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Astronomy & Space Discoveries

NSF's public investment in science, engineering, education and technology helps to create knowledge and sustain prosperity. Read here about the Internet, microbursts, Web browsers, extrasolar planets, and more... a panoply of discoveries and innovations that began with NSF support.

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LIGO advanced TACC Science powerhouses unite to help search for gravitational waves
Texas Advanced Computing Center and the Laser Interferometer Gravitation Observatory collaborate to develop data workflow for next-generation experiment
Released  December 5, 2014
UCLA astrophysicist  Andrea Ghez After the Lecture...
NSF-funded UCLA astrophysicist Andrea Ghez on probing our galaxy’s supermassive black hole
Released  December 5, 2014
gradute students , Francois Hebert, Andy Bohn and William Throwe standing in a classroom 'Blockbuster' science images
NSF-funded grad students, scientists publish research, play role in Interstellar's black hole imagery
Released  November 20, 2014
Jaquelin Erazo Making stars
Astronomy program provides tools, support to enhance diversity
Released  October 7, 2014
Alison Coil Exploring dramatic changes in galaxies
Scientist hopes to uncover physical process behind the changes, including cosmic webs and supermassive black holes
Released  July 11, 2014
Visualization of a rotating and highly magnetized progenitor star Everything is better in 3-D
Supercomputer-powered supernova simulations shed light on distant explosions
Released  July 2, 2014
color-composite image of red dwarf stars Red dwarf stars tell us how planets form
Researcher uses computer models to test how stars form and to improve modeling and predictions
Released  June 13, 2014
montage of images shows the evolution of a white dwarf star Cosmic slurp
Georgia Tech researchers use supercomputers to understand and predict signs of black holes swallowing stars
Released  April 14, 2014
 the Large Hadron Collider. Catching the Fever
Particle Fever discovers the human element to physics
Released  March 14, 2014
Animation from supercomputer data showing the inner zone of the accretion disk of a black hole Let there be light
Simulations on NSF-supported supercomputer re-create X-rays emerging from the neighborhood of black holes
Released  February 18, 2014
simulation showing hydrodynamic instability of dark matter Heavy metal in the early cosmos
Simulations shed light on the formation and explosion of stars in the earliest galaxies
Released  January 22, 2014
Researcher Dina Katabi and her students Innovative technology addresses wireless interference
Researcher has developed new tools and programs that enhance speed, efficiency and security of data transmission
Released  December 16, 2013
Image showing the sun's corona It's hot...super hot
Finding answers around the sun
Released  November 12, 2013
Photo of a student observing patterns of flowering and pollinators. Novel Answer to That Perennial "Earth Day" Question: "What Can I Do to Help?"
Groups of citizen scientists are making pivotal contributions to research on the Earth, its place in the universe and other natural phenomena
Released  April 19, 2012
Image of two white starts orbiting one another. Predicting "Cosmic Fireworks" From Our Own Backyard
Using the largest map of the cosmos ever, astronomers have counted nearby double white dwarfs, stars thought to cause an important type of supernova
Released  March 13, 2012
Photo of an NSF-funded ISR radar in Resolute Bay, Nunavut, Canada. Tracking the Causes of Space-based Weather Disruptions
Scientists use innovative Radio Aurora Explorer satellite to discover conditions that cause disruptions in space-based communication and navigation signals
Released  March 16, 2011
High-resolution image of a sunspot taken at the Sacramento Peak Observatory, New Mexico. How the Sun Gets Its Spots
To prevent solar damage to communication, navigation and other high tech systems, scientists are determining the temperatures, composition and movement of materials inside the sun
Released  January 7, 2011
Kavli Prize logo Three NSF-Funded Scientists Among Recipients of $3 Million Kavli Prize
Among the latest winners of the Kavli Prize are three scientists who have received NSF funding over the past several years
Released  November 28, 2010
Diagram showing gravitational lensing. Gigantic Gravity "Lenses" Magnify Galaxies Far, Far Away
Submillimeter observatories penetrate cold, dusty galaxies to see stars forming in the primeval past
Released  November 19, 2010
Photo of a Blackhawk helicopter lifting off in front of the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope. Observatory Staff Aid in Military Helicopter Crash Rescue
Green Bank Telescope's staff typically spend their days helping scientists carry out their research, but on one dramatic day in February 2010, they helped rescue soldiers from a crashed helicopter
Released  September 10, 2010
Image of the observable surface of a star about 3,000 degrees cooler than our sun. 3-D Images Reveal New Composition of the Sun
Improved 3-D simulations carried out at the NSF-supported Texas Advanced Computing Center are leading scientists to reevaluate the sun's composition and theories about the structure and evolution of stars
Released  August 18, 2010
Image of an interacting galaxy. Coming to a Home Near You: Citizen Science Contributes to Research
Discovery may be in front of your home computer, thanks to "citizen scientist" projects
Released  March 24, 2010
Image from a simulated interplanetary disturbance caused by an solar magnetic eruption (SME) Taking the "Surprise" out of Surprise Solar Storms
Scientists are learning to predict giant solar storms that could, at any time, hit the Earth and produce cascading catastrophes
Released  March 18, 2010
Color-enhanced optical image of the galaxy DDO 87 in the constellation Ursa Major showing stars. Tiny Galaxies Reveal How First Stars Formed
Lowell Observatory astronomer Deidre Hunter and her team studies small, diffuse galaxies to learn about star formation in those regions and, perhaps, shed light on the birth of the first stars after the Big Bang
Released  February 25, 2010
Image shows a composite visible/infrared view of Titan. Titan: A Climate Out of This World
Researchers using ground-based telescopes and space probes make amazing discoveries about the atmospheric cycle of Saturn’s largest moon, and find similarities to Earth
Released  January 7, 2010
Composite of two Hubble Space Telescope images of a global dust storm on Mars. Monitoring and Predicting Extraterrestrial Weather
Scientists adapt a weather research and forecasting tool to model global weather on the Earth, Mars and beyond
Released  September 22, 2009
Adaptive optics image of Titan showing storm feature. Methane Clouds Observed Near Titan's Equator May Explain Presence of Riverbeds on the Surface
The Huygens probe discovered fluid-formed channels in the arid equatorial regions of Titan, Saturn's largest moon
Released  August 12, 2009
Photo showing Caroline Moore at work in her home observatory New Supernova Is Discovered by Young Citizen Scientist
Caroline Moore's discovery has made experts question how stars die
Released  July 9, 2009
Eight thumbnail images and 2008 in Review 2008: Year in Review
A look back at some of the NSF-supported advances and activities that made news last year
Released  March 13, 2009
Illustration of a highly-magnetized neutron star undergoing a "starquake." Shockwave of X-ray Starquake Enthralls Scientists
For postdoctoral researcher Andrew Steiner and other astrophysicists, the shockwave that jolted the Earth in late December 2005 was a lucky find, providing new data on neutron stars
Released  March 2, 2009

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