Skip to Main Content

Astrophysics Topics

  • A Mid-summer's Microbe Hunt

    2000April 6, 2011

    - A team of explorers including astrobiologist Richard Hoover and AstronautsJim Lovell and Owen Garriott traveled to Antarctica in January 2000 to search for meteorites and extreme-loving microbes.

  • X-ray Star Stuff

    2000April 6, 2011

    Astronomers using the Chandra X-ray Observatoryare seeing how supernovae spray the essential elements of rocky planets and life into interstellar space. New data include images of the supernova remnant Cassiopeia A at x-ray wavelengths emitted by ions of silicon, calcium and iron.

  • Farewell Compton

    2000April 6, 2011

    The Compton Gamma-ray Observatory is destined for a watery grave in the remote Pacific on June 3, 2000. At a press conference today, NASA officials cited human safety concerns in explaining their decision to de-orbit the satellite, which has revolutionized our understanding of the cosmos during a highly successful 9 year mission.

  • Backyard Gamma-ray Bursts

    2000April 6, 2011

    With the successful launch of NASA's HETE-2 satellite, amateur astronomers will soon be able to spot the most powerful explosions in the Universe from the comfort of their own back yards. Professionals are also looking forward to the new data, which they hope will unravel the mysteries of gamma-ray bursts.

  • Curiouser and Curiouser

    2000April 6, 2011

    The exotic world of gamma-ray Astronomyhas taken yet another surprising turn with the revelation that half the previously unidentified high-energy gamma ray sources in our own galaxy, the Milky Way, actually comprise a new class of mysterious objects. "These are objects we've never seen before," says one NASA scientist.

  • Cosmic Light Pollution

    2000Sept. 20, 2011

    A series of unmanned balloon flights will measure the subtle ultraviolet glow of the night sky and help unravel one of the most perplexing mysteries of Astrophysics-- the origin of ultra high-energy cosmic rays.

  • A New Cosmic Meter Stick

    2000April 6, 2011

    X-rays scattered by interstellar dust grains have led scientists to develop a new way of estimating distances to cosmic objects using data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory. The new technique could help astronomers in their quest to understand the size and age of the universe.

  • Waiting for Cynus X-3

    2000April 6, 2011

    One of the brightest x-ray sources in the Milky Way seems about to to erupt in a dazzling flare. By studying the explosion scientists hope to unravel an extragalactic mystery.

  • Colder than Space

    2000April 6, 2011

    The detector of an X-ray telescope slated for launch by Japan on Feb. 8 is colder than chilliest reaches of our universe. The "Astro-E" mission will target clusters of galaxies, supermassive black holes, neutron stars and more.

  • Black Hole Hide and Seek

    2000April 6, 2011

    Scientists using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatoryhave found new evidence for Black Holeshiding inside the cores of normal-looking galaxies. The results strengthen the "unified model of quasars," which predicts that active galaxies look different depending on your point of view.