Garcia-Mejia at TESS Launch

Astronomy graduate student Juliana Garcia-Mejia attends TESS launch

May 8, 2018

Garcia-Mejia: Last month, I was lucky enough to win a NASA lottery to attend the TESS launch as a VIP guest at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, FL. As is the case with rocket launches, there were a series of launch windows starting on April 16, 2018, at 6:32pm. As hundreds of scientists were getting ready to board the buses that would take us from the KSC visitor complex to the viewing site on April 16, a NASA representative crushed our launch-viewing dreams with a simple two words: "launch scrubbed". A second launch window did not open until Wednesday, April 18 at 6:...

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Artist's impression of the exoplanet Proxima Centauri b. Credit: ESO

Escape from Proxima b

April 18, 2018

Avi Loeb's lated Scientific American blog post explores the idea that, "A civilization in the habitable zone of a dwarf star like Proxima Centauri might find it hard to get into interstellar space with conventional rockets."

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Photo of a Professor standing in front of a chalkboard and students

Making Academia Matter Again

April 17, 2018

Avi Loeb offers his perspective on opening up academia. "Academic freedom is a precious commodity, critical to ensure that discovery of the truth is not encumbered by political or ideological forces. But this does not mean that intellectuals should hide in academic bunkers that, by protecting us from criticism by “non-experts,” allow ego to flourish and enable a focus on questions that are not actually relevant to anyone else. We experts should have to explain ourselves."

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Stephen Hawking speaking at the launch of the Black Hole Initiative at Sanders Theater, Harvard University

It is a sad day for the world of physics and humanity

March 14, 2018

Dear Colleagues,

It is a sad day for the world of physics and humanity.

Stephen embodied the superiority of mind over matter. He demonstrated that the human spirit can overcome all physical limitations and that the human mind can comprehend the deepest secrets of nature. With his optimistic mindset, he discovered that even black hole can shine brightly. His work on black holes and the early universe had a great impact our current research in these fields. 

Stephen visited us for a few weeks in April 2016 for the inauguration of the Black...

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Artist's impression of an explosion in space. Credit: kyoshino Getty Images

For E.T. Civilizations, Location Could Be Everything

March 13, 2018

Avi Loeb has written another great essay,  "Astronomers have recently determined that rare elements such as gold and uranium are produced as a result of rapid capture of free neutrons during the merger of two neutron stars. Neutron stars are the densest stars known, having the size of a city (12 kilometers) and up to twice the mass of the sun, with the density of an atomic nucleus. A teaspoon of neutron star material weighs a trillion kilograms, as much as a tall mountain on Earth."


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