Astronomy and Astrophysics Chemistry 

Green Bank Telescope: Two Weeks as a Visiting Astronomer in the Quiet Zone

Pictured in the image above is the Jansky Laboratory, where scientific research is conducted at the Green Bank Observatory, with the Green Bank Telescope (GBT) in the background. The Jansky Lab is named for physicist and telephone engineer Karl Guthe Jansky, who in the 1930s first detected radio waves coming from the center of the Milky Way. By Olivia Wilkins Green Bank, West Virginia is known as “America’s Quietest Town”: there is no cell-phone service, and the use of wireless Internet, digital cameras, and even microwaves is heavily restricted. It…

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In October 2017, astrobiologist Karen J. Meech got the call every astronomer waits for: NASA had spotted the very first visitor from another star system. The interstellar comet -- a half-mile-long object eventually named `Oumuamua, from the Hawaiian for "scout" or "messenger" -- raised intriguing questions: Was it a chunk of rocky debris from a new star system, shredded material from a supernova explosion, evidence of alien technology or something else altogether? In this riveting talk, Meech tells the story of how her team raced against the clock to find answers about this unexpected gift from afar. This talk was presented at an official TED conference Astronomy and Astrophysics 

Oumuamua: Asteroid from Another Star System

In October 2017, astrobiologist Karen J. Meech got the call every astronomer waits for: NASA had spotted the very first visitor from another star system. The interstellar comet — a half-mile-long object eventually named `Oumuamua, from the Hawaiian for “scout” or “messenger” — raised intriguing questions: Was it a chunk of rocky debris from a new star system, shredded material from a supernova explosion, evidence of alien technology or something else altogether? In this riveting talk, Meech tells the story of how her team raced against the clock to find…

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What's Jupiter Hiding? Astronomy and Astrophysics New Technologies 

Juno: What’s Jupiter Hiding?

The Juno spacecraft currently orbiting Jupiter is appropriately named. In Roman mythology, Jupiter created a veil of clouds to hide his escapades with Io from his wife, Juno, but Juno was able to peer through the clouds and foil his plan. By Steven Spence Juno: Aptly named The Juno spacecraft, currently on its 11th science orbit[1] of Jupiter, is designed to see through Jupiter’s clouds, revealing secrets of the planet’s atmosphere and interior. Boldly going on a five-year mission Juno launched on August 5, 2011, from Cape Canaveral aboard a…

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Astronomy and Astrophysics Book Reviews 

Book: See it with a Small Telescope

Take an adventure through the universe through the lens of your telescope! Author Will Kalif tells us about his book, See it with a Small Telescope. Title: See It With a Small Telescope: 101 Cosmic Wonders, Including Planets, Moons, Comets, Galaxies, Nebulae, Star Clusters, and More  Author: Will Kalif  Publisher: Ulysses Press Best for: Astronomy buffs, telescope owners, and readers interested in popular science and space.  The night sky is a deep, rich field of stars. Under normal dark sky conditions, when there is a new moon, there are approximately…

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The Planet Factory book review Astronomy and Astrophysics Book Reviews 

Book Review: The Planet Factory

The Planet Factory is a guide to real-life Tatooines, planets made of diamonds, and possible Earth twins. It’s a story 3,439 stardust babies! Title: The Planet FactoryAuthor: Elizabeth TaskerPublisher: Bloomsbury SigmaOn sale: Sept. 7, 2017 in UK; Nov. 7, 2017 in USABest for: Enthusiastic 17-plus-year-olds, readers interested in popular science and space Exo is the new black The Planet Factory is a guide to real-life Tatooines, planets made of diamonds, and possible Earth twins. Since the 1995 discovery of the first planet outside the solar system, exoplanetology has become one…

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Two Perseid meteors from western NC (Emily Willoughby) Astronomy and Astrophysics 

Discovered: Nearby Planets that Could Host Life

MIT researchers found three potentially habitable planets orbiting an ultra-cool dwarf star. Three planets, just 40 light years away from Earth, could support life. And we will be able to explore them within the next ten years. The study, released today in Nature, located the planets just 40 light years away from Earth. While scientists continue to explore the potential of life on Europa, one of Jupiter’s moons, the newly-discovered planets represent the most likely so far to host life outside our solar system. The study’s lead author, Julien de Wit, tells us why the…

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