Category Archives: Science Highlight

Paper Spotlight: “A Possible Mechanism for Driving Oscillations in Hot Giant Planets”

In the same way earthquakes can shake the Earth when tectonic plates shift, so too can stars shake, or more scientifically, oscillate, as a result of the motion of hot plasma inside of the star. Similarly, gas giant planets like Jupiter and Saturn can oscillate, too, but astronomers aren’t exactly sure as to why. Recently,…
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IAU responds to US executive order

The IAU has released a statement regarding the recent US executive order banning access to the US from seven countries. See the IAU’s statement.

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The Elements of Life Mapped Across the Milky Way by SDSS/APOGEE

To say “we are stardust” may be a cliche, but it’s an undeniable fact that most of the essential elements of life are made in stars. “For the first time, we can now study the distribution of elements across our Galaxy,” says Sten Hasselquist of New Mexico State University. “The elements we measure include the…
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NMSU Astronomy to lead efforts to reinvent the Dunn Solar Telescope. U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and U.S. Representative Steve Pearce announced that New Mexico State University (NMSU) will receive $1.2 million from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to upgrade the Richard B. Dunn Solar Telescope in Sunspot, N.M. The NSF award – appropriately announced on the fall equinox – will support…
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Major NASA press release on observation of a current sheet

NASA announce series of breakthrough observation of a current sheet in a solar flare. Published in Zhu et al, ApJ, 2016, 821, 2 Solar flares are intense bursts of light from the sun. They are created when complicated magnetic fields suddenly and explosively rearrange themselves, converting magnetic energy into light through…
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Finlator et al. explores cosmic reionization

What created the light that flowed between galaxies when the Universe was only a billion years old? Measuring it is akin to taking the young Universe’s pulse, and working out where it came from is akin to guessing the Universe’s diet. The light could have come from hot, massive stars within young galaxies.  Alternatively, it…
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Red-giant twins help us test asteroseismology

Graduate student Meredith Rawls and collaborators used NASA Kepler data, Apache Point Observatory 3.5m spectroscopic data, and other analysis to understand a unique double red-giant eclipsing binary system with pulsations detected on one of the stars. The system is unique in that the masses and radii can be tested from several independent methods. Please see…
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Researchers study how stars in galaxy have moved

New Mexico State University researchers are part of a team of scientists with the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) who created a new map of the Milky Way that shows nearly a third of the stars have dramatically changed their obits. “In our modern world, many people move far away from their birthplaces, sometimes halfway…
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