Wednesday May 24th 2017
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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

Get Smart - Jamie Wallace

Looking Up by Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Planet Nine—the undiscovered planet at the edge of the solar system predicted by Caltech's Konstantin Batygin and Mike Brown in January 2016—appears to be responsible for the unusual tilt of the Sun. The large and distant planet may be adding a wobble to the solar system, giving the appearance that the Sun is tilted slightly. “Because Planet Nine is so massive and has an orbit tilted [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

In August, astronomers announced that the nearest star, Proxima Centauri, hosts an Earth-sized planet (called Proxima b) in its habitable zone. At first glance, Proxima Centauri seems nothing like our Sun. It’s a small, cool, red dwarf star that’s only one-tenth as massive and one-thousandth as luminous as the Sun. However, new research shows that it is Sun-like in one surprising way: It has [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Rosetta’s mission is over. After the last signal on Sept. 30, 2016, the spacecraft was crash-landed on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, taking measurements and sending them to Earth right until the very end. The final descent image of the comet was taken from the European Space Agency (ESA) Rosetta spacecraft moments before its controlled impact into the comet’s surface. Confirmation of [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Astronomers using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope have imaged what may be water vapor plumes erupting off the surface of Jupiter’s moon Europa. This finding bolsters other Hubble observations suggesting the icy moon erupts with high-altitude water vapor plumes. The observation increases the possibility that missions to Europa may be able to sample Europa’s ocean without having to drill [...]

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 [...]

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