UA Helps Build Heritage Conservation Program in Afghanistan
In an effort to help Afghanistan preserve its past, the UA is partnering with Kabul University to help build the college's cultural heritage conservation program. Three faculty members from Kabul will come to Tucson this summer to work with UA faculty and learn the latest techniques in conservation, research, artifact examination and documentation, and more.
Storms on Uranus, Neptune Confined to Upper Atmosphere
Applying newly developed analysis techniques to data obtained by NASA's Voyager 2 spacecraft in 1989, a team involving two UA planetary scientists discovered that weather phenomena on Uranus and Neptune are confined to the upper 680 miles of atmosphere instead of reaching deeper into the planets' interior as was previously thought.
UA-Led Asteroid Mission is a Go
NASA has granted final approval of the OSIRIS-REx sample return mission led by the UA. The target asteroid, uniquely interesting scientifically, is one of the most potentially hazardous objects known - it has a one-in-2,000 chance of colliding with Earth in the late 22nd century. The asteroid could hold clues to the origin of the solar system.
UA Mars Camera Reveals Hundreds of Impacts Each Year
Taking before and after pictures of the Martian terrain, researchers with the UA-led HiRISE camera have identified nearly 250 fresh impact craters on the Red Planet. The results provide scientists with a better yardstick to estimate how frequently craters are blasted on Mars, allowing them to assess recently formed features with greater accuracy.
Carnivorous Plant Throws Out ‘Junk’ DNA
UA genomics experts have helped decipher the DNA of the carnivorous bladderwort. This genome is the smallest ever sequenced from a higher plant, and scientists say that nearly all of it - 97 percent - comprises genes that code for proteins, suggesting the majority of noncoding DNA may not be crucial for complex life.
UA engineering students designed and built a planetary rover and demonstrated its capabilities recently at the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston. The team received $10,000 to partake in the competition, requiring the rover to negotiate obstacles and traverse difficult terrain.
Long before xeriscaping, the low-maintenance landscaping of choice for many Arizonans involved blankets of pea gravel painted green to look like lawns – at least from an airplane. But painted gravel now is losing its popularity. "I wondered why anyone would want their yard to impress somebody in an airplane," said Terry Mikel, a retired UA horticulturist.
The UA College of Optical Sciences has been awarded a multi-million dollar contract to polish the 4.2-meter primary mirror for the world's largest solar telescope. Researchers will produce a surface that will allow scientists to view features on the sun in unprecedented detail.
Summer starts today, the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. For many modern cultures – Americans in particular – the solstices and equinoxes no longer attract the same kind of attention that they once did, said Jarita Holbrook, a cultural astronomer at the UA.
Wondering about that odd-looking bronze sculpture outside Old Engineering? It's called a bent, the official symbol of Tau Beta Pi, the oldest engineering honor society in the U.S. The one here has an interesting history.
Harnessing the magnetic moment, or spin, of electrons rather than their electric charge, physicists at the UA have achieved a breakthrough toward the development of a new breed of computing devices that can process data using less power.