NIST Gives Astronomers a Better Ruler in the Search for Extrasolar Planets

thorium composite

A thorium emission lamp’s violet glow, when viewed through a spectroscope (metal tube on right in top image), is split into a spectrum of thousands of bright lines (bottom image). New measurements of these lines could help astronomers search for earthlike planets around distant stars.
Credit: Boutin/NIST
high resolution image

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have rejuvenated a technique for finding planets near distant stars.* New measurements of light from special lamps could help astronomers find planets hidden in

Finding extrasolar planets is tricky.

Seen through a telescope, planets in the “habitable zone”—a region close to a star, where liquid water could exist on a planet’s surface—usually get lost in their star’s glare.

But as a planet orbits, its gravity makes its parent star wobble a tiny bit, resulting in slight color changes in the star’s light due to the Doppler effect.

These changes can only be spotted if the light is first broken into a spectrum of thin lines, which are then compared to an unchanging reference spectrum.

“It’s like holding one ruler in front of another and moving the front one to the right and left,” says NIST physicist Gillian Nave. “You can see the front ruler move compared to the one behind it.

“The star’s spectrum is the front ruler, which moves as the planet tugs at it. But the movement is so small that to see it clearly, we need to put a fixed ruler of very high quality behind it. That’s where NIST comes in.” Continue reading

2014 ISA Analysis Division Symposium | 4-8 May 2014

Extensive technical program & world-class training

Attendee and vendor registration are open!

crabDude.Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, USA  – The presentation of more than 30 technical papers—covering the critical challenges and most recent improvements in the analytical sciences—and both introductory and advanced training courses highlight the agenda at the 2014 ISA Analysis Division Symposium to be held 4-8 May 2014 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA.

Supplementing the content-rich technical presentations and the high-value training courses are vendor exhibits representing the top names in process analyzer manufacturing and services, the annual ISA Analysis Division banquet, various social activities, and a fun and relaxing Cajun country venue. Continue reading

Encrypt Your Private Data

MacPaw announces upcoming release of Hider 2

Hider 2Santa Clara CA, USA – MacPaw Inc. has officially announced the upcoming release of Hider 2, an app for Mac OS X that gives users the ability to hide and encrypt their private data.

This new release is a two-year rebuild of their previous file-hiding app, Hider.

“With the rising need to hide and protect one’s confidential data, Hider 2 has arrived to level the playing field for all Mac users by making data encryption simple,” said Oleksandr Kosovan, CEO of MacPaw.

“Now, both power and non-power users can securely hide and encrypt confidential data on their Macs just by selecting a file and clicking, ‘Hide.’”

Continue reading

Theodolite – Spring Sale – 50% Off

Augmented Reality Nav App

theodolite_iconWilliamsburg, VA, USA – Hunter Research and Technology is excited to offer its flagship augmented reality navigation app Theodolite for 50% during a special spring sale.

Theodolite is great for outdoor enthusiasts, professionals, students, teachers, explorers, and high-tech gadget lovers.

Theodolite is a multi-function viewfinder for iPhone and iPad that combines a compass, two-axis inclinometer, rangefinder, GPS, map, nav calculator, tracker, and geo-tag photo/movie camera into one indispensable app. Continue reading