August 21, 2017

14.04.11: Antares: A Deep Sea Neutrino Detector.

Depiction of Antares along with a photo closeup of one of the optical detectors. 

(Credit: F.Montanet, CNRS/IN2P3 and UJF for Antares)

   A unique astrophysical observatory has taken shape on the ocean floor of the Mediterranean. ANTARES, or the Astronomy with a Neutrino Telescope and Abyss environmental RESearch project, has been fully operational since May 2008 and is in the business of detecting Cherenkov radiation flashes caused by interactions of high energy muon neutrinos with the water in the deep Mediterranean Sea. [Read more...]

12.04.11: The Weigh-in on Wassonite.

A sliver of Wassonite… (Credit: NASA/JSC).

Sometimes, it pays to go back and take a peek at old samples with new equipment. Recently, NASA scientists working in collaboration with South Korean and Japanese researchers have announced the discovery of Wassonite (rhymes with the fictional Kryptonite!) a mineral with a crystalline structure and composition unseen on Earth. The sample comes from a meteorite dubbed Yamato 691, an enstatite chondrite recovered from the Antarctic continent in 1969. [Read more...]

Review: The Martians by Kim Stanley Robinson.

A companion for a classic saga!

   Creating your very own universe is a tough endeavor in the realm of Sci-Fi. While other “serious” fiction writers have a readymade reality in place for them, science fiction writers must create a believable one from scratch. One of the modern best in the business is Kim Stanley Robinson. Recently, we had a chance to pick up his 1999 book The Martians, and it was worth the wait. [Read more...]

Review: Blast! A Film by Paul Devlin.

BLAST...Astrophysics Indiana Jones Style!

BLAST...Astrophysics Indiana Jones Style!

Blast! Can be seen as a documentary that was 13.7 billion years in the making. Directed by Paul Devlin, Blast! follows the exploits of a group of astrophysicists as they break new ground with a unique balloon borne telescope. BLAST stands for Balloon-Borne, Large Aperture Sub-millimeter Telescope. As reported earlier this week in our post “Antarctic Astronomy”, “Sub-millimeter” is the name loosely given to the wavelengths roughly between microwave and infra-red. [Read more...]