A new, low-cost attachment to telescopes allows previously unachievable precision in ground-based observations of exoplanets—planets beyond our solar system. With the new attachment, ground-based telescopes can produce measurements of light intensity that rival the highest quality photometric observ...
ASTROPHYSICS – In a new Roundtable Q&A from The Kavli Foundation, share in the excitement of researchers’ journeys and experiences as they pursue astrophysics to the ends of the Earth.
If you want to see the stars at night, you know to get as far from city lights as possible. That same principle applies when selecting sites for building multi-million dollar, cutting-edge astronomical observatories. Besides inky blackness, a bone-dry environment is also critical for cutting down on the blurring effects of humidity. The pursuit of these conditions has led researchers to the top of a dormant volcano in Hawaii, the driest desert on the planet in northern Chile, and even to the icebound South Pole.
In the Roundtable, find out what life is like in these remote locales, where the settings are as stunning as the views of the universe: ow.ly/gXxD30fr1jB
"Hidden Figures" mathematician Katherine Johnson was the guest of honor at a ribbon-cutting ceremony yesterday to dedicate a new NASA research building named in her honor! At the ceremony at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, the 99-year-old Johnson was honored for her work as one of the "human computers" who made early space flight, including the first moon landing, possible. Margot Lee Shetterly, the author of the “Hidden Figures” book which brought Johnson's contributions much wider recognition, spoke at the event, observing: "At every fork, her talent, her hard work and her character pulled her toward her destiny. At every turn, she made a choice to become the protagonist in her own story and then of ours.” To Johnson, she said, “Telling your story has been an honor. You work changed our history and your history has changed our future.”
During her 33-year career at NASA, during which she was forced to overcome both gender and racial barriers, Johnson's skills in celestial navigation were renowned. She calculated -- by hand -- the flight trajectories for a number of historic missions, including the Alan Shepard's space voyage aboard Freedom 7 in 1961 and the Apollo 11 flight to the Moon in 1969. Shetterly observed in her speech how Johnson and her colleagues were integral to America’s journey into space: “We are living in a present that they willed into existence with their pencils, their slide rules, their mechanical calculating machines and, of course, their brilliant minds.”
Over the past few years, Johnson’s contributions to America’s space program have become more widely known to the public thanks to President Barack Obama's presenting her the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2015 and the release of the blockbuster "Hidden Figures" book and film last year. When Johnson was asked how she felt about a building being named after her, she laughed: “You want my honest answer? I think they’re crazy. I was excited at something new, always liked something new, but give credit to everybody who helped. I didn’t do anything alone but try to go to the root of the question and succeeded there... little did I think it would go this far.”
To read more about the dedication of the new Katherine G. Johnson Computational Research Facility on NASA's website, visit go.nasa.gov/2fHYelS
Katherine Johnson is the subject of a new early chapter book for ages 6 to 8 at www.amightygirl.com/katherine-johnson
The book on which "Hidden Figures" is based is also available in both adult and youth editions -- to check out the “Hidden Figures: Young Readers’ Edition” for ages 8 to 13, visit www.amightygirl.com/hidden-figures-young-readers
To order the adult edition of "Hidden Figures," which is also recommended for teen readers, visit amzn.to/2j3PS8k
The inspiring film "Hidden Figures" is now available on DVD at www.amightygirl.com/hidden-figures-film or can be streamed online at amzn.to/2w628gR
Johnson is also one of 50 pioneering women of science featured in the stunning illustrated biography, "Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers," for ages 9 and up at www.amightygirl.com/women-in-science
For books for children and teens about more real-life female scientists whose stories should be more widely known, check out our blog post, "50 Books to Inspire Science-Loving Mighty Girls," at www.amightygirl.com/blog?p=13914
Farewell, Cassini. Thank you for all the Science. Enjoy. #TOP10Cassini
Hats off to NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory and NASA's Cassini Mission to Saturn team members for dedicating their lives to this 20- year-old journey.
Special mention to Karol Masztalerz (Saturn's Rings image) and many other Astronomers who made this possible as well.
NASA’s Cassini spacecraft continues making history. As Cassini is plunging into Saturn, the spacecraft has managed to send back to Earth unprecedented, stunning images from its descent down the mysterious gap located between Saturn and its magnificent rings. NASA notes that the first few images sent...