News

06/29/2016: Clandestine Black Hole May Represent New Population

Astronomers combined data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, the Hubble Space Telescope and the National Science Foundation’s Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) [and the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope] to find out that there is a peculiar source of radio waves originally thought to be a distant galaxy. As it turns out,…

06/26/2016: ‘Full Measure’: The No-Fi zone

Just three hours from the nation’s capital, two unthinkable acts are occurring. One, an unlikely partnership with the Russians, and two — prepare yourself — the government is cutting ties to your cellphone. “Full Measure” news correspondent Joce Sterman traveled to the No-Fi zone. In the digital age, we live on an electronic leash, and…

06/15/2016: Twisty molecules with ‘handedness’ that are essential to life found in deep space

It might be weird to think about molecules as expressing “handedness.” After all, molecules don’t have hands. But there is a class of organic molecules known as chiral molecules that can be thought of as being either left-handed or right-handed, similar to the way we favor one appendage over the other. Basically, chiral molecules with…

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…

05/23/2016: Science: Nurturing Success From Failure

On a calm November evening in 1988, the 300 foot radio telescope at Green Bank Observatory collapsed. While the collapse was a huge blow to radio astronomy, it is somewhat surprising that it lasted as long as it did. The radio telescope was proposed in 1960 as a way to fill the observational gap between…