Probing Deeper into Origins of Cosmic Rays

Researchers know cosmic rays originate from the multitude of stars in the Milky Way and other galaxies. The difficulty is tracing the particles to specific sources, because the turbulence of interstellar gas, plasma, and dust causes them to scatter and rescatter in different directions. In AIP Advances, researchers developed a simulation model to better understand these and other cosmic ray transport characteristics, with the goal of developing algorithms to enhance existing detection techniques.

36 Dwarf Galaxies Had Simultaneous “Baby Boom” of New Stars

Three dozen dwarf galaxies far from each other had a simultaneous “baby boom” of new stars, an unexpected discovery that challenges current theories on how galaxies grow and may enhance our understanding of the universe. Galaxies more than 1 million light-years apart should have completely independent lives in terms of when they give birth to new stars. But galaxies separated by up to 13 million light-years slowed down and then simultaneously accelerated their birth rate of stars, according to a Rutgers-led study published in the Astrophysical Journal.

Rutgers Expert Available to Discuss Supernova Discovery

New Brunswick, N.J. (April 21, 2021) – Rutgers University–New Brunswick astrophysicist John P. (Jack) Hughes is available for interviews on a supernova (exploding star) discovery published today in the journal Nature. The discovery, made with NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, features…

Rutgers Expert Available to Discuss James Webb Space Telescope Science

New Brunswick, N.J. (Feb. 22, 2021) – Rutgers University–New Brunswick Professor Kristen McQuinn is available for interviews on the upcoming launch of the James Webb Space Telescope, its potential scientific impact and the leap forward it will provide in our understanding of the…

Astronomers document the rise and fall of a rarely observed stellar dance

Astronomers have catalogued 126 years of changes to HS Hydra, a rare evolving eclipsing binary. The two stars in HS Hydra began to eclipse each other starting around a century ago, peaking in the 1960s. The degree of eclipsing then plummeted over the course of just a half century, and will cease around Feb. 2021.

Expert: What is the Great Conjunction?

Contact: Kim Ward, University Communications: (517) 432-0117, [email protected], Zach Richardson, University Communications: (517) 281-5786, [email protected]

Dec. 16, 2020

Ask the Expert: The Great Conjunction

EAST LANSING, Mich. – As the world continues to turn during the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us are settling in for a holiday season unlike any other in recent memory. One that, on its face, seems to lack the usual magic of holidays in the past. That would be the case, if not for the once-in-a-lifetime Great Conjunction that will occur on Dec. 21. A Great Conjunction that many are calling the “Christmas Star.” Shannon Schmoll, director of the Abrams Planetarium at Michigan State University, offers her insight on the astronomical event that will be sure to brighten the holidays.

What is a conjunction? Or what qualifies something as a conjunction?
A conjunction at its most basic is when two objects, such as planets, pass each other in the sky. The more specific answer, h

Rutgers Astronomer Receives Packard Fellowship for Innovative Young Scientists

New Brunswick, N.J. (Oct. 15, 2020) – Blakesley Burkhart’s childhood days spent volunteering at a science museum and watching the Discovery Channel and sci-fi shows sparked her love of science and fascination with the stars. “These were the beginning years…

Galaxy Simulations Could Help Reveal Origins of Milky Way

Rutgers astronomers have produced the most advanced galaxy simulations of their kind, which could help reveal the origins of the Milky Way and dozens of small neighboring dwarf galaxies. Their research also could aid the decades-old search for dark matter, which fills an estimated 27 percent of the universe. And the computer simulations of “ultra-faint” dwarf galaxies could help shed light on how the first stars formed in the universe.

Study: Dying Stars Breathe Life Into Earth

As dying stars take their final few breaths of life, they gently sprinkle their ashes into the cosmos through the magnificent planetary nebulae. These ashes, spread via stellar winds, are enriched with many different chemical elements, including carbon.

Findings from a study published today in Nature Astronomy show that the final breaths of these dying stars, called white dwarfs, shed light on carbon’s origin in the Milky Way.

Upcoming Trimble Lecture with Elizabeth Kessler Highlights the Impacts of Hubble Imagery on May 7

The American Institute of Physics, celebrating the 30th anniversary of the launch of the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, is delighted to host a virtual presentation by Stanford University’s Elizabeth Kessler in an upcoming Lyne Starling Trimble Science Heritage Public Lecture. The lecture series is presented by AIP and features science historians and writers who study the role of science and technology in modern society and culture. “Hubble Space Telescope Images and the Astronomical Sublime” will be hosted virtually, Thursday, May 7 at 3:30 p.m. Eastern (U.S.).

Extrasolar Planet Apparently Disappears in Latest Hubble Observations

Astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope have come to the jaw-dropping conclusion that a planet orbiting another star has seemingly disappeared after appearing in several years’ worth of Hubble images. A team of astronomers from the University of Arizona believe this is forensic evidence of a titanic collision between two asteroid-sized bodies orbiting a nearby star, Fomalhaut.

Celebrating 30 Years of Hubble: Discoveries Continue to Wow Scientists, Public

Peering into the darkness to see what we could not previously see, the Hubble Space Telescope has been delighting scientists and the general public with revealing details and images of galaxies and celestial phenomena. The American Institute of Physics recognizes and celebrates the momentous occasion of the 30th anniversary of its launch and Physics Today is highlighting the anniversary in its April issue with a look back at the history of the telescope and analysis of Hubble’s discoveries over the past 30 years.

ASU-led NASA Psyche mission offers free online course on team building from leadership experts

The new Psyche Mission Innovation Toolkit online course is designed to help learners understand the unique challenges of a diverse team and provides tools to help address these challenges and take actions to be more successful in working with others. Image by ASU Continuing and Professional Education

A Galactic Dance

Galaxies lead a graceful existence on cosmic timescales. Over millions of years, they can engage in elaborate dances that produce some of Nature’s most exquisite and striking grand designs. Few are as captivating as the galactic duo known as NGC 5394/5, sometimes nicknamed the Heron Galaxy. This image, obtained by the Gemini Observatory of NSF’s National Optical-Infrared Astronomy Research Laboratory, captures a snapshot of this compelling interacting pair.

A Galactic Dance

Galaxies lead a graceful existence on cosmic timescales. Over millions of years, they can engage in elaborate dances that produce some of Nature’s most exquisite and striking grand designs. Few are as captivating as the galactic duo known as NGC 5394/5, sometimes nicknamed the Heron Galaxy. This image, obtained by the Gemini Observatory of NSF’s National Optical-Infrared Astronomy Research Laboratory, captures a snapshot of this compelling interacting pair.

Researchers Discover Highest-Energy Light From a Gamma-ray Burst

An international team of researchers, including two astrophysicists from the George Washington University, has observed a gamma-ray burst with an afterglow that featured the highest energy photons—a trillion times more energetic than visible light—ever detected in a burst.

Studying Ice to Understand Astrophysical Bodies

Understanding the formation and evolution of ice in astrophysical environments can provide information about the physical conditions encountered in space and the chemical similarities and differences between planetary and stellar systems. At the AVS 66th International Symposium and Exhibition, Edith Fayolle, an astrochemist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, will talk about how scientists are trying to understand properties of ice on astrophysical bodies, such as its formation, composition and sublimation — the process by which ice transitions directly into gas, without being in its liquid phase in between.