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Astronomy Congratulates Professor Eliot Quataert on being elected to the AAAS

The 1780 Charter of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences states that purpose of the Academy is "to cultivate every art and science which may tend to advance the interest, honor, dignity, and happiness of a free, independent, and virtuous people." AAAS Members have included John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Maria …

TAGS: Eliot Quataert

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Flash-in-the-pan supernovas explained

Most exploding stars flare brightly and then slowly fade over weeks to months, but an unusual group of supernovas noticed only in the last 10 years flare up and disappear within days.

Thanks to the ability of NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope to precisely measure starlight over long periods of time, astronomers now have a pretty good idea what these …

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Amateur astronomer captures rare first light from massive exploding star

Thanks to lucky snapshots taken by an amateur astronomer in Argentina, scientists have obtained their first view of the initial burst of light from the explosion of a massive star.

During tests of a new camera, Víctor Buso captured images of a distant galaxy before and after the supernova’s “shock breakout” – when a supersonic pressure wave from the …

TAGS: Alex Filippenko

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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 …

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