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All posts; Tags Include "Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics"

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  • September 17, 2015
  • 09:00 AM
  • 1,568 views

The Martian: Getting Home Is Just Half The Problem

by Mark Lasbury in The 'Scope

"The Martian" movie opens soon! It's about an astronaut stranded on Mars who is trying to survive and find a way to get back home. But today, we humans here on Earth still have to think of clever ways to survive a trip to the red planet in the first place.... Read more »

  • March 31, 2015
  • 08:00 AM
  • 1,502 views

Shields Up! Lay In A Course For Mars

by Mark E. Lasbury in The 'Scope

Deflector shields allowed Star Trek and other sci-fi franchises to have long space battles. Without them, one good strike and everyone was dead – that wouldn’t lend itself to sequels.

We don’t need shields for space battles yet, but we do need them to get to Mars. Cosmic radiation will kill or injure every astronaut unless we can deflect the radiation away from the spacecraft. We’re just about to build real deflectors, and our teachers are the magnetic fields we find ........ Read more »

  • January 21, 2015
  • 07:24 AM
  • 1,014 views

Space Exploration 2.0

by Viputheshwar Sitaraman in Draw Science

Redefining space exploration: SpaceX's crazy week in the private space race. [Infographic]... Read more »

  • December 4, 2014
  • 02:21 PM
  • 1,349 views

ALMA Japan: Hi-Def Imaging of Spiral Gas Arms from Twin Baby Stars (w/video)

by DJ Busby in Astronasty

We know that about half the the stars out there (with sizes close to that of our sun) are binary systems. However, for a long time we've been lacking information on how they develop, since it's not been easy to get a whole lot of data from surrounding scattered mass that's so damned far away! Congrats to all involved!... Read more »

Shigehisa Takakuwa, Masao Saito, Kazuya Saigo, Tomoaki Matsumoto, Jeremy Lim, Tomoyuki Hanawa, & Paul T. P. Ho. (2014) Angular Momentum Exchange by Gravitational Torques and Infall in the Circumbinary Disk of the Protostellar System L1551 NE. The Astrophysical Journal. arXiv: 1409.4903v1

  • November 11, 2014
  • 10:50 AM
  • 1,364 views

A Four Billion Mile Road Trip to Grandma’s

by Mark Lasbury in The 'Scope

Mankind is about to take a huge step in understanding himself and his universe. The Rosetta orbiter has traveled 3.8 billion miles to catch comet 67P/C-G. Traveling at more than 24,000 miles per hour, the Philae Lander is now going to land on the comet. A visitor from deep space and from deep time, 67P/C-G contains clues about the solar system, water, and perhaps life itself.... Read more »

  • August 7, 2014
  • 05:50 AM
  • 1,162 views

Nature’s Magnifying Glass: Gravitational Lensing

by RAZ Rebecca A. Zarate in United Academics

Gravitational lensing is a clean probe of the Universe and has much to tell us about its two most mysterious components – dark matter and dark energy. This article explains what it is, what is can discover and what Sherlock Holmes has to do with it.... Read more »

Kenneth C. Wong, Kim-Vy H. Tran, Sherry H. Suyu, Ivelina G. Momcheva, Gabriel B. Brammer, Mark Brodwin, Anthony H. Gonzalez, Aleksi Halkola, Glenn G. Kacprzak, Anton M. Koekemoer.... (2014) Discovery of a Strong Lensing Galaxy Embedded in a Cluster at z . The Astrophysical Journal Letters vol. 789 . arXiv: 1405.3661v2

  • April 13, 2014
  • 01:56 PM
  • 1,590 views

Intro to External Pulsed Plasma Propulsion (EPPP)

by Jason Carr in Wired Cosmos

External Pulsed Plasma Propulsion (EPPP)  is something that’s been discussed for some time. In fact, it was originally proposed by Stanislaw Ulam way back in 1947. Unfortunately the public perception of atomic technology as well as pieces of otherwise well meaning legislation have called into question the feasibility of spacecraft that operate using this advanced … Read More →... Read more »

  • February 5, 2014
  • 11:43 AM
  • 1,335 views

Solving a 30-Year-Old Problem in High Mass Star Formation

by Jason Carr in Wired Cosmos

Some 30 years ago, astronomers found that regions of ionized gas around young high mass stars remain small (under a third of a light-year) for ten times longer than they should if they were to expand as expected in simple models. Recent supercomputer simulations predicted that these regions actually flicker in brightness over this period … Read More →... Read more »

C. G. De Pree, T. Peters, M.-M. Mac Low, D. J. Wilner, W. M. Goss, R. Galván-Madrid, E. R. Keto, R. S. Klessen, & A. Monsrud. (2014) Flickering of 1.3 cm Sources in Sgr B2: Toward a Solution to the Ultracompact H II Region Lifetime Problem. The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 781(L36). DOI: 10.1088/2041-8205/781/2/L36  

  • November 5, 2013
  • 07:43 AM
  • 1,365 views

What White Dwarfs Can Tell Us About the Universe

by Jason Carr in Wired Cosmos

Researchers from Europe and the U.S. have ruled out a multitude of possible parameters for dark photons – a type of dark matter and energy – with the help of white dwarfs. In some aspects, the shining of these dying stars gives more information on dark forces than is provided by earth-based laboratories. The journal … Read More →... Read more »

Herbert K. Dreiner, Jean-François Fortin, Jordi Isern, & Lorenzo Ubaldi. (2013) White Dwarfs constrain Dark Forces. Phys. Rev. D, 88(4). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevD.88.043517  

  • October 25, 2013
  • 11:40 AM
  • 2,101 views

What Aliens From Another World Will Look Like

by Jason Carr in Wired Cosmos

Invading aliens from outer space won’t look like a Lady Gaga zombie or creatures with serious nasal drip problems. Top planetary scientists have now come up with different sketches of how aliens might appear. Here, then, are what real aliens will most likely look like if they drop on your house. First, the alien won’t … Read More →... Read more »

Cosmovici, C., Pluchino, S., Salerno, E., Montebugnoli, S., Zoni, L., & Bartolini, M. (2007) Radio Search for Water in Exo-Planetary Systems. Extreme Solar Systems, 33. info:/

  • October 16, 2013
  • 10:45 AM
  • 1,416 views

How the Largest Known Star is Tearing Itself Apart

by Jason Carr in Wired Cosmos

An international team of astronomers has observed part of the final death throes of the largest known star in the Universe as it throws off its outer layers. The discovery, by a collaboration of scientists from the UK, Chile, Germany and the USA, is a vital step in understanding how massive stars return enriched material … Read More →... Read more »

Nicholas J. Wright, Roger Wesson, Janet E. Drew, Geert Barentsen, Michael J. Barlow, Jeremy R. Walsh, Albert Zijlstra, Jeremy J. Drake, Jochen Eisloffel, & Hywel J. Farnhill. (2013) The Ionized Nebula surrounding the Red Supergiant W26 in Westerlund 1. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. arXiv: 1309.4086v1

  • October 1, 2013
  • 09:32 AM
  • 1,338 views

New Estimate of Amount of Water on Surface of Mars

by Jason Carr in Wired Cosmos

NASA’s rover Curiosity, which landed on the surface of Mars on 6 August 2012, has led to more detailed estimates of the amount of water on the Martian surface. The Finnish Meteorological Institute is part of the NASA research team. A study published in the magazine Science on 27 September reveals that according to observations made by … Read More →... Read more »

  • September 26, 2013
  • 10:53 AM
  • 1,298 views

Mapping Clouds on Exoplanet Kepler-7b

by Jason Carr in Wired Cosmos

An international team, with participation from the University of Bern, has produced the first map of clouds on an exoplanet using the Kepler Space Telescope. Studying the atmospheres of exoplanets is the path towards ultimately identifying life elsewhere in the Universe. Understanding the role of clouds in exoplanet atmospheres is a necessary ingredient in the … Read More →... Read more »

Kevin Heng, & Brice-Olivier Demory. (2013) Understanding Trends Associated with Clouds in Irradiated Exoplanets. Astrohysical Journal. arXiv: 1309.5956v1

  • August 22, 2013
  • 12:47 PM
  • 1,273 views

All digital images are just large arrays of numbers

by Olga Vovk in Milchstraße

If we look at image processing from the mathematical perspective, all digital images are just arrays of numbers. Across different fields of study, image processing applications (although initially developed for very specific needs) often use similar image processing routines based on common algorithms. Why I am writing all this?... Read more »

Jennifer L. West, & Ian D. Cameron. (2006) Using the medical image processing package, ImageJ, for astronomy. J.Roy.Astron.Soc.Canada100:242-248,2006. arXiv: astro-ph/0611686v1

Michelle Borkin (Initiative in Innovative Computing, Harvard University), Alyssa Goodman (Initiative in Innovative Computing/Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics), Michael Halle (Initiative in Innovative Computing/Harvard Medical School), Douglas A. (2006) Application of Medical Imaging Software to 3D Visualization of Astronomical Data. arXiv.org. info:/

Covington K, McCreedy ES, Chen M, Carass A, Aucoin N, & Landman BA. (2010) Interfaces and Integration of Medical Image Analysis Frameworks: Challenges and Opportunities. Annual ORNL Biomedical Science and Engineering Center Conference ORNL Biomedical Science and Engineering Center Conference, 1-4. PMID: 21151892  

  • May 2, 2013
  • 09:50 AM
  • 1,440 views

Meteorites May Reveal Mars’ Secrets of Life

by Jason Carr in Wired Cosmos

In an effort to determine if conditions were ever right on Mars to sustain life, a team of scientists, including a Michigan State University professor, has examined a meteorite that formed on the red planet more than a billion years ago. And although this team’s work is not specifically solving the mystery, it is laying … Read More →... Read more »

  • December 14, 2012
  • 04:07 AM
  • 1,582 views

Nasa is developping graphene based sensors

by Jean-Christophe Lavocat in Graphenea ~ News about Graphene

The famous US aerospace and aeronautics agency NASA is currently developing sensors based on graphene. The main leader of the initiative, Mahmooda Sultana, joined NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt two years ago. She had since then won research and development fundings to install graphene production facilities.... Read more »

Li, Mary; Sultana, Mahmooda; Hess, Larry. (2012) Graphene Transparent Conductive Electrodes for Next- Generation Microshutter Arrays . NASA Tech Briefs, May 2012. info:other/20120009225

  • October 18, 2012
  • 10:42 AM
  • 1,425 views

Searching for Extraterrestrial Microbes

by Jason Carr in Wired Cosmos

Locating thermophiles in other parts of the universe could very well aid in the search for extraterrestrial life. Most people have agreed that if life is found among the stars, it will be microbial (at least in the near-term future). Many individuals have also suggested that intelligent life forms might very well be extinct in [...]... Read more »

  • October 17, 2012
  • 12:00 PM
  • 3,130 views

Why it matters that the closest-to-Earth-mass planet is around the closest star

by Brooke N in Smaller Questions

How the discovery of the least-massive planet so far could change the abstract nature of astronomy.... Read more »

Dumusque, X., Pepe, F., Lovis, C., Ségransan, D., Sahlmann, J., Benz, W., Bouchy, F., Mayor, M., Queloz, D., Santos, N.... (2012) An Earth-mass planet orbiting α Centauri B. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature11572  

  • September 11, 2012
  • 04:13 PM
  • 1,766 views

How Genetics Shape Our Addictions

by Jason Carr in Wired Cosmos

Have you ever wondered why some people find it so much easier to stop smoking than others? New research (cited below) shows that vulnerability to smoking addiction is shaped by our genes. A study from the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital – The Neuro, McGill University shows that people with genetically fast nicotine metabolism have [...]... Read more »

  • May 25, 2012
  • 03:14 PM
  • 2,124 views

Once upon a time there was a star

by Olga Vovk in Milchstraße

Once upon a time there was a star. It was big, hot, luminous, and very proud of itself. It was the First Star. It had already devoured all the gas around, so no other stars could be born nearby. No neighbor stars were visible in vicinity either. It was lonely. The First Star spent its life in grief burning H and He and died shortly in pair-instability supernova. Or maybe it died quietly in a black hole. Or maybe I should tell another story. . .

Why do we think that Population III stars exist?........ Read more »

ResearchBlogging.org, & Bromm V. and Larson R. (2009) The First Stars in the Universe . Scientific American. info:/

Stacy, A., Greif, T., & Bromm, V. (2010) The first stars: formation of binaries and small multiple systems. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 403(1), 45-60. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2009.16113.x  

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