Daily Archive: January 3, 2018

The moon is about to do something it hasn’t done in more than 150 years

The moon is about to do something it hasn’t done in more than 150 years

Call it whatever you like—a blue red moon, a purple moon, a blood moon—but the moon will be a special sight on Jan. 31.

NASA’s Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission locates elusive electron act

NASA’s Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission locates elusive electron act

The space high above Earth may seem empty, but it’s a carnival packed with magnetic field lines and high-energy particles. This region is known as the magnetosphere and, every day, charged particles put on a show as they dart and dive through it. Like tiny tightrope walkers, the high-energy electrons follow the magnetic field lines. Sometimes, such as during an event called magnetic reconnection where the lines explosively collide, the particles are shot off their trajectories, as if they were fired from a cannon.

NASA’s Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission locates elusive electron act

NASA’s Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission locates elusive electron act

The space high above Earth may seem empty, but it’s a carnival packed with magnetic field lines and high-energy particles. This region is known as the magnetosphere and, every day, charged particles put on a show as they dart and dive through it. Like tiny tightrope walkers, the high-energy electrons follow the magnetic field lines. Sometimes, such as during an event called magnetic reconnection where the lines explosively collide, the particles are shot off their trajectories, as if they were fired from a cannon.

Magnetic fields discovered in two hot evolved stars

Magnetic fields discovered in two hot evolved stars

Astronomers have presented the initial results of the Large Impact of Magnetic Fields on the Evolution of Hot Stars (LIFE) project. Among determining fundamental parameters of 15 stars, they found that two of them have magnetic fields. The finding is detailed in a paper published December 20 on arXiv.org.

Imaging engineers improve accuracy of satellite images

Imaging engineers improve accuracy of satellite images

Scientists use satellite images to monitor the conditions of forests, crops and the environment, but their research relies on those images accurately measuring the light being reflected from Earth.

Alien megastructure not the cause of dimming of the ‘most mysterious star in the universe’

Alien megastructure not the cause of dimming of the ‘most mysterious star in the universe’

A team of more than 200 researchers, including Penn State Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics Assistant Professor Jason Wright and led by Louisiana State University’s Tabetha Boyajian, is one step closer to solving the mystery behind the “most mysterious star in the universe.” KIC 8462852, or “Tabby’s Star,” nicknamed after Boyajian, is otherwise an ordinary star, about 50 percent bigger and 1,000 degrees hotter than the Sun, and about than 1,000 light years away. However, it has been inexplicably dimming and brightening sporadically like no other. Several theories abound to explain the star’s unusual light patterns, including that an alien megastructure is orbiting the star.

Flight testing validates waveform capability

Flight testing validates waveform capability

The Air Force is moving forward to demonstrate the capabilities of the protected tactical waveform through recent flight tests.

NASA’s flying observatory SOFIA to explore magnetic universe and beyond

NASA’s flying observatory SOFIA to explore magnetic universe and beyond

NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, SOFIA, is preparing for its 2018 observing campaign, which will include observations of celestial magnetic fields, star-forming regions, comets, Saturn’s giant moon Titan and more.

Image: From the Earth, moon and beyond

Image: From the Earth, moon and beyond

The purpose of NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft—Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, and Security–Regolith Explorer—is to map and return samples from asteroid Bennu, a carbon-rich hunk of rock that might contain organic materials or molecular precursors to life. It is also an asteroid that could someday make a close pass or even a collision with Earth, though not for several centuries. The OSIRIS-Rex spacecraft is expected to reach its asteroid destination, Bennu, in August 2018.

Researchers measure the inner structure of distant suns from their pulsations

Researchers measure the inner structure of distant suns from their pulsations

At first glance, it would seem to be impossible to look inside a star. An international team of astronomers, under the leadership of Earl Bellinger and Saskia Hekker of the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Göttingen, has, for the first time, determined the deep inner structure of two stars based on their oscillations.