Stories indexed under: Astronomy

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  • Photo: Circinus X-1 Neutron star’s echoes give astronomers a new measuring stick June 23, 2015 In late 2013, when the neutron star at the heart of one of our galaxy’s oddest supernovae gave off a massive burst of X-rays, the resulting echoes — created when the X-rays bounced off clouds of dust in interstellar space — yielded a surprising new measuring stick for astronomers.
  • Dark energy to be topic of Space Place event May 26, 2015 "To Infinity and Beyond: The Accelerating Universe," a live broadcast from the World Science Festival about dark energy, an antigravitational force that confounds the conventional laws of physics, will be hosted on the evening of May 28 by UW-Madison's Space Place.
  • Photo: John Wisconsin contributions helped Hubble Space Telescope soar April 21, 2015 It was “the flea on the tail of the dog.” Roughly 30 years ago, that was how University of Wisconsin-Madison astronomy Professor Robert C. Bless described the High Speed Photometer (HSP), a detector then under development at UW-Madison for the soon-to-be-launched Hubble Space Telescope.
  • Photo: Orion nebula Hubble Space Telescope to star at April 14 Space Place event April 9, 2015 Twenty-five years of spectacular imagery and groundbreaking astronomy from the Hubble Space Telescope will be the subject of a Tuesday, April 14 public presentation at UW-Madison’s Space Place.
  • Artist’s impression of the full Square Kilometer Array at night Automation offers big solution to big data in astronomy March 24, 2015 It’s almost a rite of passage in physics and astronomy. Scientists spend years scrounging up money to build a fantastic new instrument. Then, when the long-awaited device finally approaches completion, the panic begins: How will they handle the torrent of data?
  • Here comes HAWC: New observatory to seek out gamma rays March 20, 2015 High on a sleeping Mexican volcano, a new particle astrophysics observatory is about to blink to life, commencing an all-sky search for very high-energy gamma rays - a search that could greatly expand the catalog of known gamma ray sources and chip away at the mystery of the cosmic rays that constantly bombard our planet.
  • Slideshow: Pieces of UW-Madison astronomy history off to the nation’s attic Feb. 12, 2015 While cleaning out Sterling Hall cabinets that hadn’t been opened in decades, UW-Madison Space Place Director Jim Lattis and colleagues in the Astronomy Department struck historical gold: a collection of old photodiode and photomultiplier tubes dating to the earliest days of photoelectric astronomy. The university is donating 20 of the vintage photo detectors to the Smithsonian Institution for its permanent collection of astronomical instruments.
  • Image: galaxy Letting off steam: Gas discharge terminates galaxy’s star formation Dec. 3, 2014 With the help of a radio telescope in the French Alps, an international team of astronomers, including two from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has observed a never-before-seen stage of galactic evolution. Writing in this week’s Nature, a group that includes UW-Madison astronomers Aleks Diamond-Stanic and Christy Tremonti, reports measurements of dense, cold hydrogen gas being blasted from a distant star-forming galaxy, the first direct observation of the “blow out” phase of a galaxy’s evolution.
  • Photo: Astronaut Reid Wiseman injects a fixative solution onto the seedlings. UW team’s plants return to Earth after growing in space Nov. 6, 2014 Researchers at Simon Gilroy's lab in the Department of Botany at the University of Wisconsin-Madison expect to greet a truck this afternoon that is carrying small containers holding more than 1,000 frozen plants that germinated and grew aboard the International Space Station.
  • New Milky Way portrait to be on Town Center media wall March 20, 2014 The dramatic new infrared picture of the plane of our galaxy will be viewable for the next week on the large media wall in the Town Center of the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery on the UW-Madison campus.
  • Milky Way portrait Dramatic new portrait helps define Milky Way’s shape, contents March 20, 2014 Using more than 2 million images collected by NASA’s orbiting Spitzer Space Telescope, a team of Wisconsin scientists has stitched together a dramatic 360-degree portrait of the Milky Way, providing new details of our galaxy’s structure and contents.
  • Fledgling supernova remnant reveals neutron star's secrets Dec. 4, 2013 With the help of NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and the Australia Telescope Compact Array, an international team of astronomers has identified the glowing wreck of a star that exploded a mere 2,500 years ago — the blink of an eye in astronomical terms.
  • IceCube pushes neutrinos to the forefront of astronomy Nov. 21, 2013 The IceCube Neutrino Observatory, a particle detector buried in the Antarctic ice, is a demonstration of the power of the human passion for discovery, where scientific ingenuity meets technological innovation.
  • IceCube feature film to premiere in Milwaukee planetarium show Oct. 31, 2013 The IceCube Neutrino Observatory is one of a kind. Built deep within the Antarctic ice, it is the world’s largest neutrino detector. Now, thanks to a collaboration between the Wisconsin IceCube Particle Astrophysics Center (WIPAC) and the Milwaukee Public Museum, it boasts another unique aspect: its own planetarium show.
  • The sun also flips: 11-year solar cycle wimpy, but peaking Oct. 16, 2013 In a 3-meter diameter hollow aluminum sphere, Cary Forest, a University of Wisconsin-Madison physics professor, is stirring and heating plasmas to 500,000 degrees Fahrenheit to experimentally mimic the magnetic field-inducing cosmic dynamos at the heart of planets, stars and other celestial bodies.
  • Photo:reflection nebula IC 63 in the constellation Cassiopeia Observations reveal critical interplay of interstellar dust, hydrogen Sept. 25, 2013 For astrophysicists, the interplay of hydrogen - the most common molecule in the universe - and the vast clouds of dust that fill the voids of interstellar space has been an intractable puzzle of stellar evolution.
  • Photo: Epic UW brings outreach to Epic's 'Deep Space' Sept. 19, 2013 Hosting a series of exhibits on Epic Systems campus in Verona for the health care software company’s massive annual users’ group meeting, UW-Madison researchers and outreach experts focused on “Deep Space,” the name of Epic’s new underground auditorium, as a common theme to demonstrate how campus research is making an impact in and out of this world.
  • Images of Saturn Massive storm pulls water and ammonia ices from Saturn’s depths Sept. 3, 2013 Now, thanks to near-infrared spectral measurements taken by NASA’s Cassini orbiter and analysis of near-infrared color signatures by researchers at UW-Madison, Saturn’s superstorm is helping scientists flesh out a picture of the composition of the planet’s atmosphere at depths typically obscured by a thick high-altitude haze.
  • With Ceres back in orbit, Planet Trek blasts off for the bike season June 10, 2013 The Rodney Dangerfield of celestial bodies is back.
  • International astrophysics reaches Milwaukee April 16, 2013 Trips to the South Pole usually require a lot of specialized equipment, but Nils Irland's packing list for his November 2012 visit included some items unusual even by those standards: a specially designed video camera, extra batteries, and lots and lots of data storage.