News

Pasadena News Now: Local High School Students Hunt for Pulsars

Hanaa is hunting for a blip in a vast set of data. Although she is only a high school student, she is searching for the signal of a pulsar — a rapidly rotating neutron star that emits a beam of electromagnetic radiation like a lighthouse. Hanaa and 19 of her fellow students at Alverno Heights…

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,…

06/15/2016: 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…

06/14/2016: A Molecule In Space Could Help Us Understand The Origin Of Life On Earth

Are your molecules lefties or righties? There are a lot of concepts that help life exist here on Earth. One is as simple as whether a molecule is right handed or left handed. As straightforward as it is, we still don’t know how the molecules got that way. But a recent discovery of a molecule…

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…