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04/29/19: Milky Way star with strange chemistry is from dwarf galaxy. Using the High Dispersion Spectrograph on the Subaru Telescope, astronomers have discovered a star in the Milky Way Galaxy with a chemical composition unlike any other star in our Galaxy. This chemical composition has been seen in a small number of stars in dwarf galaxies orbiting the Milky Way and suggests that the star was part of a dwarf galaxy that merged into the Milky Way. [Spectroscopy] See also: Chemical evidence shows how a dwarf galaxy contributes to growth of the Milky Way
04/11/19: Experts predict a long, deep solar minimum. An international panel of researchers led by NASA and NOAA has released a new prediction for the solar cycle. According to their analysis, the current solar minimum is going to deepen, potentially reaching a century-class low in the next year or so. This will be followed by a new Solar Max in the years 2023-2026.
04/05/19: Solar experts predict the Sunís activity in Solar Cycle 25 to be below average, similar to Solar Cycle 24, Scientists charged with predicting the Sunís activity for the next 11-year solar cycle say that itís likely to be weak, much like the current one. The current solar cycle, Cycle 24, is declining and predicted to reach solar minimum - the period when the Sun is least active - late in 2019 or 2020.
04/05/19: Unexpected Rain on Sun Links Two Solar Mysteries. Emily Mason and her coauthors describe the first observations of coronal rain in a smaller, previously overlooked kind of magnetic loop on the Sun. After a long, winding search in the wrong direction, the findings forge a new link between the anomalous heating of the corona and the source of the slow solar wind ó two of the biggest mysteries facing solar science today. [Nanoflares; Solar Wind]
04/03/19: Researchers pinpoint origin of photons in mysterious gamma-ray bursts. Researchers have used simulations to demonstrate that the photons emitted by mysterious events called gamma ray bursts come from the photosphere of the expanding relativistic jet. [Solar Prominences]
03/25/19: Race at the edge of the Sun: Ions are faster than atoms. Ions move faster than atoms in the gas streams of a solar prominence. Scientists at the University of GŲttingen, the Institut d'Astrophysique in Paris and the Istituto Ricerche Solari Locarno have observed this. The results of the study were published in The Astrophysical Journal. [Solar Prominences]
03/12/19: Tied in knots: New insights into plasma behavior focus on twists and turns. Whether zipping through a star or a fusion device on Earth, the electrically charged particles that make up the fourth state of matter better known as plasma are bound to magnetic field lines like beads on a string. Unfortunately for plasma physicists who study this phenomenon, the magnetic field lines often lack simple shapes that equations can easily model. Often they twist and knot like pretzels. Sometimes, when the lines become particularly twisted, they snap apart and join back together, ejecting blobs of plasma and tremendous amounts of energy. [Plasma]
03/12/19: Probability of catastrophic geomagnetic storm lower than estimated. According to a group of mathematics researchers, the probability in the following decade of the sun causing a storm strong enough to affect electrical and communication infrastructures around the globe 'only' reaches 1.9 percent maximum. Nevertheless, the event would produce severe consequences and governments should be prepared, researchers warn. [Space Weather]
03/11/19: Researchers uncover additional evidence for massive solar storms. Solar storms can be far more powerful than previously thought. A new study has found evidence for the third known case of a massive solar storm in historical times. The researchers believe that society might not be sufficiently prepared if a similar event were to happen now.[Space Weather]
03/03/19: Spectroscopy on individual molecules. While spectroscopic measurements are normally averaged over myriad molecules, a new method developed by researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) provides precise information about the interaction of individual molecules with their environment. This will accelerate the identification of efficient molecules for future photovoltaic technologies. [Spectroscopy]
Where has Timmy been?
View pdfs of our events
Look for Timmy at our next event
Learn about the amazing women at Harvard University Observatory known as the "Harvard Computers".
The Spectrum Challenge. Can you identify the unknown spectra?
Students looking at a live Calcium-K image projected onto monitor
IT'S ALL ABOUT LIGHT! Viewing the light from the Sun with a Lhires III spectroscope
Using the RSpec Explorer spectrophotometer to compare light from our Sun and an M-class star
Click on the pdf links on Where's Timmy? to view more photos