Science Updates - A look at CfA discoveries from recent journals

July 31, 2020

The direct detection of gravitational waves from at least eleven sources during the past five years has offered spectacular confirmation of Einstein's model of gravity and space-time, while the modeling of these events has provided information on star formation, gamma-ray bursts,neutron stars, the age of the universe, and even verification of ideas about how very heavy elements are produced.

schematic of the solar system showing the heliosphere and the locations of the Voyager 1 and 2
July 24, 2020

The heliosphere is the bubble-like cavity around the Sun, created by the solar wind, that extends well beyond Pluto until the pressure of the interstellar medium ultimately terminates it. For decades astronomers thought that the heliosphere had a roughly cometary shape, spherical with a long tail, shaped by a combination of the solar wind, the interstellar medium, and the Sun’s motion through the galaxy.

IRAC/Spitzer infrared image of extended emission from the dormant comet Don Quixote
July 17, 2020

Don Quixote (alias Near-Earth Object NEO 3552) was discovered in 1983. Subsequent infrared and optical observations measured its diameter as about 18.7 kilometers, making it the third largest known NEO.