trdevitt


Planetary nebula NGC 2818, a gaseous shroud of a dying, sun-like star in the southern constellation Pyxis.
Putting telescopes and astronomical instruments in space has long been a UW-Madison specialty. Since at least the early 1960s, when the late Wisconsin astronomer Arthur D. Code devised a cigar-box sized photometer for the X-15, the first rocket-powered plane to soar briefly in space, UW-Madison has been developing hardware – […]

Hubble and beyond


Most of us who write about science like to think we’re doing the world a great service: we’re helping scientists spread the word about their important work, and we’re helping our audiences get a peek into the lab and a sense of why this or that line of research matters. […]

Can science communication be more scientific?





Mastodon skull on cart
Many of Wisconsin’s most charismatic fossils are of Ice Age megafauna. The Boaz mastodon is Exhibit A. On display at the UW-Madison Geology Museum since 1915, the elephant like mastodon was recently discovered to be a composite of fossil material collected not only at Boaz, a sleepy town just off […]

A Legacy of Pleistocene Megafauna


Thinking a lot about the Hubble Space Telescope this week. Friday, April 24, 2015, marks twenty-five years in orbit for the telescope whose glorious imagery has changed the way humans think about astronomy and space. I was lucky to be a UW-Madison science writer all those years ago and had […]

Covering Hubble: A Reminder from Deep in the Closet



Picture of painting by E. coli bacteria. 1
In science, researchers extract information – data – with the help of model organisms like E. coli and zebrafish. That data might inform cancer research or new ways to help control antibiotic resistant pathogens. But for Angela Johnson, a UW-Madison master of fine arts candidate, model organisms offer something else: […]

Mining science for the sake of art


IceCube, the cubic kilometer, sub-polar detector that in 2013 gathered the first-ever evidence of cosmic neutrinos, is the star of particle astrophysics at the South Pole. Soon, however, a complementary detector known as the Askaryan Radio Array or ARA will join the hunt for the highest energy neutrinos. Like IceCube, […]

Video: New polar neutrino detector on the way


impressed clay seal and scale
Like any area of research — but more than most — archaeology lends itself to public interpretation in ways that can take a discrete discovery well beyond what the data actually show. There are lots of reasons for this, but it is probably the romance of digging up the past […]

Do clay seals hint at Biblical era post office?