Everything Moon

A Teacher Guide and Activities for Teaching and Learning about the Moon

by Rosemary A. Millham

09/07/2012

Whether you are simply curious about our mysterious neighbor—the Moon—or a teacher looking for ways to teach concepts about the Moon without misconceptions, Everything Moon is the non-technical, comprehensive guide you are seeking. From theories on the origin of the Moon, to phases, tides, eclipses, geology, past, current, and future missions, to the Apollo Program, Everything Moon guides you through the science and history you need to understand the Moon and includes creative, engaging investigations to develop important concepts. Written with teachers and students in mind, Everything Moon is a book for anyone who has ever asked themselves questions about our view of the Moon: what causes the same face of the Moon to face Earth every day; is there really a dark side of the Moon; w...

The Final Theory

Rethinking Our Scientific Legacy (Second Edition)

by Mark McCutcheon

03/30/2010

Our search for ultimate understanding --- the Theory of Everything -- has long been the quest of such great scientists as Aristotle, Newton, Einstein, Hawking and many others, and is expected to transform science, providing clarity and understanding that is unknown today, ideally via one single overlooked principle in nature. So far, this quest has produced theories such as Special Relativity, General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics, and such recent proposals as "Dark Matter" and "Dark Energy" in cosmology. Yet these all suffer serious internal problems and compatibility issues with each other, introducing even more questions, mysteries and paradoxes -- and often even violations of our laws of physics upon closer examination. As a result, the Theory of Everything cont...

Curvature Cosmology

A Model for a Static, Stable Universe

by David F. Crawford

12/31/2006

Curvature Cosmology proposes a new cosmological model very different from, and more elegant than, the Big-Bang Theory. Curvature Cosmology is based on two major hypotheses that Hubble redshift is due to an interaction of photons with curved spacetime and that there is a pressure that acts to stabilise expansion and provides a static, stable universe. The main focus of this book is to describe these two hypotheses in detail and to examine all relevant cosmological data in the context of this new model of the universe. This model proposes that, though evolution of stars and galaxies is evident, the statistical properties of the universe are the same at all places and at all times. In short, the universe is ageless, has no defined beginning (unlike the Big-Bang model), and carries no evide...

Starlight, Starbright

Are Stars Conscious?

by Greg Matloff and C Bangs

09/19/2016

The only thing we can be absolutely sure of is our own consciousness. But what is consciousness? Is it a property that is unique to humans or do we share it with other life forms? Or is the philosophical doctrine of panpsychism correct--are stars and the entire Universe conscious in some sense? Early chapters in this book examine the prehistory, mythology, and history of this topic. Arguments are presented from the viewpoints of shamans, philosophers, poets, quantum physicists, and novelists. A simple "toy" model of panpsychism is then presented, in which a universal field of proto-consciousness interacts with molecular bonds via the vacuum fluctuation pressure of the Casimir effect. It is shown how this model is in congruence with an anomaly in stellar motions called "Parenago's discontin...

Bridging the Gap

Elusive Explosions in the Local Universe

by Mansi M. Kasliwal

01/31/2012

For centuries, we have known that our dynamic universe is adorned by cosmic fireworks: energetic and ephemeral beacons of light from a single star that are a million (nova) to a billion (supernova) times brighter than our sun. However, it had been an age-old conundrum that the brightest nova is approximately 1000 times fainter than the faintest supernova; why should nature leave such a wide "gap"? In search of an answer, I undertook three systematic surveys for my thesis. Since I was looking for transients fainter, faster and rarer than supernovae, I focused my search on galaxies in the local universe. We now have convincing evidence of multiple, distinct populations of rare transients bridging this “gap”. Perhaps, we are witnessing new stellar physics— shell detonations in ultra-...

by Alicia Margarita Soderberg

11/02/2007

Over the past few years, long-duration gamma-ray bursts (GRBs), including the subclass of X-ray flashes (XRFs), have been revealed to be a rare variety of Type Ibc supernova (SN Ibc). While all these events result from the death of massive stars, the electromagnetic luminosities of GRBs and XRFs exceed those of ordinary Type Ibc SNe by many orders of magnitude. The observed diversity of stellar death corresponds to large variations in the energy, velocity, and geometry of the explosion ejecta. Using multi-wavelength (radio, optical, X-ray) observations of the nearest GRBs, XRFs, and SNe Ibc, I show that GRBs and XRFs couple at least 1048 erg to relativistic material while SNe Ibc typically couple less than 1048 erg to their fastest (albeit non-relativistic) outflows. Specifi...

Lyman Alpha Emitting Galaxies at High Redshift

Direct Detection of Young Galaxies in a Young Universe

by Steven Arthur Dawson

12/31/2005

As late as 1995, the anticipated widespread population of primeval galaxies remained at large, lurking undetected at unknown redshifts, with undiscovered properties. We present results from our efforts to detect and characterize primeval galaxies by their signature high-redshift Lyman-alpha emission lines utilizing two observational techniques: serendipitous slit spectroscopy and narrowband imaging. By pushing these techniques to their utmost limits, we probe the Lyman-alpha-emitting galaxy population out to redshifts as high as z = 6.5. Galaxies at this epoch reside in a universe which is just 800 million years old, a mere 6% of its current age. As such, this work provides one account of the manner by which observational cosmology has recently shifted from merely marveling at the inc...

by Joshua S. Bloom

12/14/2002

The various possibilities for the origin ("progenitors") of gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) manifest in differing observable properties. Through deep spectroscopic and high-resolution imaging observations of some GRB hosts, I demonstrate that well-localized long-duration GRBs are connected with otherwise normal star-forming galaxies at moderate redshifts of order unity. Using high-mass binary stellar population synthesis models, I quantify the expected spatial extent around galaxies of coalescing neutron stars, one of the leading contenders for GRB progenitors. I then test this scenario by examining the offset distribution of GRBs about their apparent hosts making extensive use of ground-based optical data from Keck and Palomar and space-based imaging from the Hubble Space Telescope. Th...

Cosmic Explosions

The Beasts and Their Lair

by Edo Berger, Ph.D.

06/28/2004

The diversity of stellar death is revealed in the energy, velocity and geometry of the explosion debris ("ejecta''). Using multi-wavelength observations of gamma-ray burst (GRB) afterglows I show that GRBs, arising from the death of massive stars, are marked by relativistic, collimated ejecta ("jets'') with a wide range of opening angles. I further show that the jet opening angles are strongly correlated with the isotropic-equivalent kinetic energies, such that the true relativistic energy of GRBs is nearly standard, with a value of few times 10^51 erg. A geometry-independent analysis which relies on the simple non-relativistic dynamics of GRBs at late time confirms these inferences. Still, the energy in the highest velocity ejecta, which give rise to the prompt gamma-ray emission, ...

by Naveen A. Reddy

08/26/2006

We examine the census of star-forming galaxies and their extinction properties at redshift z~2, when a large fraction of the stellar mass in the universe formed. We find a good agreement between the X-ray, radio, and de-reddened UV estimates of the average star formation rate (SFR) for our sample of z~2 galaxies of ~50 Msun/yr, indicating that the locally calibrated SFR relations appear to be statistically valid from redshifts 1.5

The Diversity of Neutron Stars

Nearby Thermally Emitting Neutron Stars and the Compact Central Objects in Supernova Remnants

by David L. Kaplan

07/03/2004

Neutron stars are invaluable tools for exploring stellar death, the physics of ultra-dense matter, and the effects of extremely strong magnetic fields. The observed population of neutron stars is dominated by the >1000 radio pulsars, but there are distinct sub-populations that, while fewer in number, can have significant impact on our understanding of the issues mentioned above. These populations are the nearby, isolated neutron stars discovered by ROSAT, and the central compact objects in supernova remnants. The studies of both of these populations have been greatly accelerated in recent years through observations with the Chandra X-ray Observatory and the XMM-Newton telescope. First, we discuss radio, optical, and X-ray observations of the nearby neutron stars ...

Brown Dwarf Companions to Young Solar Analogs

An Adaptive Optics Survey Using Palomar and Keck

by Stanimir A. Metchev

01/01/2005

We present results from an adaptive optics survey conducted with the Palomar and Keck telescopes over 3 years, which measured the frequency of stellar and sub-stellar companions to Sun-like stars. The survey sample contains 266 stars in the 3-10000 million year age range at heliocentric distances between 8 and 200 parsecs and with spectral types between F5-K5. A sub-sample of 101 stars, between 3-500 million years old, were observed in deep exposures with a coronagraph to search for faint sub-stellar companions. A total of 288 candidate companions were discovered around the sample stars, which were re-imaged at subsequent epochs to determine physical association with the candidate host stars by checking for common proper motion. Benefitting from a highly accurate astrometric c...

by Kevin Marvel

07/15/1999

The dissertation presents the results of a multi-epoch very long baseline interferometric study of water masers located in the extended atmospheres of evolved stars. The research was performed using the Very Long Baseline Array and Very Large Array of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory. Optical monitoring of the stars was provided by the American Association of Variable Star Observers, the Variable Star Network and Dr. Bill Neely of the NF/Observatory. Water masers of found to exist in a region where a population inversion of the rotation transition of 22 GHz can be maintained by collisional pumping. The masers are identified as individual pockets of gas, which have the good velocity coherence and may be imaged using radio interferometry. Stellar winds are initiated in these sources...

by Joshua A. Eisner

07/30/2005

Young stars are surrounded by massive, rotating disks of dust and gas, which supply a reservoir of material that may be incorporated into planets or accreted onto the central star. In this dissertation, I use high angular resolution observations at a range of wavelengths to understand the structure, ubiquity, and evolutionary timescales of protoplanetary disks. First, I describe a study of Class I protostars, objects believed to be at an evolutionary stage between collapsing spherical clouds and fully-assembled young stars surrounded by protoplanetary disks. I use a Monte Carlo radiative transfer code to model new 0.9 micron scattered light images, 1.3 mm continuum images, and broadband spectral energy distributions. This modeling shows that Class I sources are probably su...

The Properties of Star-Forming Galaxies at z~2

Kinematics, Stellar Populations, and Metallicities

by Dawn K. Erb

12/31/2005

We study the properties of star-forming galaxies at redshift z~2, an era in which a substantial fraction of the stellar mass in the universe formed. Using 114 near-IR spectra of the H-alpha and [N II] emission lines and model spectral energy distributions fit to rest-frame UV through IR photometry, we examine the galaxies' star formation properties, dynamical masses and velocity dispersions, spatially resolved kinematics, outflow properties, and metallicities as a function of stellar mass and age. While the stellar masses of the galaxies in our sample vary by a factor of ~500, dynamical masses from H-alpha velocity dispersions and indirect estimates of gas masses imply that the variation of stellar mass is due as much to the evolution of the stellar population and the conversi...

by Ralf Muller

09/28/2003

Communication is frequently identified in the literature as a major factor impacting Information Technology (IT) project failure. The importance of communication is amplified in buyer - seller relationships through the long-term impact of project failures on the future business of IT vendors with their customers.The formal communication between IT project sponsors from buyer firms and project managers from IT vendor firms within business to business markets is investigated through this study. Typical communication patterns between project sponsor and manager in high and low performing projects are identified. The antecedents of these patterns are assessed and the effectiveness of project sponsor - manager communication investigated. A multi-method approach is used with a quantitative analy...

by Benjamin F. Lane

11/28/2003

This dissertation describes work performed at the Palomar Testbed Interferometer (PTI) during 1998-2002. Using PTI, we developed a method to measure stellar angular diameters in the 1-3 milli-arcsecond range with a precision of better than 5%. Such diameter measurements were used to measure the mass-radius relations of several lower main sequence stars and hence verify model predictions for these stars. In addition, by measuring the changes in Cepheid angular diameters during the pulsational cycle and applying a Baade-Wesselink analysis we are able to derive the distances to two galactic Cepheids (h Aql & z Gem) with a precision of ~10%; such distance determinations provide an independent calibration of the Cepheid period-luminosity relations that underpin cu...

Reassessing the Fundamentals

On the Evolution, Ages and Masses of Neutron Stars

by Bülent Kiziltan

07/19/2011

The evolution, ages and masses of neutron stars are the fundamental threads that make pulsars accessible to other sub-disciplines of astronomy and physics. A realistic and accurate determination of these indirectly probed features play an important role in understanding a very broad range of astrophysical processes that are, in many cases, not empirically accessible otherwise. For the majority of pulsars, the only observables are the rotational period, and its derivative which gives the rate of change in the spin. I start with calculating the joint P-Pdot distributions of millisecond pulsars for the standard evolutionary model in order to assess whether millisecond pulsars are the unequivocal descendants of low mass X-ray binaries. We show that the P-Pdot density implied by the standard...

Magnetic Fields Near and Far

Galactic and Extragalactic Single-Dish Radio Observations of the Zeeman Effect

by Timothy Robishaw

08/06/2008

According to astrophysical theory, magnetic fields should play an important role in the structure and dynamics of the interstellar medium. While astronomical observations confirm this directly, the observational record is sparse. This is because magnetic fields can only be measured via polarimetric methods, and most of these methods can only provide an indirect inference of the magnetic field strength. The Zeeman effect, however, is the only method by which in situ measurements of astrophysical magnetic fields can be made. The spectral signature of Zeeman splitting is imprinted in the circular polarization spectrum of radiation received from an astronomical source. In order to make a reliable detection at radio frequencies, one must employ careful calibrations and account for...

Beyond the Blur

Construction and Characterization of the First Autonomous AO System and an AO Survey of Magnetar Proper Motions

by Shriharsh P. Tendulkar

06/18/2014

Adaptive optics (AO) corrects distortions created by atmospheric turbulence and delivers diffraction-limited images on ground-based telescopes. The vastly improved spatial resolution and sensitivity has been utilized for studying everything from the magnetic fields of sunspots upto the internal dynamics of high-redshift galaxies. This thesis about AO science from small and large telescopes is divided into two parts: Robo-AO and magnetar kinematics. In the first part, I discuss the construction and performance of the world’s first fully autonomous visible light AO system, Robo-AO, at the Palomar 60-inch telescope. Robo-AO operates extremely efficiently with an overhead < 50s, typically observing about 22 targets every hour. We have performed large AO programs observing a total of over ...

by Michael W. Busch

05/25/2010

Asteroids are diverse and numerous solar system objects, from the large number of objects in the main asteroid belt to the relatively small near-Earth population. Understanding their physical properties is essential to understanding the evolution of the solar system, and asteroid morphology is a complex field in its own right. The histories of individual asteroids, and particularly near-Earth objects, reflect continuous interaction among their shapes, rotation states, and orbits due to the effects of radiation pressure. Radar astronomy has provided detailed information on the orbits, sizes, shapes, rotation states, and composition of many asteroids. To improve the capabilities of asteroid radar observations, I have developed the technique of radar speckle tracking. The echoes from diffe...

The Wayward Comet

A Descriptive History of Cometary Orbits, Kepler's Problem and the Cometarium

by Martin Beech

01/01/2016

Comets have not only blazed across the celestial vault throughout human history, they have embellished the night sky since the Earth itself formed some 4.5 billion years ago. Comets were among the first-born solid bodies in the solar system, and their frozen nuclei tell of the primordial chemistry and chaos that ultimately resulted in the formation of the planets, the evolution of life and us. For all this, however, comets have long been celestial oddities: they baffled our distant ancestors, and human society continues to marvel and speculate wildly at their appearance even to the present day. Cutting against the perceived constancy of the stars, comets seemingly present themselves at random times and they are often interpreted as harbingers of terrestrial change - both good and ill. How ...

by Bryan Anthony Jacoby

02/05/2008

We present the results of a large-area survey for millisecond pulsars (MSPs) at moderately high galactic latitudes with the 64 m Parkes radio telescope, along with follow-up timing and optical studies of the newly-discovered pulsars and several others. Major results include the first precise measurement of the mass of a fully recycled pulsar and measurement of orbital period decay in a double neutron star binary system allowing a test of general relativity along with improved measurements of the neutron star masses. In a survey of approx. 4,150 square degrees, we discovered 26 previously unknown pulsars, including 7 "recycled" millisecond or binary pulsars. Several of these recycled pulsars are particularly interesting: PSR J1528-3146 is in a circular orbit with a companion of at least 0....

Discovering Postmodern Cosmology

Discoveries in Dark Matter, Cosmic Web, Big Bang, Inflation, Cosmic Rays, Dark Energy, Accelerating Cosmos

by Jerome Drexler

03/26/2008

Learn how a world-class inventor-scientist is currently tackling the greatest scientific mysteries of the universe -- and succeeding. With his new book, Drexler provides a viable baseline to jump-start debate on a standard model for postmodern cosmology. It is the first book to not only address these seven unsolved cosmic mysteries, shown in this book's subtitle, but also offer plausible explanations for each of them. The correlation of these seven cosmic phenomena by Drexler offers a revolutionary advance in cosmological research and potentially broad acceptance and use of the related concepts. This book was written for open-minded cosmologists, astronomers, astrophysicists, physicists, engineers, students, enthusiasts and those at NASA, NSF, DOE and ESO who want to understand postmod...

Our Universe via Drexler Dark Matter

Drexler Dark Matter Created and Explains Dark Energy, Top-Down Cosmology, Inflation, Accelerating Cosmos, Stars, Galaxies, Cosmic Web

by Jerome Drexler

11/11/2009

This book is different from all other modern cosmology books in several ways. It introduces a cosmologic universe, which is orderly, logical, and systematic. It teaches and explains by illustrating how a variety of cosmic mysteries have been solved. It raises the status of dark matter in the universe by illuminating its roles as the principal source of energy, the principal source of matter in the form of hydrogen and helium, and the principal source of cosmic relationships with the principal cosmic phenomena of the universe. This book simplifies the universe as Nicolaus Copernicus' book simplified the solar system in 1543. With more and more cosmic mysteries being discovered and the slow progress in solving them, cosmologists and astrophysicists must re-train themselves to understand...

by Ann Marie Cody

09/07/2013

In 2005, Palla & Baraffe proposed that brown dwarfs and very low mass stars (less than 0.1 solar masses) may be unstable to radial oscillations during the pre-main-sequence deuterium burning phase. With associated oscillation periods of 1-4 hours, this potentially new class of pulsation offers unprecedented opportunities to probe the interiors and evolution of low-mass objects in the 1-15 million year age range. Furthermore, several previous reports of short-period variability have suggested that deuterium-burning pulsation is in fact at work in young clusters. For my dissertation, I developed a photometric monitoring campaign to search for low-amplitude periodic variability in young brown dwarfs and very low mass stars using meter-class telescopes from both the ground and space. The re...

Life in the Universe

The Abundance of Extraterrestrial Civilizations

by James N. Pierce

08/11/2008

This book explores the science of extraterrestrial life, with a particular emphasis on the existence of intelligent alien civilizations. It introduces the reader to the basic chemistry associated with life on Earth and describes the planetary and stellar environments that allow us to exist. It also discusses the likelihood of alien life developing at other locations in our galaxy, along with the possibility that we will meet or communicate with them. This book is suitable for use as a text in an introductory "Life in the Universe" course.