Physics and Astronomy Department

BELLINGHAM ­– About four light years away from our planet sits Proxima Centauri, the closest star to our solar system, and orbiting it is its just-discovered companion, a small Earth-like planet that, for now at least, holds the unassuming name of Proxima b.

At this distance, Proxima b is…

Astrophysics' new LIGO-enabled paradigm for exploring the universe, the latest findings of the Mars rovers, and bioinspired robotics are just a few topics in optical engineering to be featured at SPIE Optics + Photonics in August.

More than 3,000 reports on the latest in research and…

Meeting weekly this semester for the Astronomy 6500 seminar, Cornell undergraduate and graduate students are conducting research – with six other universities – to help NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory determine a rover landing site for the Mars 2020 mission.

The course is a hybrid…

Harriet Spanel, who served Whatcom County for more than two decades as a state legislator, has died. She was 77.

“We have lost an incredible leader and a dear friend,” said Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island, who succeeded Spanel as senator representing the 40th District, in a press…

The Faculty Senate Diversity and Social Justice Grants are awarded for faculty teaching and research that focuses on building Western Washington University's capacity for embracing and engaging issues related to diversity, equity and social justice. Initial funding for these grants was…

The American Physical Society’s Committee on Education recently awarded Western Washington University’s Department of Physics and Astronomy with the COE Award for Improving Undergraduate Physics Education, one of two undergraduate programs from the United States in 2015 to receive…

What is it like to explore Mars? What do the latest discoveries from the Red Planet tell us about our own past on Earth -- or our future?

Find out in person next month at Western Washington University, via a talk by professor Melissa Rice, one of 400 scientists worldwide to help pilot…

Kodiak Murphy of Quilcene was honored by Western Washington University as an Outstanding Graduate for the 2014-15 academic year at spring commencement, Saturday, June 13.
Faculty members from dozens of academic departments and programs select one graduate to honor as the Outstanding…

While Pluto has not been an official planet since 2006, it will be stealing the spotlight when a NASA spacecraft makes the closest-ever encounter with it on Tuesday, July 14.

The Spark Museum of Electrical Invention will be hosting Pluto Revealed, a free event from 5-7 p.m. Tuesday to…

Western Washington University assistant professor Melissa Rice and lecturers Regina Barber DeGraaff and Mike Kraft will be involved in a special event celebrating NASA's flyby of Pluto on July 14.

The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held at The Spark…

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