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Finding the Dark with Light

By   /  October 26, 2011  /  Words from the Wetherbee  /   Comments

Tweet NASA scientists are using the Hubble Space Telescope to detect dark matter using light. This may sound odd, but the researchers found out it is possible. The principle that allows it to work is something called gravitational lensing, an effect predicted by Einstein in the early part of the 20th century. The idea is [...]

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Modeling the Universe

By   /  October 10, 2011  /  Words from the Wetherbee  /   Comments

Tweet A team of scientists working at the NASA Ames Research Center have created the newest, most accurate simulation of the universe, called the Bolshoi supercomputer simulation. The purpose of the simulation, according to the University of California, Santa Cruz (where one of the lead researchers hails from) is to “compute and model the evolution [...]

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This week’s Word from the Wetherbee

By   /  September 30, 2011  /  Words from the Wetherbee  /   Comments

Tweet LIFE-FRIENDLY ZONES IN THE GALAXY? With all the changes happening in the sciences lately, it is no small wonder that astronomers are beginning to re-think the “big picture” in their theories. For centuries, humans have wondered about the possibility of life elsewhere in the universe, and since the advancement of space technology, the hunt [...]

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This week’s Word from the Wetherbee

By   /  September 21, 2011  /  Lifestyle and Entertainment, Words from the Wetherbee  /   Comments

Tweet THE SKY IS FALLING! Well, not exactly. Something in the sky is falling, though. A 13,000-pound research satellite, to be precise. The word from NASA is to keep an eye out for falling debris. UARS, or the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite, has said its farewells to space and will be returning to Earth. NASA [...]

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Packing Power

By   /  September 10, 2011  /  Words from the Wetherbee  /   Comments

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Tweet NASA is working on a power source that could revolutionize space exploration. A nuclear reactor the size of a regular suitcase, it is strong enough to power eight average US homes, yet portable enough to travel in small, compact space craft. Designed by scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory, the [...]

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De Blob, it glows!

By   /  August 24, 2011  /  Words from the Wetherbee  /   Comments

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Tweet Lyman-alpha blob 1 (LAB-1) is a blob. Not only that, but it is a giant, intergalactic green blob—a giant, intergalactic, green blob that can only be studied with extremely large telescopes, like the (aptly named) Very Large Telescope (VLT) in the mountains of Chile. This is what LAB-1 looks like through the VLT:

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Playing tag with a “trojan”

By   /  August 8, 2011  /  Words from the Wetherbee  /   Comments

Tweet Astronomers have recently discovered that Earth is not alone. It seems our planet is being followed, or our Earth is following something else, depending on how you look at it. Earth’s orbit is being shared by an object that astronomers refer to as a “trojan” asteroid. Thanks to data gathered from the NEOWISE project, [...]

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Pluto’s Family Grows

By   /  August 1, 2011  /  Words from the Wetherbee  /   Comments

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Tweet The Hubble Telescope has added another great discovery to its repertoire; a fourth moon for Pluto. Temporarily assigned the name P4, it was discovered just this month orbiting around the dwarf planet with Charon, Nix, and Hydra, Pluto’s other moons.

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Pin the tail on the Pulsar

By   /  July 20, 2011  /  Words from the Wetherbee  /   Comments

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Tweet The Chandra X-Ray Observatory has seen something very interesting in recent months. In a paper published in the Astrophysical Journal, several astronomers note how they have witnessed a tail of sorts that appears to be spreading out from a pulsar. The pulsar is a rapidly spinning neutron star, lovingly dubbed PSR J0357+3205.

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Gamma Ray Flares in Binary Star are a Mystery

By   /  July 9, 2011  /  Words from the Wetherbee  /   Comments

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Tweet Something very odd has happened 8,000 light years away in the southern constellation Crux. A binary star system has emitted strange gamma ray flares as the small pulsar star of the pair approached and passed through its closest point in orbit around the large Be-class star. The Be-class star, designated LS 2883, is surrounded [...]

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