News

4/12/16: Breakthrough Listen Initiative Publicly Sharing Data from Unprecedented Search for Intelligent Life in the Universe

The $100 million initiative to find signs of intelligent life in the universe – is releasing initial observational datasets to the world, Breakthrough Initiatives announced today. January 2016 saw ‘first light’ for Breakthrough Listen, with observations marking the start of the 10-year effort announced in July 2015 at London’s Royal Society by Yuri Milner, Stephen…

4/6/16: Gravitational wave search provides insights into galaxy evolution and mergers

Given scientists’ current understanding of how often galaxies merge, limits point to fewer detectable pairs of supermassive black holes than previously expected. On the heels of their participation in the historic research that resulted in the detection of gravitational waves, West Virginia University (WVU) astrophysicists continue to plow new ground and build upon their work….

4/1/16: He Drew the Sun for 40 Years, but now his Telescope is Dying

Most mornings, Steve Padilla rides in an open-air elevator to the top of the 150-Foot Solar Tower at Mount Wilson Observatory, in the mountains just east of Los Angeles. When he opens the dome, sunlight beams in. Padilla aligns two mirrors in the century-old telescope, sending a reflection of the Sun toward a lens. Downstairs, a 17-inch…

03/31/2016: Researchers discover incredibly rare triple star system

According to a newly-published study, a rare triple-star system containing a planet in a stable orbit was recently discovered by researchers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Published in the Astronomical Journal, the study detailed the discovery of distant world, known as KELT-4Ab. While the planet orbits one star in the system, that star is…

03/30/2016: The extremely hot heart of quasar 3C273

Scientists combined telescopes on Earth and in space to learn that this famous quasar has a core temperature hotter than 10 trillion degrees! That’s much hotter than formerly thought possible. By combining signals recorded from radio antennas on Earth and in space – effectively creating a telescope of almost 8-Earth-diameters in size – scientists have,…