Chemistry and Physical Sciences

From Las Piedras to NASA

Jacqueline Flores Otero's picture
Dr. Félix Miranda
Dr. Félix Miranda

When the different NASA spacecraft such as Voyager, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), and MESSENGER (Mercury Surface, Space Environment, Geochemistry and Ranging), among others, currently exploring the universe send messages to Earth, they do so through the transmission of microwaves, a type of electromagnetic wave, shorter in wavelength than that of radio, that can travel far distances and penetrate through the atmosphere. While longer microwaves are used to cook our food, shorter microwaves are used for satellite communication to Earth, for radar systems such as the Doppler weather radar, for GPS navigation, and even for wireless internet signals.

Beyond the Stars... Legacy of the First Puerto Rican Astronomer, Dr. Victor M. Blanco

Giovanna Guerrero-Medina's picture
Dr. Victor M. Blanco and the Victor Blanco Telescope at Cerro Tololo

The study of the planets, the stars, and the universe, in which we live, is the passion of many scientists.. Since the times of the British astronomer Edmund Halley and the British physicist Isaac Newton, the study field of Astronomy has been essential to understand what distinguishes celestial objects (position, distribution, movement, composition and energy).

Supernovas and X-Rays

Marcos Lopez's picture
The Puppis A Supernova Remnant. The square shows the Bright Eastern Knot which is the target of the Micro-X rocket.

When we look at the sky during the night it is possible to appreciate stars of different colors and brightnesses. However, although we may think that stars will bright forever, the stars, as all the existence on the Earth and space, also have their life-cycle. There’s a type of stars called the supergiants that emit lots of luminosity. When a supergiant star collapse with itself in a way that they can produce an explosion, it produces what is known as supernova. A supernova is the process that occurs when a star’s life-cycle ends and explodes. In this process, the supernova explosion may produce a huge amount of energy similar to the one emitted by the Sun that is also a star.


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