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Astronomy & Space

Second known case of planet in quadruple star system discovered

30 Ari star system

Researchers wanting to know more about the influences of multiple stars on exoplanets have come up with a new case study: a planet in a four-star system. The discovery was made at Palomar Observatory using two new adaptive optics technologies that compensate for the blurring effects of Earth’s atmosphere: the robotic Robo-AO adaptive optics system, developed under the leadership of ...

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Three-planet system holds clues to atmospheres of Earth-size worlds

Kepler spacecraft

Extrasolar planets are being discovered by the hundreds, but are any of these newfound worlds really like Earth? A planetary system recently discovered by the Kepler spacecraft will help resolve this question. The system of three planets, each just larger than Earth, orbits a nearby star called EPIC 201367065. The three planets are 1.5 to 2 times the size of Earth, ...

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UH astronomer shares $3 million Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics

The W. M. Keck Observatory on Maunakea

UH astronomer John Tonry has been named a recipient of the 2015 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics for the discovery that the expansion of the universe is accelerating, rather than slowing as had been long assumed. He shares the award with the other members of the High-Redshift Supernova Search Team and with members of the Supernova Cosmology Project. In all, 50 astronomers ...

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University of Hawaii assumes ownership of United Kingdom Infrared Telescope

United Kingdom Infrared Telescope (UKIRT) on Maunakea

On October 31, the University of Hawai‘i (UH) assumed ownership of the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope (UKIRT) on Maunakea. The UKIRT is one of the world’s leading astronomical infrared observatories. UH President David Lassner said, “We are pleased to steward the UKIRT, a telescope that has made remarkable discoveries supporting the advancement of astronomical science. It is fitting to add ...

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A new look at “The Rocket Into Planetary Space”

The Rocket into Planetary Space

One of the seminal works on astronautics and space flight has just been published in English for the first time under the leadership of a UH professor. The English-language translation of Hermann Oberth’s Die Rakete zu den Planetenräumen (The Rocket Into Planetary Space) (1925, Oldenbourg) was originally published by de Gruyter Oldenbourg. Oberth is considered by many to be the ...

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[VIDEO] Record-setting space travel simulation underway

Source: UH Media Productions video Six astronaut-like crew members said their final good byes on October 15, 2014 as they entered an isolated domed habitat for eight months, for the longest space travel simulation conducted on U.S. soil. It’s the latest mission of the Hawaiʻi Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS) led by the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and ...

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[VIDEO] Introducing Laniakea, our home supercluster of galaxies

Laniakea Supercluster i

University of Hawai’i at Mānoa astronomer R. Brent Tully, who recently shared the 2014 Gruber Cosmology Prize and the 2014 Victor Ambartsumian International Prize, has led an international team of astronomers in defining the contours of the immense supercluster of galaxies containing our own Milky Way. They have named the supercluster “Laniakea,” meaning “immense heaven” in Hawaiian. The paper explaining this ...

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Three University of Hawai‘i scientists selected for Mars 2020 rover instrument teams

Journey to Mars

NASA announced the selection of seven science instruments to be included on the Mars 2020 rover. Three scientists from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa (UHM) School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST) will be members on the instrument teams to conduct unprecedented science and exploration technology investigations on the Red Planet. The new rover will carry sophisticated ...

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Laser-wielding robot probes exoplanet systems

Robo-AO laser

An international team, including Dr. Christoph Baranec of the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s Institute for Astronomy, is using the world’s first robotic laser adaptive optics system—Robo-AO— to explore thousands of exoplanet systems (planets around other stars) at resolutions approaching those of the Hubble Space Telescope. The results, which shed light on the formation of exotic exoplanet systems and confirm ...

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[VIDEO] Mock Mars mission tests crew cohesion

They emerged from their habitat one after the other—and stood as a crew one last time. The five crew members felt the sun and breeze on their faces for the first time in four months. And they indulged in all the fresh food they could eat. The crew members spent 120 days in this dome-shaped habitat on Mauna Loa on ...

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