Kepler, don't give up on the hunt for exomoons

Feb. 13, 2017- 
The Kepler spacecraft has been prolific in its search for planets outside our solar system, known as exoplanets, discovering thousands since its launch in 2009. But the hunt for moons orbiting these exoplanets, or exomoons, is vastly more challenging. While no exomoons have been found to date, a new study shows that the search is not futile. Researchers have demonstrated for the first time...

Laboratory researchers find Earth composed of different materials than primitive meteorites

Sept. 15, 2016- 
Scientists from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) have found that, contrary to popular belief, the Earth is not comprised of the same material found in primitive meteorites (also known as chondrites). This is based on the determination that the abundance of several neodymium (Nd) isotopes are different in the Earth and in chondritic meteorites.  A long-standing theory assumes that...

Team tracks core of massive object in universe

Aug. 10, 2016- 
International scientists have identified the dynamics of the core of one of the most massive objects in the known universe, bringing insight into the  cosmology of clusters of galaxies. The Hitomi collaboration, in which Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory scientist Greg Brown is a member, found that the turbulent motion of the intracluster gas in the Perseus cluster is only a small...

LLNL researchers garner two contracts for rocket propulsion, space launch vehicle work

March 16, 2015- 
Two recent contracts worth nearly $1.5 million have brought the Laboratory back into the rocket development business.The last Livermore designed and fabricated rocket vehicle, powered by an LLNL engine, was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in 1994. It was conceived and designed by aerospace engineer John Whitehead and his team, which included collaborators from Aerojet, for the...

NASA taps Livermore photon scientists for heat-shield research

Oct. 27, 2014- 
Researchers in Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's NIF & Photon Science Directorate are working with NASA Ames Research Center at Moffet Field, California on the development of technology to simulate re-entry effects on the heat shield for the Orion spacecraft, NASA's next crewed spaceship. Orion is designed to carry astronauts beyond low Earth orbit to deep-space destinations such as an...

Lawrence Livermore 'space cops' to help control traffic in space

Jan. 22, 2014- 
A team of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory scientists are using mini-satellites that work as "space cops" to help control traffic in space. The scientists used a series of six images over a 60-hour period taken from a ground-based satellite to prove that it is possible to refine the orbit of another satellite in low earth orbit."Eventually our satellite will be orbiting and making the...

Livermore students speak live with astronauts in space

June 6, 2012- 
Students at Livermore's Junction Avenue School had an opportunity that was "out of this world." They got the chance on Wednesday to talk with three astronauts via an in-flight education downlink from the International Space Station (ISS). The entire school's student body -- from kindergarten to 8th grade -- assembled in two locations to watch the videoconference. "What a wonderful event...