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Infrasound informs fresh look at Russian meteor fall

Chelyabinsk Infrasound

The Russian meteor that rocked the world on 15 February 2013 appeared 30 times brighter than the sun, and we may be in for more airbursts of this size than we had previously anticipated.  These are some of the new findings about the Chelyabinsk meteor fall included in the Nov. 6 electronic edition of the scientific journal Nature. Much of ... Read More »

Astronomers conclude habitable planets are common

Habitable zone around a star

Astronomers from the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa and the University of California, Berkeley now estimate that one in five stars like the sun have planets about the size of Earth and a surface temperature conducive to life. This conclusion is based on a statistical analysis of all observations from NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope. Though Kepler is now crippled, it ... Read More »

Scientists find Earth-sized rocky exoplanet

Kepler-78b

A team of astronomers has found the first Earth-sized planet outside the solar system that has a rocky composition like that of Earth. This exoplanet, known as Kepler-78b, orbits its star very closely every 8.5 hours, making it much too hot to support life. The results are being published in the journal Nature. This Earth-sized planet was discovered using data ... Read More »

Remembering astronomer George Herbig (1920–2013)

George_Herbig_crop_2

Dr. George H. Herbig, astronomer emeritus at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa and a member of the prestigious National Academy of Sciences, has died at the age of 93. He joined the faculty of the UH Institute for Astronomy in 1987 after a long and distinguished career at the Lick Observatory, now part of the University of California, Santa Cruz, ... Read More »

A strange lonely planet found without a star

Artist's conception of PSO J318.5-22

An international team of astronomers has discovered an exotic young planet that is not orbiting a star. This free-floating planet, dubbed PSO J318.5-22, is just 80 light-years away from Earth and has a mass only six times that of Jupiter. The planet formed a mere 12 million years ago—a newborn in planet lifetimes. It was identified from its faint and ... Read More »

Study shows link between solar storms, dropped cell phone calls

Sun storm

If your cell phone is dropping calls, the problem may be radio waves from the sun. Our nearest star sometimes unleashes huge eruptions of hot gas, called solar storms, that carry billions of tons of matter in our direction. These storms can be accompanied by solar radio bursts, which can damage many of the technologies that we rely on in ... Read More »

[VIDEO] UH role critical in monitoring space debris and asteroids

Mauna Kea telescopes

The University of Hawaiʻi Haleakalā High Altitude Observatory Site on Maui and the Mauna Kea Observatories on the island of Hawaiʻi are world renowned. “The University of Hawaiʻi is extremely fortunate to be the steward of two of the best astronomical sites in the whole world because of the shape of our mountains and our islands,” said Mike Maberry, the ... Read More »

Mars food mission researchers return to Earth

simulated space walk

Six researchers who spent more than 100 days inside a remote habitat to simulate a long-duration space journey have finally returned to Earth. About 700 applicants vied for six spots in the HI-SEAS mission, which began in April and concluded on August 13. These Earth-based researchers have been living and working like astronauts, including suiting up in space gear whenever ... Read More »

Research excellence award winners chase exoplanets

Planets under a red sun

The University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa is pleased to announce the winners of its 2013 University Research Council student awards for research excellence. Both winners are doctoral students at the Institute for Astronomy (IfA), and each has beon awarded a $1,000 prize from the University Research Council and the Research Corporation of the University of Hawai‘i (RCUH). Both student researchers ... Read More »

NSF awards bring new dark matter, meteorology research and opportunities

Jennifer Small

Three UH Mānoa professors have won National Science Foundation (NSF) awards to support fundamental research that also brings opportunities for hands-on discovery to undergraduates and Hawai‘i high school students. The prestigious NSF CAREER grants were awarded to Jason Kumar in Physics, Jennifer Small in Meteorology and Yi Zuo in Mechanical Engineering. These UH Mānoa assistant professors are considered early-career faculty ... Read More »

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