Mapping black hole collisions gives astronomers (and hitchhikers) a new guide, RIT researchers in LIGO-Virgo Scientific Collaboration help pinpoint merger. AST faculty researchers helped pinpoint the precise location of a gravitational wave signal—and the black hole merger that produced it—detected by gravitational wave observatories in the United States and in Europe. Full Article
Joel Kastner will be a Discussion Leader at next week's Gordon Conference on Origins of Solar Systems Titled: "Making a Habitable Planet"
The Gordon Conference on Origins of Solar Systems brings together a diverse group of scientists to discuss research at the frontier of understanding how planets and planetary systems form. Invited speakers from the fields of astronomy, astrophysics, cosmochemistry, planetary science, and geochemistry will present their latest findings. At this meeting discussions will take place with a focus on how the Earth and its analogs received their inventory of volatile compounds that provide the basis for a habitable world.
AST Faculty Michael Zemcov took CSTARS, the undergraduate student-lead star tracking camera, to NASA Wallops Flight Facility in VA for integration and test. The group successfully integrated the instrument into the payload and took images of simulated stars at cryogenic temperatures at optical wavelengths, which is a first. Unfortunately they ran into trouble with the electronics and had to come off the mission, but we’re almost ready to fly.
AST Faculty Michael Zemcov published Nature Paper: Measurement of the cosmic optical backgroundusing the long range reconnaissance imager onNew Horizons Full Article Here
Dr. Zemcov also published a paper in the Astrophysical Journal on: New Spectral Evidence of an Unaccounted Component of the Near-infrared Extragalactic Background Light from the CIBER Full Article Here
A recent study led by AST PhD Student Dennis Bowen presents the first exploration of gas dynamics in relativistic binary black hole systems in which each black hole is surrounded by its own small accretion disk. View Full Article Here
In a new study accepted for publication AST student Andrew Lipnicky and AST Faculty Sukanya Chakrabarti explore whether the current orientation of satellite galaxies around the Milky Way upholds or challenges the accepted model of dark matter. Full Article: http://www.astronomy.com/news/2017/03/dark-matter-around-the-milky-way
AST Graduate students Triana Almeyda, Chi Nguyen, Brittany Vanderhoof and Meaghann Stoelting organized the Physics/Astronomy Spectroscopy exhibit at the Women in STEM@RIT Girls Soaring Event. This event is held to raise awareness of women in STEM fields to young girls.
From Left: B.Vanderhoof, C.Nguyen, T.Almeyda and M.Stoelting
Kristina Punzi, current AST PhD student, was accepted into the AAS Astronomy Ambassadors program ( https://aas.org/outreach/aas-astronomy-ambassadors-program). She was inducted at the 229th AAS meeting (January 2-3, 2017).
Kristina presented at the 229th American Astronomical Society meeting in Grapevine, TX this past week (January 3-7, 2017). The title of her talk was: "An X-ray and Optical Spectroscopic Study of the Perplexing Star RZ Piscium." The undergraduate students she mentored during the 2016 summer REU (Lydia Gingerich - Haverford College, Tori Knapp - Ithaca College) presented a poster entitled: "The Evolutionary Status of the Enigmatic Field Star RZ Piscium: A Search for Comoving Companions." She was also interviewed by Astronomy Magazine about my research.
Manuela Campanelli, AST Faculty and director of the Center for Computational Relativity and Gravitation, presented "Black Hole Mergers, Gravitational Waves and their Gaseous Environments" at the Gruber Cosmology Conference at Yale University on Oct. 7 in celebration of the Gruber Cosmology Prize presented in July to Rainer Weiss, Kip Thorne, Ronald Drever and the entire LIGO team, including members of Campanelli's center, for the first detection of gravitational waves from the collision of two black holes. Link
SoPA faculty members Jeyhan Kartaltepe, Billy Vazquez and Andy Robinson, along with Astrophysical Sciences and Technology Ph.D. students Triana Almeyda and Yashashree Jadhav, presented some of their latest research at a Workshop on supermassive black holes in galaxies, “Hidden Monsters: Obscured Active Galactic Nuclei and Connections to Galaxy Evolution". Drs Robinson and Vazquez presented talks on a large observational campaign using the Spitzer Space Telescope to map the interstellar dust distribution in active galactic nuclei, while 4th-year PhD student Almeyda presented a poster on her computer simulations of time-varying infrared emission from the dust. Second-year PhD student Jadhav presented a poster on the first results from her project, which uses Hubble Space Telescope images to search for recoiling supermassive black holes in nearby galaxies. Dr Kartaltepe presented a talk on near infrared spectroscopic observations, obtained with the Subaru and Keck telescopes on Mauna Kea, Hawaii, of distant galaxies hosting obscured active nuclei.
The workshop was hosted by Dartmouth College, in Hanover, NH, USA, 8th-12th August 2016.
From Left: Astrophysical Sciences and Technology PhD students Triana Almeyda and Yashashree Jadhav , at the "Hidden Monsters” workshop.