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AST Annual Research Talks Jamboree

October 2018
Graduate students in the Astrophysical Sciences and Technology program presented highlights from their research projects at the annual AST Research Talks Jamboree Friday, October 26th, 2018. This event provides the opportunity for students to practice giving 
research presentations in an informal and friendly setting, while also providing those new to the program with an  overview of what people are working on. Although it has a serious purpose, because it is always held around Halloween,  it’s become a tradition to dress creatively.


Here’s a link to Dr. Robinson's  photos of the AST Research Talks Jamboree 2018

Photo #21 is a group picture of the presentation prize winners. Left to right: Emily Wilson (pre-PhD qualifier/MS, honorable mention; Meaghann Stoelting (pre-qualifier/MS, best talk); Kevin Cooke (post-PhD qualifier, honorable mention), Yashashree Jadhav (post-PhD qualifier, best talk).

RIT alumni recognized for outstanding research on black holes Researchers celebrated at annual Graduate Alumni Awards reception

October 2018

Triana Almeyda ’17 Ph.D. (astrophysical sciences and technology) received the Ph.D. Dissertation Award for her research on dusty molecular gas clouds that surround active galactic nuclei, the supermassive black holes at the center of large galaxies.

Daniel Wysecki ’17 MS (astrophysical sciences and technology) earned the MS Thesis Award for his research using gravitational wave measurements to better understand merging black holes and neutron stars.

You can read the full article on University New here:

AST Graduates win 2018 RIT Graduate Education Dissertation Awards

July 2018

Alumna Dr. Triana Almeyda is the recipient of the 2018 RIT Graduate Education Dissertation Award for exceptional PhD-level research.

AST PhD Graduate Student Daniel Wysocki is the recipient of the 2018 RIT Graduate Education MS Thesis Award for exceptional thesis research.  Daniel received his MS Degree in December of 2018 on the way to his PhD degree.

RIT Observatory Open Houses

July 10, 2018

It's time for Mars! This summer, the Earth will catch up to Mars as they orbit around the Sun. The orbit of Mars is not a perfect circle: sometimes it's closer to the Sun (and the Earth), sometimes it's farther away. This summer, Mars will be nearly as close to the Sun -- and the Earth! -- as it ever gets. That means that this summer is the best time to view Mars in many years!

The RIT Observatory will hold two Open Houses specially focused on Mars -- but Jupiter and Saturn will also be easy to see. Come and join us to get a good look at the Red Planet and some of its friends.
Friday, July 20 (rain date Sat, July 21): 9:30 - 11:00 PM 
Friday, Aug 3 (rain date Sat, Aug 4): 9:30 - 11:00 PM
Check the AST Observatory Website: a day before each event for a status update. Remember that we can't see other planets when the skies are covered with clouds ... 

AST graduate students win awards at 231st American Astronomical Society meeting

January 12, 2018

Posters presented by AST Ph.D. students Yashashree Jadhav and Chi Nguyen earned them both Chambliss Astronomy Achievement Awards at the 2018 Winter meeting of the AAS in Washington DC, this January. Yashashree and Chi were among only 6 graduate students selected for these awards. They were part of a large RIT contingent at the meeting, including some 15 students, post-docs, faculty and alumni. As well as the award winners,  Jesse Bublitz and Annie Dickson-Vandervelde also presented posters, while Kristina Punzi, Kevin Cooke, Jake Lange and recent alumna Dr. Triana Almeyda ('17) all gave talks. In his capacity as the current chair of the AAS Committee on Employment, Dr. Joel Kastner, interim AST Program Director, oversaw a wide range of career and professional development events and workshops, ably assisted by AST alumnus and fellow committee member Dr. Rudy Montez (’10).

AST graduate students: (left to right) K.Cooke, Y.Jadhav, J. Bublitz, C.Nguyen, K.Punzi, and A.Dickson-Vandervelde

AST PhD student's Mysterious "Winking" Star research published and highlighted by NASA

December 21, 2017

Kristina Punzi, AST PhD Student, published a paper concerning a mysterious "winking" star RZ Piscium, that suddenly dims by a factor of 10-20 in brightness. Her paper describes her research team’s new XMM-Newton X-ray and ground-based (Keck and Lick Observatory) optical spectroscopy results that (a) nail down the youth of the star and (b) provide strong evidence that the star's dimming is most likely caused by the intermittently intervening wreckage of one or more giant planet(s) now being "eaten" by the star.

Additional Resources:

AST had the largest contingent of student presenters at the Astronomical Society of New York's annual meeting

November 10, 2017

On November 10-11, AST students, faculty, and postdocs attended the annual meeting of the Astronomical Society of New York at Union College in Schenectady, NY. Three students (Kevin Cooke, Yashashree Jahdav, and Chi Nguyen) gave talks at the meeting while five students (Victoria Butler, Annie Dickson Vandervelde, Trent Seelig, Meaghann Stoelting, and Brittany Vanderhoof) presented posters. AST had the largest contingent of student presenters at the meeting and all were well-received.