It's a classic engineering story – a garage inventor spends years working in isolation, only to produce something that gets the attention of the world. Ok, the CubeSat story may not be quite as romantic, but it does have a lot of the same ingredients.
For the last 18 years, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has had the physics equivalent of a rusty pickup truck parked in its front yard. Now, the 1950s era Bevatron is being demolished, and a chapter in the Bay Area's history of high level physics research comes to a close.
208 parties in 46 countries on eight continents celebrated Yuri Alexyevich Gagarin between April 6 and 12th of this year. Who is Yuri and why does he deserve such accolades?
Call them demolition derby astrophysicists: NASA scientists in Mountain View deliberately crashed an unmanned rocket into the moon on October 9th, 2009. Their goal? To find water, in the form of ice, which could one day support a moon base. On November 15th, 2009, they announced they had found it. QUEST looks at the planning and run-up to the big event.
Most scientists agree that using nuclear explosives to deflect an incoming asteroid is a bad idea. But Astrophysicist David Dearborn from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has been heating up the debate with his theories about how nuclear explosives could be used effectively to nudge an asteroid into a new orbit that causes it to miss the Earth entirely.
Everyone knows that eight planets orbit the Sun. But thousands of other objects, including icy comets and football field-sized asteroids, are also zooming around our solar system. And some of them could be on a collision course with Earth. QUEST explores how these Near Earth Objects are being tracked and what scientists are saying should be done to prevent a deadly impact.
For several years there has been a lot of buzz about the detection of extra-solar planets, or exoplanets: planets orbiting stars other than our Sun. However, due to the limits in technology and observational capabilities, to date only large, gas giant planets orbiting close to the stars (so called "Hot Jupiters") have been found, with a possible exception or two.
Want a chance to do some "citizen" science, contribute to an international investigation, and have some fun to boot? An opportunity is coming up in March: Globe At Night. All you need is your eyes….