Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin: The woman who first grasped the elemental power of stars

May 10, 2024, 12:00PMNuclear News

When the U.S. Fusion Energy Outreach Team declared the second week of May as Fusion Energy Week, they were recognizing the May 10 birthday of Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin—the British-born American astronomer who applied principles of quantum physics, chemistry, and astronomy to become the first to realize—at the age of 25—that stars and the universe itself are mostly composed of hydrogen and helium, and that the stars could be sorted by their spectra into groups that corresponded to the temperature of the stars.

Extraterrestrial Pu found in the ocean sheds light on cosmic events

May 17, 2021, 9:31AMNuclear News
The Crab nebula, an iconic Milky Way supernova remnant, as viewed by the Herschel Space Observatory and the Hubble Space Telescope. (Image: NASA, ESA, and Allison Loll/Jeff Hester, Arizona State University)

Traces of freshly made plutonium and radioactive iron recovered from the bottom of the Pacific Ocean are contributing to an understanding of how heavier elements are created from exploding stars and other cosmic events, according to a National Public Radio report.