Astrophysics | St. Louis Public Radio

Astrophysics

Mare Nectaris is a small lunar sea located on the near side of the moon.
Paul Stewart | Flickr

The Earth’s moon contains ice, but scientists don’t know much about where the water came from. As the moon formed, water could have come from Earth’s volcanoes in the form of gas. It could have been brought there by comets and meteorites. Or, it may have traveled to the lunar surface via solar wind that interacted with minerals on the moon to create water. 

Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis are teaming up to find some answers. The team has been chosen as one of NASA’s eight new Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institutes. They are part of a five-year cooperative agreement valued at more than $7 million.

The SuperTIGER detects cosmic rays, high-energy radiation that's produced from supernovas. Researchers at Washington University and NASA will launch the 6,000 pound device over Antarctica in November.
Bob Binns

In November, a team of scientists from Washington University and NASA will head to Antarctica to launch a device that will help them study space radiation. 

When massive stars die, they create explosions known as supernovas. Researchers theorize that the shocks from these events strip particles of their electrons and send them through space close to the speed of light. These high energy particles are called cosmic rays and studying them could help physicists understand the universe outside of our solar system.

Neil deGrasse Tyson will speak at Peabody Opera House on Thursday, May 18, 2017.
Peabody Opera House

Acclaimed astrophysicist, science communicator and Twitter personality Neil deGrasse Tyson makes his way to St. Louis this Thursday to speak to a crowd at Peabody Opera House about his new book “Astrophysics for People in a Hurry.”

Dr. Hakeem Oluseyi
Florida Institute of Technology

Dr. Hakeem Oluseyi is an astrophysicist with so many credentials it would take a page and a half to list them all. Here’s a sample: He has a Ph.D. in physics from Stanford University, was a 2012 TED Global Fellow, was a visiting scholar at MIT, was a U.S. State Department speaker and specialist to Algeria in 2012 and he co-hosts television shows on the Science Channel, National Geographic Channel and Discovery Channel.

Provided by Henric Krawczynski

A giant balloon will soon provide scientists at Washington University in St. Louis a view of black holes in the Milky Way galaxy.

Researchers will launch the 40 million cubic foot unmanned balloon, carrying an X-Ray telescope named X-Calibur, this month from NASA’s Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility in Fort Sumner, N.M. The payload will ascend 126,000 feet into the stratosphere, which is about four times the cruising altitude of commercial airplanes.