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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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UC Berkeley hosts Peter Gao on 51 Pegasi b Fellowship in Planetary Astronomy

Peter Gao combines his love of astronomy and Earth sciences to explore the behaviors of clouds and hazes that enshroud distant worlds. From the acid clouds of Venus to the hazes covering Pluto, Peter creates and applies innovative models to understand planetary atmospheres. He is energized by the interdisciplinary nature of the planetary astronomy field and its astounding possibilities to …

TAGS: Peter Gao, clouds, hazes, planetary astronomy

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Fast radio burst tied to distant dwarf galaxy and, perhaps, magnetar

One of the rare and brief bursts of cosmic radio waves that have puzzled astronomers since they were first detected nearly 10 years ago has finally been tied to a source: an older dwarf galaxy more than 3 billion light years from Earth.

The Very Large Array pinpointed for the first time the location of a fast radio burst in a dwarf galaxy about 3 billion light years from Earth. …

TAGS: very large array, dwarf galaxy, Casey Law

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For the Good of Science

Nearly a dozen of the country's leading scholars in physics and astronomy visited the Heising-Simons Foundation to discuss academic and career pathways for women in these fields, and what could be done to help.  View the slideshow by clicking here

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Peering Back in Galactic Time

The astonishing beauty of galaxies visible from Earth has enchanted humanity ever since our ancestors first gazed into the twinkling night and wondrously beheld them. Some galaxies look like elegant whirling spirals or cosmic frisbees, while others look like elliptical blobs or lumpy irregular clumps smeared across the sky. The variety of galactic shapes prompts questions as old as …

TAGS: Mariska Kriek, Galaxies, MOSDEF

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Breakthrough Listen and Tabby's Star

The Breakthrough Listen project, lead by Andrew Siemion and Dan Werthimer, will be teaming with visiting astronomer Jason Wright and Tabetha Boyajian, the Louisiana State University assistant professor of physics and …

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