Showing blog posts tagged with "Astronomy Live!"
by AMNH on
Space dust and asteroid fragments reach Earth’s surface every day, but only rarely do extraterrestrial objects cause serious harm. Scientists use increasingly precise technology to track near-Earth objects and gauge if a Cretaceous-style collision could be on the horizon. At the forefront of this research is MIT professor Richard Binzel, whose Museum lecture Asteroids: Friends or Foes? on Monday, April 16, evaluates the threat of asteroids and makes a case for how they might actually be useful to humans. Binzel recently answered a few questions about his research.
by AMNH on
An unforgettable trip from Earth to the edge of known space and back, the American Museum of Natural History’s The Known Universe has hit 10 million views on YouTube. Viewers from Australia to India to Alaska have tuned in to watch the video, which uses the Digital Universe Atlas, a scientifically accurate four-dimensional map of the cosmos maintained by Museum astrophysicists, to show the vastness of the universe. The Known Universe was created by the Museum in late 2009 as part of an exhibit for the Rubin Museum of Art in New York.
by AMNH on
The question “Why is there something rather than nothing?” has been asked for millennia by people curious about the universe’s origins. Today, exciting scientific advances provide new insight into this cosmological mystery. In this recent podcast, join Dr. Lawrence Krauss, professor of physics at Arizona State University, in a mind-bending trip back to the beginning of the beginning and the end of the end.
Hayden Planetarium Director Neil deGrasse Tyson introduces Dr. Krauss’s talk, which was recorded at the Museum on January 23, 2012.
by AMNH on
Astronomers associated with NASA’s Kepler observatory have announced the discovery of more than 1,200 new candidate exoplanets. Michael Shara, a curator in the Museum’s Department of Astrophysics, writes about the significance of the findings below.
Does life exist anywhere in the universe except on Earth? “Star Trek” may have convinced much of the public that the universe is teeming with technological civilizations, but the correct answer is: We don’t know for certain if life–even bacterial life — exists anywhere except on Earth. A critical challenge in answering this question is determining whether planets — especially Earth-like planets — orbit other stars.
The search for Earth-like planets has just taken a giant leap forward, thanks in part to the tireless work of the dozens of astronomers associated with NASA’s Kepler observatory. Their quest to find exoplanets — planets orbiting stars other than our Sun — has been a stunning success. It is now certain that planets are as common stars.
Fifteen years ago the University of California, Berkeley’s Geoff Marcy and a handful of colleagues began an almost quixotic quest for exoplanets. Dozens, and then hundreds of astronomers joined the quest after Geneva’s Michel Mayor, Marcy, and their colleagues began reporting the first discoveries. Herculean efforts led to the cataloguing of 500 exoplanets by the end of 2010. Now the Kepler team has announced the discovery of more than 1,200 new candidate exoplanets, and enough details about each of these new worlds to begin to draw far-reaching conclusions about abodes for life in the universe.