"World-famous theoretical cosmologist Stephen W. Hawking discussed the history of and recent breakthroughs in research on black holes at the inauguration of Harvard's Black Hole Initiative in Sanders Theatre on Monday afternoon.
Astronomer explains plan to send tiny spaceships to Alpha Centauri
"A group of astronomers and technology entrepreneurs has announced an audacious plan to send a fleet of tiny spaceships traveling at a fifth the speed of light to the nearest star, Alpha Centauri.
"The plan would see humankind leap out of the solar system with the aid of an ultralight vessel made of what are essentially cellphone components and a thin, reflective light sail propelled by an enormous array of Earth-based lasers.
Last February a team of astronomers reported detecting an afterglow from a mysterious event called a fast radio burst, which would pinpoint the precise position of the burst's origin, a longstanding goal in studies of these mysterious events. These findings were quickly called into question by follow-up observations. New research by Harvard astronomers Peter Williams and Edo Berger shows that the radio emission believed to be an afterglow actually originated from a distant galaxy's core and was unassociated with the fast radio burst.
Abraham “Avi” Loeb, Chair of Harvard’s Department of Astronomy and C. Meghan Urry, Director of Yale University’s Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics, take us on a tour of these remarkable discoveries.
Marion Dierickx is a 4th-year graduate student working with Prof Avi Loeb on galaxies in the Local Group. With approximately fifty members, the Local Group is our cosmic backyard. In the same way that detailed studies in the Solar neighborhood have informed our understanding of stellar populations, the Local Group is the closest laboratory to study galactic evolution. Marion works on modeling the infall of dwarf galaxies into their larger neighbors, the Milky Way and Andromeda. Leveraging the capabilities of N-Body simulations, she hopes to learn about the evolving structures and morphologies of Local Group dwarfs. Marion serves as a student representative to the Astronomy Department’s Committee on Academic Studies. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking adventures, traveling and horse riding.