Centaurs are minor planets believed to have originated in the Kuiper Belt in the outer solar system. They sometimes… Read more
Department of Astronomy and Planetary Science
NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope, designed to study the early universe in infrared light, was the first telescope to see light from a planet outside our solar system. Launched in 2003, Spitzer contained infrared detectors of unprecedented sensitivity, providing astronomers a never-before-possible look at the universe.
Spitzer made important discoveries about comets, stars, exoplanets and distant galaxies. Decommissioned earlier this year—11 years beyond its prime mission—the… Read more
NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft mission, launched on Sept. 8, 2016, is the first U.S. mission designed to retrieve a pristine sample of an asteroid and return it to Earth for further study. The mission’s target is Bennu, a carbon-rich near-Earth asteroid that is potentially hazardous, representing… Read more
Access the full Festival of Science program of events here.
Now in its 31st year, the award-winning annual Festival of Science—the longest-running event of its kind in the Western Hemisphere—continues to be a cornerstone event for the Flagstaff community, with Northern Arizona University playing a key role in the festival’s success. Through active participation by NAU scientists, artists and educators, as well as through a robust sponsorship commitment, the university contributes to the Flagstaff community through the festival in… Read more
The majority of asteroids in our solar system are found in the Main Asteroid Belt, which is located between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. Although millions of objects populate the belt, most are relatively small, and astronomers have not actually studied many of them in detail.
NAU assistant professor Cristina Thomas, whose research focuses on asteroids, recently received two grants from NASA to study two different… Read more
Three Ph.D. students in Northern Arizona University’s Department of Astronomy and Planetary Science have been awarded grants through the Future Investigators in NASA Earth and Space Science and Technology (FINESST) program. The funding—up to $135,000 total per student for up to three years—supports graduate student-designed research projects that help further NASA’s Science Mission Directorate interests in Earth sciences, heliophysics, planetary science and astrophysics.
Anthony Maue,… Read more