News

06/14/2016: Astronomers find first evidence of chiral chemistry in distant cosmic cloud

An organic (if toxic) alcohol could point the way toward finding more “handed” molecules — the kind that make up RNA, DNA, and other building blocks to life.  To make life, our bodies require many chemicals to have a certain “handedness,” a left or right orientation called chirality that determines the behavior of those substances…

06/07/2016: Growing crops, business in WV no small potatoes

What can people in West Virginia do to make the state more economically productive and diverse, particularly to overcome the loss of many of its traditional big money industries? How about agriculture? A crazy idea considering the rugged terrain of much of the Mountain State, but when you look further, is it such a crazy…

6/6/2016: Green Bank tour celebrates role in extraterrestrial intelligence search

The first scientific search for intelligent life in the universe began in 1960 at the Green Bank Observatory, in Pocahontas County, with a four-month effort to detect interstellar radio signals from two stars in a relatively nearby constellation. It continues today, as the observatory’s 300-foot Green Bank Telescope serves as a key component of Breakthrough…

6/5/2016: Green Bank Observatory sets sights on new generation of spuds

Better known for probing deep space to study the nature of gravitational waves, discover the presence of molecules that could potentially support life, and search for the presence of extraterrestrial intelligence, the Green Bank Observatory has added a more down-to-earth research role to its repertoire: potato production. On Thursday, the last of six five-acre plots…

5/26/2016: SETI Gets an Upgrade

Dan Werthimer doesn’t mean to be rude, but he’s getting ready to eavesdrop on the neighbors. For decades, astronomers have been listening for messages sent to us—a “Hello, is anyone out there?” signal from intelligent aliens. But now Werthimer is about to get nosier; his team at the University of California at Berkeley is conducting…