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New Window of Universe Opens at Griffith; Unprecedented Image from Palomar
10/03/2006

New Window of Universe Opens at Griffith; Unprecedented Image from Palomar

Jill Perry
Caltech scientists have produced the largest astronomical image ever in order to inspire the public with the wonders of space exploration. The image has been reproduced as a giant mural in the new exhibit hall of the landmark Griffith Observatory, which will reopen Nov. 3 after several years of renovation.
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Caltech Physicist Goes Postal with Four Images of Snowflakes for Commemorative Stamps
10/03/2006

Caltech Physicist Goes Postal with Four Images of Snowflakes for Commemorative Stamps

Robert Tindol
Anyone looking for a seasonal postage stamp whose beauty just can't be licked should check out Ken Libbrecht's new Holiday Snowflakes stamps.
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"Champagne Supernova" Challenges Ideas about How Supernovae Work
09/20/2006

"Champagne Supernova" Challenges Ideas about How Supernovae Work

Jill Perry
An international team of astronomers at the California Institute of Technology, University of Toronto, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have discovered a supernova more massive than previously believed possible. This has experts rethinking their basic understanding of how stars explode as supernovae, according to a paper to be published in Nature on September 21.
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The Dwarf Planet Formerly Known as Xena Has Officially Been Named Eris, IAU Announces
09/14/2006

The Dwarf Planet Formerly Known as Xena Has Officially Been Named Eris, IAU Announces

Robert Tindol
The International Astronomical Union (IAU) today announced that the dwarf planet known as Xena since its 2005 discovery has been named Eris, after the Greek goddess of discord.
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Jupiter-Sized Transiting Planet Found by Astronomers Using Novel Telescope Network
09/08/2006

Jupiter-Sized Transiting Planet Found by Astronomers Using Novel Telescope Network

Robert Tindol
Our home solar system may be down by a planet with the recent demotion of Pluto, but the number of giant planets discovered in orbit around other stars continues to grow steadily. Now, an international team of astronomers has detected a planet slightly larger than Jupiter that orbits a star 500 light-years from Earth in the constellation Draco.
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Meyerowitz and Lange Awarded Balzan Prize
09/06/2006

Meyerowitz and Lange Awarded Balzan Prize

Jill Perry
California Institute of Technology faculty Andrew Lange and Elliot Meyerowitz have been named Balzan Prizewinners for 2006 by the International Balzan Foundation.
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Xena Awarded "Dwarf Planet" Status, IAU Rules; Solar System Now Has Eight Planets
08/24/2006

Xena Awarded "Dwarf Planet" Status, IAU Rules; Solar System Now Has Eight Planets

Robert Tindol
The International Astronomical Union (IAU) today downgraded the status of Pluto to that of a "dwarf planet," a designation that will also be applied to the spherical body discovered last year by California Institute of Technology planetary scientist Mike Brown and his colleagues. The decision means that only the rocky worlds of the inner solar system and the gas giants of the outer system will hereafter be designated as planets.
NSF-Funded Wireless Network Leads Palomar Observatory Astronomers to Major Discoveries
08/10/2006

NSF-Funded Wireless Network Leads Palomar Observatory Astronomers to Major Discoveries

For the past three years, astronomers at the California Institute of Technology's Palomar Observatory in Southern California have been using the High Performance Wireless Research and Education Network (HPWREN) as the data transfer cyberinfrastructure to further our understanding of the universe. Recent applications include the study of some of the most cataclysmic explosions in the universe, the hunt for extrasolar planets, and the discovery of our solar system's tenth planet. The data for all this research is transferred via HPWREN from the remote mountain observatory to college campuses hundreds of miles away.

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Interdisciplinary Team Demonstrates New Technique for Manipulation of "Light Beams"
08/04/2006

Interdisciplinary Team Demonstrates New Technique for Manipulation of "Light Beams"

Robert Tindol
It may be surprising that a laser beam, when shot to the moon and returned by one of the mirrors the Apollo astronauts left behind, is a couple of miles in diameter at the end of its half-million-mile round trip. This spread is mostly due to atmospheric distortions, but it nonetheless underscores the problems posed to those who wish to keep laser beams from diverging or focusing to a point as light travels through a medium.
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NSF Awards $11.97 Million to Caltech for Distributed Data Analysis of Neutron Scattering
06/29/2006

NSF Awards $11.97 Million to Caltech for Distributed Data Analysis of Neutron Scattering

Robert Tindol
The National Science Foundation today awarded $11.97 million to the California Institute of Technology for computer software to analyze neutron-scattering experiments. This work could show how to design new materials for a huge variety of applications in transportation, construction, electronics, and space exploration.
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