In December, students and professionals sat in a mission operations center on campus to watch NASA's new Imaging X-Ray Polarimetry Explorer satellite blast off into space. But for the dedicated individuals managing the mission operations, the hard work had just begun.
Professor Greg Rieker and Ryan Cole have developed an experiment that recreates the climates of planets beyond our solar system right in the lab. By reaching the same high-temperature and high-pressure conditions found on many exoplanets, the instrument can map their atmospheres, which could help humanity detect life outside our solar system.
Two new CubeSats, to be built by the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP), will provide first-of-their-kind measurements of gravity waves in Earth’s upper atmosphere and explosions in the Sun’s corona.
Which planets beyond our solar system are most likely to host life? By extrapolating the current scientific understanding of Mars, a multi-disciplinary team, including researchers from LASP, is helping identify alien planets that may be habitable.
Contributions from citizen scientists are helping researchers identify different types of aurora-like light emissions and constrain how and where in Earth’s atmosphere those light emissions are generated.
On April 2020, astronomers observed a gigantic burst of energy and charged particles erupting from the surface of a far away star called EK Draconis. The findings suggest that similar events could, theoretically, occur on our own sun––albeit rarely.