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Thu, 11/21/2013 - 9:16am -- cahsps


Detection by international LIGO Collaborative opens new window on the universe with detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes
RIT CCRG researchers who contributed to this amazing discovery include AST Students: Jam Sadiq, Brennan Ireland, Yuanhao (Harry) Zhang, Dennis Bowen, Jake Lange, & Zachary Silberman and AST Faculty: John Whelan, Jason Nordhaus, Carlos Lousto, Manuela Campanelli, Johsua Faber, & Yosef Zlochower.  Also including Physics Undergradute student Monica Rizzo. 
RIT team’s 2005 landmark research contributes to identification of waveform signals
Research conducted by RIT AST Faculty including John Whelan, Richard OShaughnessy, Carlos Lousto and Manuela Campanelli was integral to the breakthrough detection of gravitational waves from binary black holes that was announced today by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) Scientific Collaboration.
Feb. 11, 2016
RIT's Senior Lecturer Brian Koberlein, Professor Michael Richmond, and Ph.D. student Kevin Cooke join radio host Evan Dawson's Monthly Science Roundtable for a discussion about a possible Planet Nine beyond the orbit of Pluto. The evidence for the claim as well as possible problems with the evidence are examined as they take questions from the audience about the claim and planetary science.
Feb. 1, 2016
2015 AST Ph.D. graduate finds evidence for a newborn planet around a nearby, young star
Jan. 2016
This work was directly motivated by Valerie’s Ph.D. dissertation project, in which she obtained very similar Gemini Planet Imager results for another nearby, young star (V4046 Sgr). - AAS NOVA - A Gap in TW Hydrae's Disks - Cosmic Diary - Observing planet formation at close range

Next-generation infrared detectors win NSF funding: RIT and Raytheon Vision Systems collaboration could advance astronomy

December, 2015
Scientists, including AST Faculty Donald Figer, at Rochester Institute of Technology and Raytheon Vision Systems are getting closer to developing infrared detectors grown on silicon wafers for ground-based astronomy. Other application areas—such as homeland security, remote sensing and biomedical imaging—could also benefit from the technology.
December 13, 2015
AST graduate student Alexander Rasskazov presents talk on pulsar timing detection.
Alexander presented a talk at the "28th TEXAS Symposium on Relativistic Astrophysics" in Geneva, Switzerland December 13-18. Mr. Rasskazov's talk was entitled "Pulsar timing detection of gravitational waves from binary supermassive black holes".
December 2015
Podcast: Jorge Salazar from TACC discusses the mysteries of black holes with Manuela Campanelli, professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology and the Director of the Center for Computational Relativity and Gravitation.


November 2015
RIT professor shares black-hole research at supercomputing conference Nov. 18: Manuela Campanelli gives invited talk at SC 2015
Campanelli, director of the Center for Computational Relativity and Gravitation at RIT, will present “Revealing the Hidden Universe with Supercomputer Simulations of Black Hole Mergers” on Nov. 18. She will share recent developments in the field of numerical relativity and relativistic astrophysics.
September 2015
Dr. Andy Robinson, recent AST graduate Dr. Davide Lena and current AST Ph.D. student Triana Almeyda presented results from several research projects at the Torus 2015 Workshop, hosted by the University of Southhampton in Winchester, UK, September 14 - 17. The purpose of the workshop was to discuss recent progress in understanding the so-called "dusty molecular torus", that surrounds the central supermassive back holes in active galactic nuclei. Triana was selected to give an oral presentation on her work developing computer simulations of the time-dependent response of the infrared dust emission from the torus to variations in the AGN luminosity. Dr. Robinson’s team also presented posters based on three recent publications, led by Dr. Lena (, AST Ph.D. student Billy Vazquez ( and former post-doc Dr. Dinalva Sales ( 

September 2015
RIT on TV: RIT Alumna Valerie Rapson encourages women in STEM - on WNYT
Valerie Rapson a PhD graduate of the AST Program at RIT now leads outreach efforts at the Dudley Observatory in Schenectady, NY.
Her goal is to provide hands-on experience for students - especially female and minority students - in the hope that more will be engaged and pursue education and careers in the sciences. 
August 2015
Of the 15 papers selected as high impact research publications in the focus areas of the
forthcoming International Astronomical Union General Assembly, two were led by members or graduates of AST.
One by Joel Kastner and his former AST PhD student Rudy Montez (2010):
J. H. Kastner, R. Montez Jr., B. Balick et al. 2012 ,The Astronomical Journal 144 58
The other by AST PhD graduate Fabio Antonini (2011, advised by David Merritt):
Fabio Antonini, 2013, ApJ 763 62
August 2015
Astrophysical Sciences & Technology Ph.D. Dissertation Defenses: 
Thursday, August 6, 2015 at 10:00 a.m. Carlson Center 76-1125
Friday, August 7, 2015 at 10:00 a.m. Carlson Center 76-1125
Monday, August 10, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. Carlson Center 76-1125
July 2015
Simulated map of missing satellite galaxies could answer dark matter puzzle
May 2015
Astrophysical Sciences & Technology Ph.D. Dissertation Defense: Valerie Rapson Infrared Investigations of the Composition and Structure of Nearby Protoplanetary Disks
Tuesday, May 19, 2015 at 10:00 a.m. Gosnell Hall 8 - 1250
April 2015
Physics sophomore Luke Shadler accompanied Dr. Andy Robinson to spend a week visiting the Astrophysicsresearch group at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), Porto Alegre, Brazil, during April. Dr. Robinson and recent AST Ph.D. graduate Dr. Davide Lena are working with Dr. Thaisa Storchi-Bergmann and her group at UFRGS on a joint project to map gas flows around supermassive black holes in active galactic nuclei, using observations made with the Gemini North and South Telescopes on Mauna Kea Hawaii, and Cerro Pachon, Chile, respectively. Luke began been working with Dr. Robinson  during his freshman year, using a sophisticated computer program to model the structure and velocity field of the gas flows for comparison with the observations. His work expertise with this program so impressed Dr. Storchi-Bergmann that he was personally invited to UFRGS, to provide hands-on training for her graduate students in the use of this software. 
Photo: RIT Physics Sophomore Luke Shadler about to begin a presentation during a visit to the Astrophysics Research group at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil
April 2015
RIT PhD student Valerie Rapson and RIT Faculty Joel Kastner’s research was highlighted on the front page of the Gemini Observatory’s website and in the article titled Star Pair’s Dusty Disk Shines Light on Planet Formation on April 2, 2015.  
April 2015
Friday, April 17, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. Gosnell Hall 8 - 1250
February 2015
Celebrating 100 years of General Relativity, WebsEdge produced a video featuring RIT's Center for Computational Relativity and Gravitation
For more information about the theory of relativity developed by Albert Einstein please visit the 2015 International Year of Light website
February 2015
General Relativity turns 100; Astrophysicist Manuela Campanelli puts Einstein in context in AAAS talkRIT professor’s career shaped by Einstein’s theory
February 2015
RIT Faculty Sukanya Chakrabarti published a paper announcing the discovery of clustered Cepheid variables that mark the location of a dwarf galaxy she had predicted several years ago.  The discovery was widely covered by the media: by NBC NewsScientific AmericanSky and Telescope ,BBC, and many other media outlets.  This discovery paves the way towards surveying the structure of our galaxy at low latitudes, and can critically shape our understanding of near-field cosmology.
January 2015
RIT AST Graduate Students, AST Faculty & Alumni presented at the American Astronomical Society’s January 2015 Conference
January 2015
Alexander Rasskazov, a graduate student in astrophysics (advisor D. Merritt), delivered a talk at the meeting “Black Holes in Dense Star Clusters” at the Aspen Center for Physics in Aspen, CO. The title of the talk was “Dynamical Evolution of a Supermassive Binary in a Rotating Galactic Nucleus”