News About Our Universe

10/16/2014 17:00:04
Douglas Smith
Thanks to a $9 million grant from the National Science Foundation and matching funds from the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF) collaboration, a new camera is being built at Caltech's Palomar Observatory that will be able to survey the entire Northern Hemisphere sky in a single night, searching for supernovas, black holes, near-Earth asteroids, and other objects. The digital camera will be mounted on the Samuel Oschin Telescope, a wide-field Schmidt telescope that began its first all-sky survey in 1949. That survey, done on glass plates, took nearly a decade to complete.
Supernova 2011fe
07/31/2014 15:28:36
Kimm Fesenmaier
Ken Farley, Caltech's W.M. Keck Foundation Professor of Geochemistry and chair of the Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, is serving as project scientist for Mars 2020. We recently sat down with him to talk about the mission and his new role.
07/28/2014 11:33:24
Kathy Svitil
The Hawaii Board of Land and Natural Resources has given the official green light for construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) on the summit of Mauna Kea, home to many of the world's premier astronomical observatories.
07/22/2014 11:09:20
Douglas Smith
Ed Stone, Caltech's David Morrisroe Professor of Physics, has won the aerospace equivalent of an Oscar. On Wednesday, July 16, the American Astronautical Society (AAS) presented him its sixth Lifetime Achievement Award for his "sustained and extraordinary contributions to America's space programs, including innovative planetary missions."
Edward C. Stone
06/27/2014 18:15:22
Cynthia Eller
In 1975, Kip Thorne (BS '62, and the Richard P. Feynman Professor of Theoretical Physics, Emeritus) and then-Caltech postdoctoral fellow Anna Żytkow sought the answer to an intriguing question: Would it be possible to have a star that had a neutron star as its core—that is, a hot, dense star composed entirely of neutrons within another more traditional star? Nearly 40 years later, astronomers believe they may have found such an object: a star labeled HV 2112 and located in the Small Magellanic Cloud, a dwarf galaxy that is a near neighbor of the Milky Way and visible to the naked eye. We recently sat down with Thorne to ask how it feels to have astronomers discover something whose existence he postulated decades before.
05/21/2014 10:02:35
Cynthia Eller
The problem with observing supernovae is knowing just when and where one is occurring and being able to point a world-class telescope at it in the hours immediately afterward.
05/07/2014 15:18:53
Douglas Smith
In 1964, Caltech astronomy professor Guido Münch and Jet Propulsion Laboratory space scientists Lewis Kaplan and Hyron Spinrad pushed the world's second-largest telescope to its limits and dashed—at least for the next few decades—any hopes of finding liquid water on Mars.
Guido Münch
05/01/2014 12:59:19
Cynthia Eller
Caltech researchers present a three-dimensional model of a rapidly rotating star with a strong magnetic field undergoing the process of collapse and explosion . . . or at least trying to.
05/01/2014 12:58:24
Cynthia Eller
Christian Ott, professor of theoretical astrophysics at Caltech, formulates scenarios for what happens when massive stars collapse.
04/30/2014 12:36:07
Cynthia Eller
Three professors at Caltech—Gregory Fu, Fiona Harrison, and John Preskill—have been elected to the prestigious National Academy of Sciences.
04/29/2014 13:22:57
Cynthia Eller
Caltech astronomers have taken unprecedented images of the intergalactic medium (IGM)—the diffuse gas that connects galaxies throughout the universe—with the Cosmic Web Imager.
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