Space & the Universe
Gaps in Physics Education
November 15, 2012
Why should high school physics education change? Because the most recent, exciting discoveries are left out.
May 21, 2012
Physicists study lunar glow to monitor Earth's climate change.
Mysteries in Space
March 19, 2012
Astrophysicists found the largest water mass in the universe contained in a quasar. A quasar is an extremely old, distant object in space that emits several thousand times more energy than our entire galaxy. Water in this quasar is in the form of vapor, but if condensed into liquid would fill Earth’s oceans more than 100 trillion times. Scientists also determined that it is the oldest body of water known today.
Deep Space Discoveries
February 13, 2012
Optical scientists designed a way to help small telescopes create sharper images. Because so many elements in the atmosphere, such as cloud cover, can interfere with your view of the night sky, scientists came up with a method that counters those effects. The method uses a system of lasers and cameras to indicate to a computer what shape the mirror should be to achieve a clearer view
Violet the Sattelite
January 30, 2012
Mechanical and aerospace engineers designed a satellite with some unique abilities. Because of its small size, the satellite is able to move more quickly than larger satellites, making it a leader in fast spacecraft. Speed also lends itself to rapid data collection, so the satellite can take pictures of the Earth or space much more efficiently. The satellite has all the necessary tools to navigate and will be launched in one to two years.
Mission to Jupiter
January 09, 2012
Astrophysicists Send Spacecraft to Jupiter, Study Planet’s Mysteries
3D Sun in STEREO
July 25, 2011
Astrophysicists reveal 3-D images of the sun for the first time.
Proving Life on Other Planets
June 06, 2011
Astronomers are using a special spacecraft equipped with a unique telescope to identify planets outside our solar system.
Secrets on Saturn
April 18, 2011
Planetary scientists learned more than has ever been known about Saturn by evaluating one-of-a-kind images and video collected by a spacecraft that has been orbiting the planet for the past five years. Because Saturn's north pole has been in winter for nearly 15 years, it has remained dark and unobservable to scientists. A special camera on the spacecraft can see through the dark, revealing clouds and a large cyclone storm. This tells researchers that Saturn is a much more active planet than previously thought.
Veggies In Space
February 28, 2011
Agricultural engineers and plant scientists developed a greenhouse prototype intended for growing vegetables in space. A computerized system uses special lamps instead of sunlight as well as mineral nutrient solutions instead of soil. Researchers anticipate that this collapsible model could travel on a spacecraft and sent to grow food before the astronauts arrived.
Tracking Asteroids Before They Kill Us
June 18, 2010
Astronomers are tracking debris from outer space that could pose a potential threat to Earth. With 100 tons of material hitting the Earth daily, they are devising ways to destroy the most threatening objects.
Life On Mars
April 12, 2010
Atmospheric scientists and physicists discover lightning on mars using a unique detector
Finding Victims After a Disaster
December 10, 2008
Scientists and engineers developed an aerial imaging system to identify the locations of persons in need after disasters.
NASA Saving Lives
September 12, 2008
Earth Scientists and Meteorologists Create Historically-Based, Realistic Weather Animations
Kids Discovering New Asteroids
March 01, 2008
Astronomy students looking for supernovae examined photographs and found asteroids. They used both unaided eyes and computer analysis to identify the asteroids. The images were composited from three separate images, one each of green, red, and blue. When combined into one image, asteroids stand out because they move against the background.
April 01, 2006
Images from the Hubble telescope reveal eight new Einstein rings, joining only three others previously known. Einstein rings are pairs of galaxies, with a foreground galaxy bending the light of a background galaxy into a ring by gravitational effects. The ring helps astronomers precisely estimate the mass of the foreground galaxy.
Sun Darkens Electronics
March 01, 2006
Solar activity can wreak havoc in communications systems -- particularly during coronal mass ejections, when plumes of electrically charged particles hit earth's atmosphere. Scientists can now track the plumes down to the single affected cities, helping to predict disruptions.
The Mystery of Black Holes
December 01, 2005
A satellite called Swift is revealing that black holes have a messier birth than previously thought. Instead of being created in one instant, astrophysicists now believe after a star dies and collapses -- ultimately forming a black hole -- it continues to cause havoc. The baby black hole devours material while at the same time spewing it back out, a process that is revealed in multiple outbursts of gamma rays.
Flying and Radiation Risk
September 01, 2005
At the high altitudes and latitudes commercial airlines fly, crews are subjected to higher-than-normal radiation levels from the sun and cosmic rays. Physicist Robert Barish believes airline crew members are exposing themselves to more radiation than almost any other occupation and is calling for the airline industry to better educate workers about radiation.
Einstein At Home
February 01, 2005
In a new project called "Einstein@Home," members of the general public can use their computers' downtime to analyze data that physicists are collecting from space. The data searches for gravitational waves, ripples of gravity predicted by Einstein but never directly observed.
Samples From The Sun
January 01, 2004
A new NASA program called the Genesis Mission is launching a spacecraft to collect particles from the sun's solar wind to obtain information on the origin of earth and other bodies in the solar system.