The Astronomy Department is proud to announce the recent graduation of 11 Astronomy majors. Commencement was held on Friday, May 8, 2015, and a Senior Celebration was held by CNS, as well as the departments of Physics and Astronomy, on Saturday, May 9, 2015. The graduating seniors are Michael Buckley, Sean Fidler, Christian Haughwout, Joseph Howlett, Nathan Kimmitt, Rebekah Kovach, Stephen Mahala, Michael Molinsky, Alex Schwartz and Tazeem Siddiqui and Katherine Sisson. In addition, Ryan Horton will graduate in Summer 2015 when he returns from his year abroad at Heidelberg University.
Astronomy major Aaron Dunbrack '17 one of four winners of the 2015 Barry Goldwater Scholarship in Education. Professor Daniel Wang is the faculty sponsor.
Dennis Overbye's latest video, currently on the front page of the New York Times online, features videos by Professor James Lowenthal (Smith College/FCAD Professor) from the LMT/GTM, which is an important part of the new Event Horizon Telescope project.
UMass Amherst Sunwheel and sky-watching events mark the Summer Solstice on June 21.
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.