Paula Jofré, 36Galactic and stellar astrophysicsUniversidad Diego Portales, Santiago, Chile09/26/2018 - 08:31 Astronomy
Paula Jofré wants to map the galactic lineage of every star in the Milky Way. It’s like tracing your family tree, if your grandparents were supernovas.
Jofré, 36, is an astrophysicist at Universidad Diego Portales in Santiago, Chile, where she studies the inner lives and histories of stars....
For the first time, astronomers may have watched a massive stellar explosion give rise in real time to a superdense dead star called a neutron star.
New observations of supernova 2012au show charged oxygen and sulfur atoms fleeing the scene of the explosion at 2,300 kilometers per second. That suggests the shells of gas surrounding the dense remains of the original star are being lit up...
News in Brief
A pair of tiny satellites that will help test technology for a space elevator is on its way to the International Space Station.
At 1:52 p.m. EDT on September 22, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency launched a rocket carrying the STARS-Me experiment from the island of Tanegashima.
STARS-Me (or Space Tethered Autonomous Robotic Satellite – Mini elevator), built by engineers at...
A strand of spaghetti snaps easily, but an exotic substance known as nuclear pasta is an entirely different story.
Predicted to exist in ultradense dead stars called neutron stars, nuclear pasta may be the strongest material in the universe. Breaking the stuff requires 10 billion times the force needed to crack steel, for example, researchers report in a study accepted in Physical Review...
Jocelyn Bell Burnell first noticed the strange, repeating blip in 1967. A University of Cambridge graduate student at the time, she had been reviewing data from a radio telescope she had helped build near campus. Persistent tracking revealed the signal’s source to be something entirely unknown up to that point — a pulsar, or a rapidly spinning stellar corpse that sweeps beams of radio waves...
Letters to the Editor
Sunny-side up09/06/2018 - 06:15 Astronomy, Physics, Earth
NASA’s Parker Solar Probe is on its way to “touch” the sun. Maria Temming reported on the mission before the August 12 launch in “NASA’s Parker probe is about to get up close and personal with the sun” (SN: 7/21/18, p. 12).
Astronomy writer Lisa Grossman, who wrote a follow-up story, answered readers’ questions about the probe on Reddit.
Reddit user Gildolen...
Space travel still sounds like just about the coolest thing ever, even though we have learned that it brings with it nausea, sleeplessness, radiation exposure, muscle loss, vision changes, cranky fellow explorers and the challenge of going to the bathroom in zero gravity. And that’s just with the “easy” stuff, like living on the International Space Station. Let’s not even get started...09/06/2018 - 06:00 Astronomy, Science & Society
Reviews & Previews
Accessory to WarNeil deGrasse Tyson and Avis LangW.W. Norton & Co., $30
Late-night comedians skewered Vice President Mike Pence in August when he announced preliminary plans for a new branch of the U.S. military dubbed the “Space Force.” Jimmy Kimmel likened the idea to a Michael Bay action movie, while Jimmy Fallon quipped that the Space Force’s chain of command would go “E.T...
News in Brief
New images of gas churning inside an ancient starburst galaxy help explain why this galactic firecracker underwent such frenzied star formation.
Using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array, or ALMA, researchers have taken the most detailed views of the disk of star-forming gas that permeated the galaxy COSMOS-AzTEC-1, which dates back to when the universe was less than 2...
The sleepy sun turns out to be a factory of extremely energetic light.
Scientists have discovered that the sun puts out more of this light, called high-energy gamma rays, overall than predicted. But what’s really weird is that the rays with the highest energies appear when the star is supposed to be at its most sluggish, researchers report in an upcoming study in Physical Review Letters...