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Astronomy & Space

Exoplanet family tree gains a new branch

Since the mid-1990s, when the first planet around another sun-like star was discovered, astronomers have been amassing what is now a large collection of exoplanets—nearly 3,500 have been confirmed so far. In a new study, researchers have classified these planets in much the same way that biologists identify new animal species and have learned that the majority of exoplanets found …

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Shine bright like a diamond: Team obtains best-ever infrared maps of super-luminous galaxies

An international team of astronomers, including University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa graduate student Jason Chu and Professor David Sanders, has used the Herschel Space Observatory to take far-infrared images of the 200 most infrared-luminous galaxies in the local universe. Initially cataloged by the NASA Infrared Astronomical Satellite in 1984 as part of the first all-sky survey at far-infrared wavelengths, these …

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Separating true stars from wannabes

Astronomers have shown what separates real stars from the wannabes. Not in Hollywood, but out in the universe. “When we look up and see the stars shining at night, we are seeing only part of the story,” said Trent Dupuy of the University of Texas at Austin and a graduate of the Institute for Astronomy at the University of Hawaiʻi …

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New evidence of frost on moon’s surface

Using data from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), scientists, including University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa researcher Paul Lucey, have identified bright areas in craters near the moon’s south pole that are cold enough to have frost present on the surface. The new evidence comes from an analysis that combined surface temperatures with information about how much laser light is reflected …

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Luke Flynn recognized as governor’s award nominee

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s Luke Flynn has been selected as the university’s nominee for the Governor’s Award for Distinguished State Service as Employee of the Year. The award honors the state’s executive branch employees and managers who exemplify the highest caliber of public service and dedication to serving the people of Hawaiʻi. As the director of the Hawaiʻi Space …

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Mysteries of the Universe to be answered by Belle II experiment

At the beginning of the universe there were equal quantities of matter and anti-matter and yet 13.7 billion years later, the universe is completely dominated by matter. How did this happen? Asymmetries in the interactions of fundamental matter particles and their anti-matter counterparts are likely to be responsible for the matter dominance of the universe and our own existence. However, …

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Growing Hawaiʻi’s next generation of astronomers

Hawaiʻi’s leading academic institutions formalized an educational partnership designed to bring Hawaiʻi’s high schoolers into one of the world’s most advanced observatory communities. The Maunakea Scholars program helps aspiring astronomers envision their potential of pursuing a career in STEM-related fields. It is the first program of its kind internationally to allocate observing time at major observatories for the direct educational …

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Mānoa researchers awarded Board of Regents’ medals

The 2017 Regents’ Medal for Excellence in Research was awarded to Christoph J. Baranec, James Dean Brown and Jeffrey R. Kuhn. The research medal is awarded by the University of Hawaiʻi Board of Regents in recognition of scholarly contributions that expand the boundaries of knowledge and enrich the lives of students and the community. Regents’ medal honorees Christoph J. Baranec …

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HI-SEAS Mission V Mars simulation marks midway point

After four months of living in a Mars-like environment, the six HI-SEAS Mission V crewmembers have hit the halfway mark. They have learned to deal with challenges such as a 20-minute communications delay, gearing up in hazmat suits to explore the geologic features of the landing site and cooking with dehydrated food. “The midpoint is an interesting time in the …

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Listening for neutrinos at the bottom of the world

The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa is located in a lush paradise, but professor Peter Gorham’s work takes him to the frozen expanse of a faraway continent searching for the elusive neutrino, a tiny particle capable of traveling at light speed, with ANITA. “ANITA stands for the Antarctic Impulsive Transient Antenna,” said Gorham, professor of physics and astronomy. “It flies …

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