Professor Emeritus William M. Irvine has been elected to the Steering Committee of the new IAU Division F, Planetary Systems and Bioastronomy. Commission F "deals with our Solar System, extrasolar planetary systems, and bioastronomy. To this purpose, the Division promotes studies concerning planetary systems, including our own, aimed at the understanding of their formation and evolution, from the point of view of the dynamics and of the physics, as well as of the occurrence of conditions favourable to the development of life in the universe. Division F promotes the dissemination of reliable physical and dynamical data concerning the astronomical objects in the above fields, and oversees the assignment of proper nomenclature and discovery credits, where appropriate."
Some 1740 of the IAU's >10,000 members belong to Division F.
Professor Daniela Calzetti has been selected as one of the faculty members to be recognized at the ninth annual UMass Amherst Faculty Convocation. This event, to be held on Friday, October 4 at 11:00 am in Bowker Auditorium, will be a celebration of research and creative activity that has achieved national and/or international recognition in recent years. As an honoree, she will receive a crystal statuette, which will be presented to her during the convocation ceremony.
Professor Daniela Calzetti was recently awarded a Treasury Program on the Hubble Space Telescope for 154 orbits, to use the powerful WFC3 Camera on board the HST to image nearby galaxies from the ultraviolet to the red. The program is called LEGUS: Legacy ExtraGalactic UV Survey, and will be executed on the HST starting in the Fall of 2013. In addition to the 154 primary orbits, Professor Calzetti was also awarded 154 parallel orbits, that will increase the legacy value of the survey.
Two Astronomy Department graduate students, Joseph Burchett and Brandt Gaches, were awarded the Summer 2013 Fellowship of the Massachusetts Space Grant Consortium.
Allison Kirkpatrick has been selected to receive a 2013-14 Graduate School Fellowship. The Graduate School Fellowship was created to recognize and reward excellence among a select group of incoming and continuing graduate students.
The call for LMT shared-risk Early Science (ES) programs has yielded a total of 34 proposals (18 Mexico, 16 UMass/Five Colleges), that involved 146 different researchers (including students) world-wide (67 Mexico, 22 UMass/Five Colleges and 57 at other non-partner U.S. and international institutes). After a review, successful proposals will be scheduled and executed by the UMass and Mexican astronomers during the 10 week period starting on May 1, 2013. The details of the LMT Early Science program can be found at the LMT/GTM website.
Senior Astronomy student Kelly Malone is one of four undergraduate students recognized as the UMass Amherst Rising Researchers, which is an award sponsored by University Relations and Research Engagement. Kelly, who is a double-major in physics and astrophysics, and others are recognized for their achievements in research, scholarship, and creative activity.
Just-forming stars, like growing babies, are always hungry and must “feed” on huge amounts of gas and dust from dense envelopes surrounding them at birth. Now a team of astronomers including Robert Gutermuth, a University of Massachusetts Amherst expert in imaging data from the Spitzer Space Telescope, reports observing an unusual “baby” star that periodically emits infrared light bursts, suggesting it may be twins, that is, a binary star. The discovery is reported this month in Nature.
Professor Daniela Calzetti has been recently nominated one of the 40 scientists selected by NASA, and approved by ESA, to participate in the Euclid Consortium. The total number of Euclid Consortium Members in US Institutions is 54, between the recently selected and the pre-existing ones. Euclid is a European Space Agency mission to map the Dark Universe, which will be launched in 2020. For more information, see the NASA press release.
Professor Daniela Calzetti has recently been offered the Chair of Blaauw Professor for the year 2013. This honorary position was created in 1997 by the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences for the field of astronomy and astrophysics to be held at the Kapteyn Astronomical Institute in The Netherlands. The criteria for the selection are excellence in research, broad knowledge of astronomy, and an outstanding international status in astronomy.
The cover story for the February 2012 issue of the Sky & Telescope magazine is the Event Horizon Telescope, and the same article mentions the LMT as one of the key elements of this exciting project.
The results are published in three papers in the November 18 issue of Science magazine. Among the leaders of the three studies is Todd Tripp of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. This has already received a fair bit of coverage in the press. Here are a few of the on-line stories: Galaxies That Don't Recycle Live Hard, Die Young - Galaxy Halos Recycle Interstellar Gas Into Baby Stars - The Hidden Mass and Large Spatial Extent of a Post-Starburst Galaxy Outflow - The Large, Oxygen-Rich Halos of Star-Forming Galaxies Are a Major Reservoir of Galactic Metals -NASA's Hubble Confirms that Galaxies Are the Ultimate Recyclers
The Orchard Hill Observatory offers University of Massachusetts students an opportunity to view constellations, planets and stars on clear nights. Open Wednesday or Thursday nights at 8:30 p.m., the observatory is, according to its student directors, an underutilized resource. Please click on the link to read the full article - Orchard Hill Observatory draws in stargazers
AMHERST, Mass. - Astronomers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Mexico's Instituto Nacional de Astrofisica, Optica y Electronica announced today that a giant new millimeter-wave radio telescope, one of the largest in the world designed to probe the history of star formation in the Universe, has collected its first light spectrum from a distant galaxy.
Max Curran, an Astronomy Major, is a recipient of a William F. Field Alumni Scholarship