Indiana University astrobiologist Lisa Pratt has been named to a NASA position responsible for protecting the planet from microscopic threats originating on other planets. As planetary protection officer, she will be responsible for the protection of Earth from potential contamination by extraterrestrial life forms, including potential microorganisms that could live in the ice or groundwater of Mars, as well as preventing accidental transportation of Earth's microbes to other planets through exploratory probes -- or the boots of astronauts.
Paul Dabbar, the Department of Energy Under Secretary for Science, visited SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory Jan. 17 for a day of tours and discussions on how the lab is driving scientific innovation. His visit included meetings with SLAC and Stanford leadership, as well as researchers and scientists involved in the lab's X-ray science, particle physics and astrophysics, technology innovation and applied energy programs.
Scientists from three UK universities are to test one of the fundamental laws of physics as part of a major Europe-wide project awarded more than GBP3m in funding.
Crumpling reduces rigidity in an otherwise stiff material, making it less prone to catastrophic failure.
The University of Iowa has a new sandbox--and it's used to explain gravity. Undergraduates physics and astronomy designed and built an augmented-reality sandbox where users can design their own universe and then watch how gravity affects an object as it travels through the imagined environment.
In an unprecedented deep survey for small, faint objects in the Orion Nebula, astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have uncovered the largest known population of brown dwarfs sprinkled among newborn stars. Looking in the vicinity of the survey stars, researchers not only found several very-low-mass brown dwarf companions, but also three giant planets. They even found an example of binary planets where two planets orbit each other in the absence of a parent star.
Astronomers using the Green Bank Telescope have made the first definitive interstellar detection of benzonitrile, an intriguing organic molecule that helps to chemically link simple carbon-based molecules and truly massive ones known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. This discovery is a vital clue in a 30-year-old mystery: identifying the source of a faint infrared glow that permeates the Milky Way and other galaxies.
By combining the latest developments in neutron scattering and theory, researchers are close to predicting phenomena like superconductivity and magnetism in strongly correlated electron systems. It is likely that the next advances in superconductivity and magnetism will come from such systems, but they might also be used in completely new ways such as quantum computing.
A new analysis of about 10,000 normal Sun-like stars in the Milky Way's bulge reveals that our galaxy's hub is a dynamic environment of variously aged stars zipping around at different speeds. This conclusion is based on nine years' worth of archival data from the Hubble Space Telescope.
An intensive survey deep into the universe by NASA's Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes has yielded the proverbial needle-in-a-haystack: the farthest galaxy yet seen in an image that has been stretched and amplified by a phenomenon called gravitational lensing.
Astronomers have caught a supermassive black hole in a distant galaxy snacking on gas and then "burping" -- not once, but twice.
Danny Bowman, a Sandia National Laboratories geophysicist, launched a fleet of five solar-powered hot air balloons last year. They reached a height of 13 to 15 miles, twice as high as commercial jets, and detected the infrasound from a test explosion. Infrasound is sound of very low frequencies, below 20 hertz, which is lower than humans can hear, and can be used to monitor explosions, including those caused by nuclear tests. Bowman is also working with NASA to explore the possibility of sending these balloons to Venus and Jupiter.
By combining the visible and infrared capabilities of the Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes, astronomers and visualization specialists from NASA's Universe of Learning program have created a new three-dimensional fly-through movie of the Orion nebula, a nearby stellar nursery.
Northwestern University astrophysicist Vicky Kalogera has been awarded the 2018 Dannie Heineman Prize for Astrophysics for her groundbreaking work studying compact objects -- including black holes, neutron stars and white dwarfs -- in astrophysical systems.
At a special session held during the American Astronomical Society meeting in Washington, D.C., scientists on the Dark Energy Survey (DES) announced today the public release of their first three years of data. This first major release of data from the Survey includes information on about 400 million astronomical objects, including distant galaxies billions of light-years away as well as stars in our own galaxy.
Astronomers using the GBT have discovered what appears to be a grand exodus of more than 100 hydrogen clouds streaming away from the center of the Milky Way and heading into intergalactic space.
Scientists on the Dark Energy Survey (DES), including astronomers from the University of Portsmouth, have today released their first three years of data. This first major release of data from the survey includes information on more than 400 million astronomical objects, including distant galaxies billions of light years away as well as stars in our own galaxy.
A detailed study of blue salt crystals found in two meteorites that crashed to Earth - which included X-ray experiments at Berkeley Lab - found that they contain both liquid water and a mix of complex organic compounds including hydrocarbons and amino acids.
Using two of the world's largest radio telescopes, an international team of astronomers has gained new insights into the extreme home of a mysterious source of cosmic radio bursts. The discovery suggests that the source of the radio emission lies near a massive black hole or within an extremely powerful nebula, and may help shed light on what is causing these strange bursts.
An international group of astronomers has found that the Cornell University-discovered fast radio burst FRB 121102 - a brief, gigantic pulse of radio waves from 3 billion light years away - passes through a veil of magnetized plasma. This causes the cosmic blasts to "shout and twist," which will help the scientists determine the source.
Advanced simulations created with one of the world's most powerful supercomputers show the jets' streams gradually change direction in the sky, or precess, as a result of space-time being dragged into the rotation of the black hole.
A study of 909 planets and 355 stars carried out at the W.M. Keck Observatory reveals that, unlike our solar system, other planetary systems are distinguished by strict regularity.
Penn State Aerospace Engineers Developing Drone for NASA Concept Mission to Saturn's Largest Moon, Titan
Researchers from the Penn State Department of Aerospace Engineering are part of a team led by the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) whose proposal for a revolutionary rotorcraft to investigate Saturn's largest moon, Titan, has been selected by NASA as one of two finalists for the agency's next New Frontiers mission.
Article lists 10 PPPL stories, plus a bonus, that readers may have missed in 2017.
Scientists analyzing results of spinning protons striking different sized atomic nuclei at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) found an odd directional preference in the production of neutrons that switches sides as the size of the nuclei increases.The results offer new insight into the mechanisms affecting particle production in these collisions.