Rare 'Star-making Machine' Found in Distant Universe

Astronomers have uncovered an extreme stellar machine -- a galaxy in the very remote universe pumping out stars at a surprising rate of up to 4,000 per year. In comparison, our own Milky Way galaxy turns out an average of just 10 stars per year.

LIGO Observations Probe the Dynamics of the Crab Pulsar

The search for gravitational waves has revealed new information about the core of one of the most famous objects in the sky: the Crab Pulsar in the Crab Nebula. An analysis by the international LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory) Scientific Collaboration to be submitted to Astrophysical Journal Letters has shown that no more than 4 percent of the energy loss of the pulsar is caused by the emission of gravitational waves.

Astrophysicist Wins One of First Kavli Prizes

Quasars--now known to be compact halos of matter that surround the massive black holes of distant galaxies--were once thought to be stars in our own galaxy. Now, Maarten Schmidt, who showed that quasars are thousands of millions of light-years away from Earth, has been named one of the first recipients of the $1 million Kavli Prize for his contributions to the field of astrophysics.

Stellar Death Caught in the Act

Astronomers for the first time have caught a star in the act of exploding. Astronomers have previously observed thousands of stellar explosions, known as supernovae, but they have always seen them after the fireworks were well underway.

Thirty-Meter Telescope Focuses on Two Candidate Sites

After completing a worldwide survey unprecedented in rigor and detail of astronomical sites for the Thirty-Meter Telescope (TMT), the TMT Observatory Corporation board of directors has selected two outstanding sites, one in each hemisphere, for further consideration. Cerro Armazones lies in Chile's Atacama Desert, and Mauna Kea is on Hawai'i Island.

Caltech Helps Open the Universe in "WorldWide Telescope"

Panoramic images of the sky obtained at Palomar Observatory and by the Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS), plus pointed observations from the Spitzer Space Telescope, form a significant part of the "World Wide Telescope" (WWT), a new product released today by Microsoft aimed at bringing exploration of the Universe and its many wonders to the general public.

A New Take on Microbrewing

Since Babylonian times, a still has provided the means to turn grain, fruit, or vegetables into an intoxicating drink. Today, a still may provide a solution to the more complex problem of how to detect diseases.

Physicists Transcribe Entanglement into and out of a Quantum Memory

Scientists at the California Institute of Technology have laid the groundwork for a crucial step in quantum information science. They show how entanglement, an essential property of quantum mechanics, can be generated between beams of light, stored in a quantum memory, and mapped back into light with the push of a button.

High-Speed Data Transfer System Garners Outreach Award

The Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California (CENIC) has rewarded researchers at the California Institute of Technology for better connecting physicists worldwide. Lead project scientist Harvey Newman, professor of physics at Caltech, Julian Bunn of the Caltech Center for Advanced Computing Research, and their international team of researchers will receive a trophy for Innovations in Networking at a ceremony in Oakland, California, on March 11.

U. S. Experiment Takes the Lead in the Competitive Race to Find Dark Matter

Scientists of the Cryogenic Dark Matter Search (CDMS) experiment, including researchers from the California Institute of Technology, today announced that they have regained the lead in the worldwide race by a number of different research groups to find the particles that make up dark matter. The CDMS experiment, which is being conducted a half-mile underground in a mine in Soudan, Minnesota, again sets the world's best constraints on the properties of dark matter candidates.

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