NuSTAR Space Telescope Blasts Off

This morning, NASA's NuSTAR telescope was launched into the low-Earth orbit from which it will begin exploring the high-energy X-ray universe to uncover the secrets of black holes, the dense remnants of dead stars, energetic cosmic explosions, and even our very own sun.  

Figuring Out How We Get the Nitrogen We Need

Caltech chemists have used the resources of the Molecular Observatory to take a crucial step toward unlocking the mystery of how bacteria use an enzyme called nitrogenase to convert nitrogen—an essential component of all living systems—into a form that living systems can use.

Sweeping Air Devices For Greener Planes

Researchers at Caltech have developed a system that could make some airplanes more fuel-efficient by allowing them to safely fly with smaller, lighter tails.

Getting To Know Super-Earths

Results from NASA's Kepler planet-hunting mission have indicated that the most common planets in the galaxy are super-Earths—those that are bigger than Earth but smaller than Neptune. We have no examples of these planets in our own solar system, so Heather Knutson, assistant professor of planetary science at Caltech, and her colleagues are using space telescopes to try to find out more about these worlds. They hope to shed some light on the processes of planet formation and evolution and to be able to say something about how common or rare our solar system is when compared to those found throughout the universe.

Rock-Dwelling Microbes Remove Methane from Deep Sea

Methane-breathing microbes that inhabit rocky mounds on the seafloor could be preventing large volumes of the potent greenhouse gas from entering the oceans and reaching the atmosphere, according to a new study by Caltech researchers.

NuSTAR Discovers Impossibly Bright Dead Star

Astronomers working with NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR), led by Caltech's Fiona Harrison, have found a pulsating dead star beaming with the energy of about 10 million suns. The object, previously thought to be a black hole because it is so powerful, is in fact a pulsar—the incredibly dense rotating remains of a star.

Swimming Sea-Monkeys Reveal How Zooplankton May Help Drive Ocean Circulation

The effect could be as strong as those due to the wind and tides, the main factors that are known to drive the up-and-down mixing of oceans.

Variability Keeps The Body In Balance

Using mathematical theory and software tools, Caltech researcher John Doyle studies why a variable heart rate is a sign of health and fitness.

A New Way to Prevent the Spread of Devastating Diseases

Researchers around the country are adopting a technique developed in the Caltech lab of Nobel Laureate David Baltimore to try to guard against infection. The method, called VIP, was originally designed to trigger an immune response to HIV, and because of its success with HIV is now being studied, in mice, for protection against influenza, malaria, hepatitis C, and tuberculosis.

Sensing Neuronal Activity With Light

A technique developed by Caltech researchers uses a genetic tool and light to view and map neuronal circuits.

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