"It’s impossible to miss when the seasons change. But do most people understand the science behind those changes? According to decades-old research by astronomers and educators at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA), probably not."
"Somewhere in the neighborhood of the red dwarf star Proxima Centauri—4.25 light years from Cambridge—a small, hyper-reflective spacecraft will home in on an unfamiliar planet." Full article in the Harvard Crimson
For thousands of years, humans have searched for a way to turn matter into gold. Ancient alchemists considered this precious metal to be the highest form of matter. As human knowledge advanced, the mystical aspects of alchemy gave way to the sciences we know today. And yet, with all our advances in science and technology, the origin story of gold remained unknown. Until now.
Marking the beginning of a new era in astrophysics, scientists have detected gravitational waves and electromagnetic radiation, or light, from the same event for the first time. This historic discovery reveals the merger of two neutron stars, the dense cores of dead stars, and resolves the debate about how the heaviest elements such as platinum and gold were created in the Universe.
First Prototype ‘Sprites’ – Precursors to Eventual ‘StarChip’ Probes – Achieve Low Earth Orbit
San Francisco – July 26, 2017 – Breakthrough Starshot, a multi-faceted program to develop and launch practical interstellar space missions, successfully flew its first spacecraft – the smallest ever launched.
On June 23, a number of prototype “Sprites” – the world’s smallest fully functional space probes, built on a single circuit board – achieved Low Earth Orbit, piggybacking on OHB...
"The world's most indestructible species, the tardigrade, an eight-legged micro-animal, also known as the water bear, will survive until the Sun dies, according to a new Oxford University collaboration."
"The new study published in Scientific Reports, has shown that the tiny creatures, will survive the risk of extinction from all astrophysical catastrophes, and be around for at least 10 billion years – far longer than the human race."
Evolver social movement & the Hive to Thrive speaker series hosted Harvard University director of astronomy Avi Loeb for a wide ranging discussion. From the nature of scientific discovery to possible origins of FRBs (Fast Radio Bursts) emanating from the cosmic background radio noise. Produced...
"An Earth-sized planet next door: that was the startling announcement last August. Astronomers had found an exoplanet orbiting the sun’s closest stellar neigh- bor, a cool red dwarf star called Proxima Centauri (1). Even better, the nearby world orbited within its parent star’s habitable zone, meaning liquid water could exist on the planet’s surface, which raised the prospects for its harboring life."
All eyes on Proxima Centauri b: http://www.pnas.org/content/114/26/6646.full.pdf
I am very sorry to report that our colleague Pat Thaddeus passed away this morning.
Pat was a highly influential teacher and astronomer for over 50 years, including the past 30 at the CfA. His interests were extremely broad, including pioneering work on the cosmic microwave background radiation, planetary atmospheres, and large-scale studies of star formation and galactic structure. He was one of the founders of the now flourishing field of astrochemistry. His elegant laboratory spectroscopy provided ironclad identifications of...