Shannon Hall

About Shannon Hall

Shannon Hall is a freelance science journalist. She holds two B.A.'s from Whitman College in physics-astronomy and philosophy, and an M.S. in astronomy from the University of Wyoming. Currently, she is working toward a second M.S. from NYU's Science, Health and Environmental Reporting program.

Here are my most recent posts

Time Dilation Confirmed in the Lab

by Shannon Hall September 29, 2014

It sounds like science fiction, but the time you experience between two events depends directly on the path you take through the universe. In other words, Einstein’s theory of special relativity postulates that a person traveling in a high-speed rocket would age more slowly than people back on Earth. Although few physicists doubt Einstein was […]

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Have Astronomers Seen a Forming Planet in Action?

by Shannon Hall September 26, 2014

Huge disks of dust and gas encircle many young stars. Some contain circular gaps — likely the result of forming planets carving out cavities along their orbital paths — that make the disks look more like ripples in a pond than flat pancakes. But astronomers know only a few examples, including the archetypal disk surrounding Beta […]

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219 Million Stars Create the Most Detailed Catalogue of our Milky Way Yet

by Shannon Hall September 19, 2014

On the darkest of nights, thousands of stars are sprinkled across the celestial sphere above us. Or, to be exact, there are 9,096 stars observable across the entire sky. Divide that number in half, and there are 4,548 stars (give or take a few) visible from horizon to horizon. But this number excludes the glowing […]

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This Exoplanet Has Prematurely Aged its Star

by Shannon Hall September 18, 2014

Hot young stars are wildly active, emitting huge eruptions of charged particles form their surfaces. But as they age they naturally become less active, their X-ray emission weakens and their rotation slows. Astronomers have theorized that a hot Jupiter — a sizzling gas giant circling close to its host star — might be able to […]

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Calling All Volunteers to Help Digitize Astronomical History

by Shannon Hall September 12, 2014

An old brick building on Harvard’s Observatory Hill is overflowing with rows of dark green cabinets — each one filled to the brim with hundreds of astronomical glass plates in paper sleeves: old-fashioned photographic negatives of the night sky. All in all there are more than 500,000 plates preserving roughly a century of information about […]

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