side of Charon viewed by the passing New Horizons spacecraft in July 2015 is [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

The McMurdo Dry Valleys, located in the Antarctic Victoria Land, are considered to be the most similar earthly equivalent to Mars. They make up one of the driest and most hostile environments on our planet, where strong winds scour away even snow and ice. Only so-called cryptoendolithic microorganisms—capable of surviving in cracks in rocks—and certain lichens can withstand such harsh [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

SURF’S UP IN THE GALAXY: DETECTION OF GRAVITY WAVES. The announcement February 11 of the detection of gravitational waves by the LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory) team marks the beginning of a new kind of astronomy, according to astronomer Laurance R. Doyle of SETI Institute and Principia College. At about the time the first plants appeared on Earth—long before [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

The nitrogen ice glaciers on Pluto appear to carry an intriguing cargo: numerous, isolated hills that may be fragments of water ice from Pluto’s surrounding uplands. These hills individually measure one to several miles across, according to images and data from NASA’s New Horizons mission. The hills, which are in the vast ice plain informally named Sputnik Planum within Pluto’s [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

New Year’s Day, 1801, the dawn of the 19th century, was a historic moment for astronomy, and for a space mission called Dawn more than 200 years later. That night, Giuseppe Piazzi pointed his telescope at the sky and observed a distant object that we now know as dwarf planet Ceres. Today, NASA’s Dawn mission allows us to see Ceres in exquisite detail. From the images Dawn has taken over [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

A team of astronomers in the UK, USA, and Australia have found a planet, until now thought to be a free-floating or lonely planet, in a huge orbit around its star. Incredibly the object, designated as 2MASS J2126, is about 1 trillion kilometers from the star, or about 7,000 times the distance from the Earth to the Sun. In the last five years a number of free-floating planets have been found. [...]

Looking Up (Extra) – Bob Eklund

Looking Up (Extra) – Bob Eklund

Caltech researchers have found evidence of a giant planet tracing a bizarre, highly elongated orbit in the distant solar system. The object, which the researchers have nicknamed Planet Nine, has a mass about 10 times that of Earth and orbits about 20 times farther from the Sun on average than does Neptune (which orbits the Sun at an average distance of 2.8 billion miles). In fact, it would take [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Globular star clusters are extraordinary in almost every way. They’re densely packed, holding a million stars in a ball only about 100 light-years across on average. They’re old, dating back almost to the birth of the Milky Way. And according to new research, they also could be extraordinarily good places to look for space-faring civilizations. “A globular cluster might be the first [...]

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