Geoff Brumfiel

Geoff Brumfiel appears in the following:

Has Voyager 1 Left The Solar System?

Monday, August 19, 2013

For the past decade or so, scientists have been waiting for the Voyager 1 spacecraft to cross into deep space. New research suggests it already has — over a year ago.

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Particle Physicists Want A New Collider To Study The Higgs

Monday, August 12, 2013

"It's a very curious time in high-energy physics," says Michael Peskin, a researcher at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in California. On the one hand, researchers have just made the most significant discovery in decades: In July of last year, they announced they had found the Higgs particle at a ...


No Tax Dollars Went To Make This Space Viking Photo

Monday, August 05, 2013

Scrutinizing the books of government agencies can turn up lavish parties or illicit trips at the taxpayers' expense. But not every investigation turns out that way. And when they don't, the hunt for waste can appear to be a waste itself.

Such appears to be the case with a recent ...


Tiny Tech Puts Satellites In Hands Of Homebrew Designers

Monday, July 29, 2013

Two satellites set for launch Sunday will soon be in the hands of ordinary people because they run on a tiny microchip that anyone can program.

The chip, known as Arduino, is cheap and easy to use. It is already popular among designers and artists, and it's increasingly gaining ...


Steam And Groundwater Raise Concern At Japanese Nuclear Plant

Thursday, July 25, 2013

The troubles at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant began over two years ago when an earthquake and tsunami sparked meltdowns in three reactors. But events over the past week serve as reminder that the problems are far from over.

First, a remote camera spotted steam rising from one ...


World's Biggest Virus May Have Ancient Roots

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Researchers have discovered the largest virus ever, and they've given it a terrifying name: Pandoravirus.

In mythology, opening Pandora's Box released evil into the world. But there's no need to panic. This new family of virus lives underwater and doesn't pose a major threat to human health.

"This is not ...


New Moon Found Orbiting Neptune, But What To Call It?

Monday, July 15, 2013

Astronomers have found a new moon orbiting the solar system's outermost planet, Neptune.

The tiny moon, just 12 miles across, was discovered in more than 150 pictures of Neptune taken by the Hubble Space Telescope between 2004 and 2009.

The moon was barely visible in any one photo, but ...


Report: Upside-Down Sensors Toppled Russian Rocket

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Last week, we reported on the spectacular failure of a Russian Proton-M rocket launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Now, a report from Russian Space Web says investigators have traced the problem to a series of sensors that were apparently installed upside down.

The so-called angular velocity ...


Why You Can't Name New Moons And Planets Anything You Want

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

A dispute over the names of two new moons of Pluto is highlighting a broader battle over who names what in our solar system and beyond. On one side is the International Astronomical Union (IAU), a venerable consortium of astronomers who have set the naming rules for the better part ...


Baikonour, We Have A Problem. Russian Rocket Crashes And Burns

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

This morning saw the spectacular failure of an unmanned Russian rocket. A massive Proton-M rocket carrying three Russian navigation satellites veered off course shortly after liftoff. Try not to cover your eyes:

Amateur video reportedly shot from nearby captured the ill-fated flight in a single frame:

A brief ...


NIH Takes Another Step Toward Retirement Of Research Chimps

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The National Institutes of Health says it will retire hundreds of chimpanzees that the agency had been using for research. Animal rights activists see the move as a big step towards ending the use of chimps in research, but it will be awhile before any of the research chimps ...


The First Web Page, Amazingly, Is Lost

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Given the World Wide Web's ubiquity, you might be tempted to believe that everything is online. But there's one important piece of the Web's own history that can't be found through a search engine: the very first Web page.

Now a team at the lab where the World Wide Web ...


Quantum Or Not, New Supercomputer Is Certainly Something Else

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

It's exactly the sort of futuristic thinking you'd expect from Google and NASA: Late last week, the organizations announced a partnership to build a Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab at NASA's Ames Research Center.

But questions surround the new type of computer at the lab's core. D-Wave systems, the ...


A Small Shock To The System May Help Brain With Math

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Stimulating the brain with a very small electrical current through the forehead could boost a student's ability to learn and remember basic mathematics, a provocative experiment suggests.

The work, published online Thursday by the journal Current Biology, could help those who struggle with mental arithmetic. But the study was ...


Are Those North Korean Long-Range Missiles For Real?

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

When President Obama met with South Korean President Park Geun-hye on Tuesday, one item was high on the agenda: how to handle North Korea, which has in recent months threatened to strike both countries.

Obama called such threats "a dead end."

"We remain open to North Korea taking a ...


Of Flybots And Bug Eyes: Insects Inspire Inventors

Thursday, May 02, 2013

A smartphone can tell you where to get a cup of coffee, but it can't go get the coffee for you. Engineers would like to build little machines that can do stuff. They would be useful for a lot more than coffee, if we could figure out how to make ...


Can You Hear Me Now? Cellphone Satellites Phone Home

Friday, April 26, 2013

Smartphones can check e-mail, record videos and even stream NPR. Now NASA has discovered they make pretty decent satellites, too. Three smart phones launched into space this past Sunday are orbiting above us even now, transmitting data and images back to Earth. The PhoneSats, which cost just a few ...


In NASA's Budget: Plans To 'Shrink-Wrap' An Asteroid

Friday, April 12, 2013

When President Obama released his 2014 budget for the federal government on Wednesday, much of it was spreadsheets and tables. But one corner of NASA's budget looked like something out of a movie script.

The space agency is planning to capture a small asteroid, drag it to the moon ...


Origin Of 'Mercury' Meteorite Still Puzzles Scientists

Thursday, April 11, 2013

A strange green rock discovered in Morocco last year was hailed by the press as the first meteorite from Mercury. But scientists who've been puzzling over the stone ever since say the accumulating evidence may point in a different direction. Maybe, just maybe, they say, the 4.56-billion-year-old rock fell to ...