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The Star that Ate Manhattan! Studying Neutron Stars from the International Space Station – October 17 Lecture with Dr. Zaven Arzoumanian

Dr. Zaven Arzoumanian is a research astrophysicist and the deputy principal investigator for the Neutron Star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER) mission at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland. He will describe the NICER mission, an International Space Station payload devoted to studying neutron stars — the physics governing their interiors, their emissions, and their evolution.

According to Arzoumanian, “Neutron stars crush more mass than the Sun into a ball about as wide as Manhattan Island in New York, and they can rotate as fast as the blade of a kitchen blender. Neutron stars are the strongest magnets known, emit a wide range of light across the electromagnetic spectrum, and are the densest objects in the universe we can observe directly. Many are observed as ‘pulsars,’ appearing to flash regularly as their spin sweeps beams of light across our skies.”

Launched June 3, 2017, on an 18-month baseline mission, NICER will help scientists understand the nature of the densest stable form of matter located deep in the cores of neutron stars using X-ray measurements. NICER will also perform the first demonstration of spacecraft navigation using pulsars as natural beacons.

An artist’s concept of a pulsar (blue-white disk in center) pulling in matter from a nearby star (red disk at upper right). The stellar material forms a disk around the pulsar (multicolored ring) before falling on to the surface at the magnetic poles. The pulsar’s intense magnetic field is represented by faint blue outlines surrounding the pulsar. Credits: NASA https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/thumbnails/image/pulsar.jpg

Date:  October 17, 2017

Time:  11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Place:  Pickford Theater, 3d floor, Madison Building

For inquiries about this program, contact Stephanie Marcus in the Science, Technology & Business Division at [email protected] or the division office at (202) 707-1212. Individuals requiring accommodations for this event are requested to submit a request at least five business days in advance by contacting (202) 707-6362 or [email protected].

The lecture will be later broadcast on the library’s webcast page and YouTube channel “Topics in Science” playlist.

Cassini’s Grand Finale: September 7 Lecture with NASA’s Dr. Conor Nixon

This post was authored by Stephanie Marcus, Science Reference Librarian in the Science, Technology, and Business Division. Now that we’ve had the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse, it’s time to move on to the next big event on NASA’s calendar, and that is the Grand Finale of the Cassini-Huygens Mission, a cooperative project of NASA, the […]

Chasing Shadows: Eclipses and Eclipse Observations in the Library of Congress Collections

This post was authored by Sean Bryant, Science Reference & Research Specialist in the Science, Technology, and Business Division of the Library of Congress. He recently authored the blog posts “The Last Man on the Moon? — The Story of Eugene Cernan in Two Parts” and “An American in Orbit: The Story of John Glenn.” […]

Venus-the Forgotten, Mysterious Planet: August 15 Lecture with NASA’s Dr. Lori Glaze

This post was authored by Stephanie Marcus, Science Reference Librarian in the Science, Technology, and Business Division. We’ve heard a great deal recently about Jupiter (Juno Mission) and Pluto (New Horizons), and soon the Science, Technology & Business Division will present a program on Saturn (Cassini), but what about Venus?  Except for programs on the […]

The 2017 Total Solar Eclipse: Through the Eyes of NASA, June 15 Lecture with Dr. C. Alex Young

This post was authored by Stephanie Marcus, Science Reference Librarian in the Science, Technology, and Business Division. The total solar eclipse on August 21, 2017 will be the first total solar eclipse visible in the contiguous United States since 1979 — and the first that has traversed the entire continent coast-to-coast since June 8, 1918. […]

Space Ethics: Ethical Implications of Commercial Space Projects: May 10th Lecture by Christopher Ketcham, Ph.D.

This post was authored by Tomoko Y. Steen, Ph.D., Science Reference & Research Specialist in the Science, Technology and Business Division of the Library of Congress. On Wednesday, May 10, 2017, Dr. Christopher Ketcham will discuss the need to balance the economic value of commercial ventures with safety and ethical concerns for life on Earth […]

Finding NEEMO at LC: Dr. Kelsey Young to Speak May 4 about NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations

This post was authored by Stephanie Marcus, Science Reference Librarian in the Science, Technology, and Business Division. The Science, Technology and Business Division is presenting “NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO): Preparing Astronauts for Space Exploration” with Dr. Kelsey Young in the Pickford Theater, third floor, Madison Building, Library of Congress, on Thursday, May 4, […]

The Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope: April 18 Lecture with NASA’s Dr. Julie McEnery

Blazars, pulsars, gamma-ray bursts, dark matter, behind-the-limb solar flares, black holes, micro black holes, Fermi bubbles, and antimatter!  The Science, Technology and Business Division’s NASA/Goddard lecture series begins its eleventh season with “The Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope:  Opening a Window on the Extreme Universe.”  Julie McEnery, Fermi Project Scientist and an astrophysicist in the Astroparticle […]

What’s for Lunch: 2017 Earth and Space Science Talks at the Library of Congress, Sponsored by the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and the ST&B Division

Lecture series coordinators Sean Bryant and Stephanie Marcus, Science, Technology and Business Division, contributed to this blog post. Spring has arrived, and with that, we are getting ready to kick off our annual Earth and Space Science lecture series, now in its eleventh year.  The series is a partnership between the NASA Goddard Space Flight […]

An American in Orbit: The Story of John Glenn

This post was authored by Sean Bryant, Science Reference & Research Specialist in the Science, Technology, and Business Division of the Library of Congress. Fifty five years ago this week John Hershel Glenn Jr. rode an Atlas rocket into a cloudy February morning. In his Mercury space capsule Friendship 7, Glenn became the third person, […]