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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

Archived Posts

Looking Up by Bob Eklund

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 [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

A laser-powered wafer-thin spacecraft capable of reaching Alpha Centauri in 20 years may sound like the stuff of science fiction, but it’s not. And while such a launch isn’t imminent, the possibility of one in the future does exist, according to UC Santa Barbara physics professor Philip Lubin. To further explore that possibility, Lubin and his team in UCSB’s Experimental Cosmology Group [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

 Space is big, dark, and lonely. But some parts of it are more lonely than others. Most galaxies are clumped together in groups or clusters. A neighboring galaxy is never far away. But one galaxy, known as NGC 6503, has found itself in a lonely position, at the edge of a strangely empty patch of space called the Local Void. The Local Void is a huge stretch of space that is at least 150 [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

New images of dwarf planet Ceres, taken by NASA’s Dawn spacecraft, show the cratered surface of this mysterious world—including its mysterious “bright spots”—in sharper detail than ever before. These are among the first snapshots from Dawn’s second mapping orbit, which is 2,700 miles above Ceres. The region with the brightest spots is in a crater about 55 miles across. The spots [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Much ink has been spilled over Pluto’s reclassification as a dwarf planet. And yet, such discussions have not diminished scientific interest in Earth’s most distant cousin. A new study is the first to reveal fascinating details about the orbital and rotational patterns of Pluto and its five known moons. The study, published in the June 4, 2015, issue of the journal Nature, describes a [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

NASA has selected nine science instruments for a mission to Jupiter’s moon Europa, to investigate whether the mysterious icy moon could harbor conditions suitable for life. NASA’s Galileo mission yielded strong evidence that Europa, about the size of Earth’s moon, has an ocean beneath a frozen crust of unknown thickness. If proven to exist, this global ocean could have more than twice as [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

An international team of researchers led by Pieter van Dokkum of Yale University has used the W. M. Keck Observatory to confirm the existence of the most diffuse class of galaxies known in the universe. These “fluffiest galaxies” are nearly as wide as our own Milky Way galaxy—about 60,000 light-years—yet harbor only one percent as many stars. The findings were recently published in the [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

An international team of astronomers led by UC Santa Cruz and Yale University has pushed back the cosmic frontier of galaxy exploration to a time when the universe was only 5 percent of its present age. The team discovered an exceptionally luminous galaxy more than 13 billion light-years from Earth and determined its exact distance using the powerful MOSFIRE instrument on the Keck I 10-meter [...]

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