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Image of planet and sun

Is Earthly Life Premature from a Cosmic Perspective?

August 2, 2016

CFA Press Release: "The universe is 13.8 billion years old, while our planet formed just 4.5 billion years ago. Some scientists think this time gap means that life on other planets could be billions of years older than ours. However, new theoretical work suggests that present-day life is actually premature from a cosmic perspective."

"If you ask, 'When is life most likely to emerge?' you might naively say, 'Now,'" says lead author Avi Loeb of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. "But we find that the chance of life grows much higher in the distant future."

Adam Riess Photo

Adam Riess, Nobel Laureate and ’96 alumnus of the Harvard Astronomy Department, named a Bloomberg Distinguished Professor at Johns Hopkins

July 11, 2016

Adam Riess, Nobel Laureate and ’96 alumnus of the Harvard Astronomy Department, has just been named a Bloomberg Distinguished Professor at Johns Hopkins. Supported by a $350M gift from Michael Bloomberg, the BDPs will form a cohort of 50 world-class, interdisciplinary scholars at Johns Hopkins. Adam is the 7th internally selected faculty member to be chosen for this honor.

supercomputer simulation of the cosmological environment where primordial gas undergoes the direct collapse to a black hole

A New Kind of Black Hole, Once a Theory, Now Firmly within Observers' Sight

July 11, 2016

"Astronomers Aaron Smith and Volker Bromm of The University of Texas at Austin, working with Avi Loeb of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, have discovered evidence for an unusual kind of black hole born extremely early in the universe. They showed that a recently discovered unusual source of intense radiation is likely powered by a "direct-collapse black hole," a type of object predicted by theorists more than a decade ago."

Full CfA Press Release: https://www.cfa.harvard.edu/news/2016-15

Dave Charbonneau awarded a Blavatnik Fellowship

Dave Charbonneau awarded a Blavatnik Fellowship

June 21, 2016

Dave Charbonneau has been awarded the 2016 Blavatnik National Award for Young Scientists in Physical Sciences & Engineering. The award citation recognizes: "pioneering discoveries in the field of exoplanets and the development of novel observational methods to detect and characterize exoplanets with the ultimate goal of discovering habitable worlds".

The announcement may be read at: http://blavatnikawards.org/honorees/profile/david-charbonneau/

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