News & Events

Remembering Adair Payson Lane, Astronomy PhD '82

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Adair Payson Lane, UMass Astronomy PhD 1982, passed away at her home in Centerville, MA, this February. Adair Lane was a graduate of Wellesley College (1970) and came to work as a research technician at UMass Amherst. She subsequently enrolled in the graduate program, where her research was in radio astronomy, and her supervisor was Nobel Laureate Joseph Taylor. After graduating, she had positions at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, Boston University, and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, doing research in radio astronomy and teaching at Boston University. While at the Center for Astrophysics, she played a leading role with the Antarctic Submillimeter Telescope and Remote Observatory (AST/RO), traveling to Antarctica twice. Over her career, she authored or co-authored more than 100 articles and abstracts on planetary science, stellar masers, and the interstellar medium. Her early paper on the lunar albedo continues to be cited in current publications.

Professors Pope and Calzetti appointed to serve on STDTs

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Professor Alexandra Pope and Professor Daniela Calzetti were appointed to serve on the new NASA Science and Technology Definition Teams (STDTs) for the Far Infrared Surveyor and the Large UV/Optical/Near-infrared Telescope Mission Concept Studies, respectively. Over the coming years the STDTs will play a central role in preparing compelling and executable mission concepts for consideration by the 2020 Decadal Survey.

Kevin Harrington selected for 21st Century Leaders Award

Monday, March 14, 2016

Kevin Harrington has been selected as one of 10 graduating UMass seniors for the 21st Century Leaders Award and will be honored during the graduation week. In addition to his extensive and successful research work, Kevin has been an active leader in many different organizations on and off campus, including teaching drumming in the African House, leading meditation sessions, actively participating in international peace leadership organizations, and peer mentoring. That is on top of being a double major in astronomy and psychology/neurosciences. Please join me in congratulating Kevin for his well deserved recognition. -- Professor Min Yun

Allison Kirkpatrick named top 3 pick in AAS Brochure

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Astronomy Department graduate student Allison Kirkpatrick was recently named as a top three pick in the AAS brochure advertising the AAS science journals.

Professor Daniela Calzetti recipient of 2016 Tage Erlander Visiting Professorship

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Professor Daniela Calzetti is the recipient of the 2016 Tage Erlander Visiting Professorship from the Swedish Research Council. The Professorship is awarded annually to an internationally prominent researcher in the areas of natural and engineering sciences.

In connection with the Professorship, Professor Calzetti will be spending six months during the Spring and Summer of 2016 at the University of Stockholm (Sweden).

The official text of the award can be found at:

Details of the Tage Erlander Visiting Professorship can be found at:


Freshman Astronomy major Kaci Naughton receives award

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Kaci Naughton, a freshman astronomy major on the Astrophysics BS track, is awarded the Provost's Undergraduate Research Fellowship (PURF) for 2015. She will be mentored by Kevin Harrington, who is a senior astronomy major and a member of the Commonwealth Honors College with an extensive research experience in the department.

Professor Emeritus William Irvine elected to 2nd 3 year term

Thursday, August 20, 2015

William Irvine, Professor Emeritus in Astronomy , has been elected to a second 3 year term on the Steering Committee of Division F of the International Astronomical Union (IAU). Division F , "Planetary Systems and Bioastronomy", has some 1700 members whose research is supported by 3 Commissions --- "Meteors, Meteorites, and Interplanetary Dust"; "Exoplanets and the Solar System"; and “Astrobiology”. Professor Irvine is a Past President of the Astrobiology Commission.

The International Astronomical Union was founded in 1919 with the mission of promoting and safeguarding the science of astronomy in all its aspects through international cooperation. Its more than 11,000 individual members from 73 countries are professional astronomers from all over the world at the Ph.D. level and beyond. The scientific and educational activities of the IAU are organized by its 9 scientific Divisions and through its specialized Commissions and Working Groups. The long-term policy of the IAU is defined by the triennial General Assembly and implemented by the Executive Committee. The American Astronomical Society and UMass’ Department of Astronomy are sending Professor Irvine to participate in this year’s General Assembly in Honolulu.