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Sep 11

NSO: Magnetic fields in solar plage regions: insights from high-sensitivity spectropolarimetry

In the ever-evolving realm of solar physics, a quest to understand the enigmatic solar plages (pronounced /pleɪdʒ/) has led to significant breakthroughs. Among those dedicated to unraveling the mysteries of these bright patches is João da Silva Santos, a scientist at the National Solar Observatory (NSO). His innovative work not only sheds light on the intricate nature of solar plages but also addresses critical data calibration challenges within the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST).

Aug 31

STScI: Webb Reveals New Structures Within Iconic Supernova

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope has begun the study of one of the most renowned supernovae, SN 1987A (Supernova 1987A). Located 168,000 light-years away in the Large Magellanic Cloud, SN 1987A has been a target of intense observations at wavelengths ranging from gamma rays to radio for nearly 40 years, since its discovery in February of 1987.

Aug 17

NOIRLab: Astronomers Find Progenitor of Magnetic Monster

A team of researchers, including NOIRLab astronomer André-Nicolas Chené, has found a highly unusual star that has the most powerful magnetic field ever found in a massive star — and that may become one of the most magnetic objects in the Universe: a variant of a neutron star known as a magnetar.

Aug 3

NSO: The Sun’s Polar Magnetic Field will Soon Flip

The Sun is about to turn upside down – magnetically speaking, of course.

In recent months, we’ve seen an uptick in explosive solar events from dramatic X-class flares to Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs), to powerful geomagnetic storms and a record-shattering sunspot count in June. The Sun may appear to be a raging inferno to the general public, but to solar scientists, it’s business as usual.

Jul 25

NOIRLab: Dark Energy Camera Captures Galaxies in Lopsided Tug of War, a Prelude to Merger

Galaxies grow and evolve over billions of years by absorbing nearby companions and merging with other galaxies. The early stages of this galactic growth process are showcased in a new image taken with the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Dark Energy Camera (DECam) mounted on the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Víctor M. Blanco 4-meter Telescope at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO), a Program of NSF’s NOIRLab.

Jul 20

STScI: Hubble Sees Boulders Escaping from Asteroid Dimorphos

The popular 1954 rock song “Shake, Rattle and Roll,” could be the theme music for the Hubble Space Telescope’s latest discovery about what is happening to the asteroid Dimorphos in the aftermath of NASA’s DART (Double Asteroid Redirection Test) experiment. DART intentionally impacted Dimorphos on September 26, 2022, slightly changing the trajectory of its orbit around the larger asteroid Didymos.

Jul 12

STScI: Webb Celebrates First Year of Science With Close-up on Birth of Sun-like Stars

From our cosmic backyard in the solar system to distant galaxies near the dawn of time, NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope has delivered on its promise of revealing the universe like never before in its first year of science operations. To celebrate the completion of a successful first year, NASA has released Webb’s image of a small star-forming region in the Rho Ophiuchi cloud complex. 

Jun 26

STScI: Webb Makes First Detection of Crucial Carbon Molecule

A team of international scientists has used NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope to detect a new carbon compound in space for the first time. Known as methyl cation (pronounced cat-eye-on) (CH3+), the molecule is important because it aids the formation of more complex carbon-based molecules. Methyl cation was detected in a young star system, with a protoplanetary disk, known as d203-506, which is located about 1,350 light-years away in the Orion Nebula.

Jun 15

Journey to the Sun with NSO

The “Journey to the Sun” (JTTS) Educator Program focuses on supporting middle and high school educators in teaching science standards through the lens of solar astronomy.  Participants attend a solar physics professional development workshop, where they’ll gain a deeper understanding of solar astronomy in terms of both scientific discoveries and as a STEM/Tech industry.  Participants will also receive resources and activities for teaching their students about various topics within solar astronomy.

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