Astrophysics

UConn Researcher an Architect for Astronomical Survey Making Observations Toward a New Understanding of the Cosmos

November 2, 2020 – Elaina Hancock – UConn Communications The Sloan Digital Sky Survey’s fifth generation – a groundbreaking project to bolster our understanding of the formation and evolution of galaxies, including the Milky Way – collected its very first observations on the evening of October 23. Image: The Sloan Digital Sky Survey’s fifth generation […]

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Astronomer Jonathan Trump interviewed on UConn 360

UConn Astrophysicist and observational astronomer Jonathan Trump was a recent guest on UConn 360, a podcast from the Storrs campus of the University of Connecticut. In this conversation, Jonathan tells about how attending a lecture as an undergraduate at Penn State captured his interest and changed the course of his professional career. Now Jonathan offers […]

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Amelia Henkel, Graduating President of the Undergraduate Women in Physics Club, speaks about her time at UConn

  Amelia Henkel, graduating Double Major in Physics and Human Rights, and President of the Undergraduate Women in Physics Club, speaks on the CLAS website about her passion for physics and human rights, and how she mastered challenges in her remarkably interdisciplinary curriculum. “We really need to interact with other disciplines,” says Amelia, “because that’s […]

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Astronomers Assemble View of Evolving Universe

The University of Connecticut’s Katherine Whitaker is part of a team of astronomers who have put together the largest and most comprehensive “history book” of the universe from 16 years’ worth of observations from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope.This image, a mosaic of nearly 7,500 separate Hubble exposures, presents a wide portrait of the distant universe and contains roughly 265,000 galaxies that stretch back through 13.3 billion years to just 500 million years after the Big Bang.

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UConn Astronomers React to First Photo of a Black Hole

This image is the first ever taken of a black hole, captured by the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) project. The black center is a direct view of the event horizon of a supermassive black hole with a mass of 6.5 billion times the Sun, lying at the center of the Virgo cluster of galaxies. The bright ring is emission from hot gas just above the event horizon, with an asymmetric shape caused by gravitational lensing of light in the strong gravity of the black hole. The EHT collaboration captured the image using a network of 8 radio telescopes that spanned the Earth.

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Kate Whitaker wins the Sloan Fellowship!

Original UConn Today article here Rising Star in Astrophysics Receives Sloan Foundation Fellowship February 19, 2019 – Jessica McBride – Office of the Vice President for Research Kate Whitaker, assistant professor of physics, stands next to a telescope inside the observatory on top of the Gant Complex on Feb. 14, 2019. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo) As […]

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Faculty Profile: UConn Astrophysicist Cara Battersby

A young Cara Battersby once scrawled out the phrase “Science is curious” in a school project about what she wanted to do when she grew up.

This simple phrase still captures Battersby’s outlook on her research about our universe.

Recently shortlisted for the 2018 Nature Research Inspiring Science Award, Battersby has been working on several projects aimed at unfolding some of the most compelling mysteries of galaxies near and far.

“I’m really interested in how stars are born,” Battersby says. “They’re the source of all life on Earth.”

Battersby is leading an international team of over 20 scientists to map the center of the Milky Way Galaxy using the Submillimeter Array in Hawaii, in a large survey called CMZoom. She was recently awarded a National Science Foundation grant to follow-up on this survey and create a 3D computer modeled map of the center of the Milky Way Galaxy.

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Physics undergrad is the recipient of 2018 Mark Miller research award

Physics major Brenna Robertson has been selected as the recipient of the 2018 Mark Miller Undergraduate Research Award. Brenna’s proposal, which focuses on modeling supermassive black hole spin using spectral emission diagrams, was selected from among a strong pool of applicants. Brenna Robertson is working with Prof. Jonathan Trump. The Mark Miller Award is a […]

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NASA awards to two physics undergraduate students

Undergraduate Physics Majors, Sam Cutler and Anthony (Josh) Machado, recently received awards from the NASA Connecticut Space Grant Consortium. Sam was awarded an Undergraduate Research Fellowship to perform research at UConn this summer working with Prof. Kate Whitaker. The title of his research project is “Examining High Redshift Rotation Curve Outside the Local Universe”. Josh […]

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One Giant Leap in Mapping the Universe

An artist’s rendering of hot material falling into a supermassive black hole, creating what is called the accretion disk, shown in orange. Reverberation mapping measures the time it takes light to travel between two areas of the accretion disk. The ‘light echo’ enables direct measurement of the mass of the black hole. This reverberation mapping […]

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Astronomers granted early science time on James Webb space telescope

Two UConn physics professors will be among the world’s first scientists to explore the universe using the new James Webb Space Telescope. The highly competitive, peer-reviewed James Webb Space Telescope Early Release Science program was created to test the capabilities of the new observatory and to showcase the tools the telescope is equipped with. Of more than 100 proposals submitted, only 13 were chosen to participate in the early release phase, including two separate proposals involving UConn researchers Kate Whitaker and Jonathan Trump, both assistant professors of physics.

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New gravity wave detection signals collision of two dead stars

For the first time, scientists have directly detected gravitational waves — ripples in space-time — in addition to light from the spectacular collision of two neutron stars. This marks the first time that a cosmic event has been viewed in both gravitational waves and light. The discovery was made using the U.S.-based Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave […]

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  1. Dr. Siddharth Mohite, UW-Milwaukee and CCA, Flatiron Institute, Dr. Siddharth Mohite, UW-Milwaukee and CCA, Flatiron Institute, "Investigating Populations across the Gravitational-Wave Mass Spectrum: Statistical Tools and Implications for Astrophysics", Astronomy Seminar11:30am 3/3
  2. Joyce Caliendo, University of Connecticut  , Joyce Caliendo, University of Connecticut , "Early Science with the Large Millimeter Telescope: Constraining the Gas Fraction of a Compact Quiescent Galaxy at z = 1.883 ", Astronomy Seminar11:00am 3/3
  3. Dr. S. Feeney, UCL, Dr. S. Feeney, UCL, "Clarifying the Hubble Constant Tension", Astronomy Seminar11:00am 2/24
  4. Dr. Kris Pardo, Jet Propulsion Laboratory  , Dr. Kris Pardo, Jet Propulsion Laboratory , "Detecting Gravitational Waves and Dark Matter with the Roman Space Telescope's Exoplanet Microlensing Survey", Astronomy Seminar11:00am 2/10
  5. Dr. A. Stevens, NSF Postdoctoral Fellow, Michigan State University and University of Michigan, Dr. A. Stevens, NSF Postdoctoral Fellow, Michigan State University and University of Michigan, "Mapping Matter in Strong Gravity: Spectral-Timing of Black Holes and Neutron Stars ", Astronomy Seminar11:00am 2/3
  6. Prof. P. Mannheim, Department of Physics, University of Connecticut, Prof. P. Mannheim, Department of Physics, University of Connecticut, "Is Dark Matter Fact or Fantasy -- Clues from the Data", Astronomy Seminar11:00am 1/27
  7. Dr. Caitlin Witt, Department of Physics and Astronomy, West Virginia University, Astronomy Seminar Dr. Caitlin Witt, Department of Physics and Astronomy, West Virginia University, Astronomy Seminar10:00am 1/20
  8. Anahita Alavi, University of California, Riverside, Anahita Alavi, University of California, Riverside, "Dwarf Galaxies Before Exciting Future Observations: The Importance of Extragalactic HST UV Imaging Surveys", Astronomy Seminar12:00pm 12/9
  9. Prof. Steven Longmore, Liverpool John Moores University, Prof. Steven Longmore, Liverpool John Moores University, "Ecosystems and Life", Astronomy Seminar10:00am 12/2
  10. Dr. Vivienne Baldassare, Washington State Univeristy  , Dr. Vivienne Baldassare, Washington State Univeristy , "Searching for active galactic nuclei in low-mass galaxies via optical variability", Astronomy Seminar11:00am 11/18
  11. Mohammad Akhshik, Department of Physics, University of Connecticut, Mohammad Akhshik, Department of Physics, University of Connecticut, "REQUIEM-2D: REsolving QUIEscent Magnified galaxies using strong gravitational lensing, 2D grism spectroscopy and multi-band photometry", Astronomy Seminar10:00am 11/4
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