Man wearing a lab coat and gloves makes adjustments inside a large metal chamber

Space tractor beams may not be the stuff of sci-fi for long

June 1, 2023

One day, small spacecraft could fly around Earth, using devices called electron beams to remove hulking, derelict spacecraft from orbit without ever having to touch. It may sound like science fiction, but aerospace engineers from CU Boulder say they could be ready to test the idea in space in just five to 10 years.

asteroid covered in shadows with sun in the background

Avoiding Armageddon: Researchers narrow down list of potentially hazardous asteroids

May 31, 2023

The asteroid 7482 (1994 PC1) measures about two-thirds of a mile across. It will also remain in Earth's vicinity for much of the next 1,000 years. CU Boulder aerospace engineer Oscar Fuentes-Muñoz says its important to study objects like this one to make sure they don't pose a risk to life on our planet.

Students working on a research project on the CU Boulder campus.

Mapping the Milky Way in a can of olive oil

May 23, 2023

Assistant Professor Meredith MacGregor and National Institute of Standards and Technology Physicist Jake Connors taught their graduate students how to build and use radio horn antennas to locate neutral hydrogen in space.

Artist's depiction of a planet covered in volcanoes

Newly discovered planet is the size of Earth, but may be covered in volcanoes

May 17, 2023

A team of astrophysicists, including two researchers from CU Boulder, have caught a glimpse of a new and rocky planet called LP 791-18d. There, temperatures on the dayside could climb to more than 250 degrees Fahrenheit, while volcanoes blast the planet's surface.

Saturn's rings partially in shadow

How old are Saturn’s rings? Far younger than once thought, according to new study

May 12, 2023

New research led by Sascha Kempf of the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) at CU Boulder finds that Saturn's rings are no more than 400 million years old. That's much younger than Saturn itself, which formed around 4.5 billion years ago.

Solar flare erupt from the sun

How 1,000 undergraduates helped solve an enduring mystery about the sun

May 9, 2023

For three years at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, CU Boulder students enrolled in "Experimental Physics I" spent an estimated 56,000 hours analyzing the behavior of hundreds of solar flares. Their results could help astrophysicists understand how the sun's corona reaches temperatures of millions of degrees Fahrenheit.

A striking view of Mars and its smallest moon, Deimos.

New Emirates Mars Mission observations hint at origins of Mars’ mysterious moon

April 27, 2023

The Emirates Mars Mission, the first interplanetary exploration undertaken by an Arab nation, has unveiled a series of groundbreaking observations of Mars’ smaller moon, Deimos, that reveal new details of Mars’ most mysterious moon and where it came from, as well as the Red Planet’s larger moon, Phobos.

Artist's depiction of antennas in the FarView observatory criss-crossing over the surface of the moon.

Observatory on the far side of the moon could spy on universe’s ‘Dark Ages’

April 25, 2023

As early as 2030, engineers and robots from Earth could begin construction on an astronomical observatory that would expand over 77 square miles of the moon’s surface—almost entirely using materials mined from the moon itself.

Senior NASA leaders with CU President Todd Saliman and other university officials in front of the Mariner spacecraft displayed in LASP

CU Boulder, LASP welcome NASA leaders to campus

April 21, 2023

A group of senior NASA leaders visited the CU Boulder campus where they met with CU President Todd Saliman and other university officials, and toured the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics.

An astronaut working with one of the experiments aboard the International Space Station.

Heart experiments to help astronauts live better in space

April 7, 2023

Astronauts aboard the International Space Station are hard at work on research guided by students and researchers from CU Boulder.