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Puzzling new supernova may be from star producing antimatter

An exploding star that continued to shine for nearly two years — unlike most supernovae, which fade after a few weeks — is puzzling astronomers and leading theorists, including UC Berkeley astrophysicist Daniel Kasen, to suggest that the event may be an example of a star so hot that it produces antimatter in its core.

Stars would have to be very massive to get this hot, …

TAGS: Supernova, Daniel Kasen

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Selections Made for the JWST Director’s Discretionary Early Release Science Program

Following the recommendation of the Time Allocation Committee and a thorough technical review, the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) Director Ken Sembach has selected 13 science programs for the JWST Director’s Discretionary Early Release Science Program (DD-ERS). It is anticipated that the DD-ERS

TAGS: Imke de Pater, daniel weisz

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Astronomers strike cosmic gold

The first detection of gravitational waves from the cataclysmic merger of two neutron stars, and the observation of visible light in the aftermath of that merger, finally answer a long-standing question in astrophysics: Where do the heaviest elements, ranging from silver and other precious metals to uranium, come from?

Based on the brightness and color of the light emitted following …

TAGS: Daniel Kasen, space sciences

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#MeasureEarth: a world-wide experiment to determine whether Earth is flat or round

A group of people are claiming that the Earth is flat.  Meanwhile, much of humanity believes the Earth is round.  Who is right, and who is wrong?

Folks: we live in the Internet age, which means we can test these ideas with an EXPERIMENT.  To participate, all you need are three one-meter measuring sticks, a sunny day, some flat ground, and an …

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How to Safely View the Eclipse: Tips from Professor Alex Filippenko

Anyone planning to observe the eclipse should obtain a pair of certified eclipse glasses (see American Astronomical Society recommendations). While the glasses should be removed during the couple of minutes of totality, they must be worn when looking at the eclipse leading up to and following totality, or when viewing the partial eclipse from outside the zone of totality.

The …

TAGS: Alex Filippenko, solar eclipse

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New Storm Makes Surprise Appearance on Neptune

Extremely large, bright storm system caught on camera at W. M. Keck Observatory

Maunakea, Hawaii – Striking images of a storm system nearly the size of Earth have astronomers doing a double-take after pinpointing its location near Neptune’s equator, a region where no bright cloud has ever been seen before.

“Seeing a storm this bright at such a low …

TAGS: Imke de Pater, storm, neptune

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Pioneering radio astronomer Harold Weaver dies at age 99

Harold Francis Weaver, a pioneer of radio astronomy who discovered the first microwave laser, or maser, in space, passed away peacefully in his Kensington, California, home on April 26 at the age of 99.

Weaver was a professor emeritus of astronomy, the founder of UC Berkeley’s Radio Astronomy Laboratory and its director from 1958 until 1972 and a former chairman of the …

TAGS: Harold Weaver Radio Astronomy Laboratory

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Astronomy Crowdfunding Soft Launch Starts Now!

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to walk on the surface of Pluto, or fly by the supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy? A group of scientists in the Department of Astronomy would like to help you find out! 

TAGS: STEM, World Wide Telescope, Space Engine

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$5.8 million grant helps expand radio telescope to study ‘cosmic dawn’

A radio telescope array being built in South Africa to explore the period after stars first formed in the early universe has received $5.8 million in new funding from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

The grant to the Hydrogen Epoch of Reionization Array (HERA) project, led by UC Berkeley, will help build …

TAGS: HERA, Aaron Parsons

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Two postdocs receive fellowships to study exoplanets

An incoming postdoc and a departing Ph.D. are among four new 51 Pegasi b Fellows announced this week by the Heising-Simons Foundation.

The fellowship, named after the first planet discovered around a star like our sun, supports postdoctoral researchers in the growing field of planetary astronomy, which focuses on celestial objects within and beyond our solar system.

Peter Gao, …

TAGS: katherine de kleer, Peter Gao, planetary astronomy, 51 Pegasi b

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