SESE is training the next generation of explorers and citizen scientists. We engage the minds of our students, and by making our research available to all, we also engage the minds of our community. Through a variety of informal science education and public outreach (E/PO) activities, field trips, teacher workshops, and partnerships with local schools, we are increasing the science literacy of our community.
Have a science-related question? Visit our Ask SESE page!
For school groups, we offer a K-12 field trip experience that includes a variety of science-themed activities and a 3-D astronomy show.
Those visitors interested in seeing our various labs and facilities should schedule a tour as many of our facilities have limits on how many visitors can be accommodated. Our new building ISTB 4 offers several interactive exhibits on the first two floors which are open during normal business hours.
READ MORE> via Field trips, events and tours | School of Earth and Space Exploration.
A series of short videos illuminate Hubble’s activities, discoveries and science.
A cosmic celebrity gets some superstar treatment! This week while patrolling the night sky with their telescopes two French backyard astronomers�independently�managed to snag digital images of �a supernova explosion caught in the act – with all the action occurring within the Whirlpool galaxy 31 million light years away.
Newly discovered supernova appears to blink in before and after photos of the Whirlpool galaxy. credit: Stéphane Lamotte Bailey
On May 31st one amateur noticed a new star embedded within one of the spiral arms of�the distant�galaxy where there wasn’t any before.�By�the next evening�other amateur stargazers and robotic supernova patrol telescopes clued in as well and the alarm was sounded to the worldwide observing community.� Sky and Telescope website is reporting that�professional astronomers are scouring through images of the Whirlpool�from international observatories including the Hubble space telescope taken weeks and even years�before the supernova became visible to see what the precursor star might have�looked like before it blew up. This will help us gain critical insight into the inner clockwork of these titanic event that are ranked as some of the most powerful forces in the universe.
via New Supernova Spotted in Whirlpool Galaxy – National Geographic News Watch.
They came into existence violently… Born at the death of a massive star. They are are composed almost entirely of neutrons, barren of electrical charge and with a slightly larger mass than protons. They are quantum degenerates with an average density typically more than one billion tons per teaspoonful – a state which can never be created here on Earth. And they are absolutely perfect for study of how matter and exotic particles behave under extreme conditions. We welcome the extreme neutron star…
In 1934 Walter Baade and Fritz Zwicky proposed the existence of the neutron star, only a year after the discovery of the neutron by Sir James Chadwick. But it took another 30 years before the first neutron star was actually observed. Up until now, neutron stars have had their mass accurately measure to about 1.4 times that of Sol. Now a group of astronomers using the Green Bank Radio Telescope found a neutron star that has a mass of nearly twice that of the Sun. How can they make estimates so precise? Because the extreme neutron star in question is actually a pulsar – PSR J1614-2230. With heartbeat-like precision, PSR J1614-2230 sends out a radio signal each time it spins on its axis at 317 times per second.
via Coming To A Theatre Near You… Extreme Neutron Stars!.
A gamma-ray burst known as GRB 090429B is the current candidate for the most distant object in the universe. NASA’s Swift satellite detected it in April 2009. It lies an estimated distance of 13.14 billion light years away – more distant than any other known quasar and possibly more distant than any previously known galaxy or gamma-ray burst..
This particular gamma ray burst is thought to have erupted from a supernova, or exploding star, when the universe was less than 4% of its present age – around 520 million years old – and less than 10% of its present size. Derek Fox, associate professor of astronomy and astrophysics at Penn State and a co-author of the paper, said:
via New candidate for most distant object in the universe | Space | EarthSky.
First results from a major astronomical survey using a cutting-edge technique appear to have confirmed the existence of mysterious dark energy.Dark energy makes up some 74% of the Universe and its existence would explain why the Universe appears to be expanding at an accelerating rate.The finding was based on studies of more than 200,000 galaxies.Scientists used two separate kinds of observation to provide an independent check on previous dark energy results.
via BBC News – New method confirms dark energy.
Arcturus, a red giant, looks orange to the eye. It is the brightest star on the northern half of Earth’s sky dome. Arcturus is especially noteworthy for its large proper motion, or sideways motion across our sky. Only Alpha Centauri – our sun’s nearest neighbor among the stars – has a higher proper motion among the first-magnitude, or bright, stars in the stellar neighborhood. What can the proper motion of Arcturus be telling us?
via Star of the Week: Arcturus, orange star, cuts through galaxy’s disk | Brightest Stars | EarthSky.