Prof. Edo Berger has been named one of the winners of the third annual Star Family Challenge for Promising Scientific Research, a faculty research award program established at the suggestion of James A. Star ’83. The Star Family Challenge provides seed funding for high-risk, high-impact projects in the natural and social sciences.
"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.
Phillip Hopkins 2008, won this year's Warner Prize from the American Astronomical Society for his research on galaxy formation and evolution and the growth of supermassive black holes. This prize is given to recognize an early-career astronomer, who in the past five years has made significant contributions to the field of Astronomy.
Einstein's general theory of relativity predicts the emission of gravitational waves by massive celestial bodies moving though space-time. For the past century gravitational waves have eluded a direct detection, but now the LIGO Virgo Collaboration has announced the first direct detection of gravitational waves, emitted by a merging pair of black holes. Catastrophic mergers of binary systems can also produce brilliant and explosive fireworks of light, so a team of astronomers, including at Harvard, sought evidence of such an visible afterglow. Read more about Astronomers Report Results of First Search for Visible Light Associated with Gravitational Waves
Meet Moiya McTier, recipient of the 2016 Chambliss Student Achievement Award. This award is granted every year by the American Astronomical Society (AAS) to recognize exemplary research by undergraduate and graduate students. Moiya is currently a senior at Harvard University. She won this award for her work on determining exoplanet habitability using orbital eccentricity.Read more about Moiya McTier Awarded 2016 Chambliss Student Achievement Award
"Dwarf galaxies are typically very faint, and are therefore hard to find. Given that, what are our chances of finding their distant ancestors, located billions of light-years away? A recent study aims to find out."
The AAS awards Dr. Karin I. Öberg the Pierce Prize for her research on the astrochemistry and astrophysics of ices and molecules in star-forming regions and proto-planetary disks. The panel recognizes Dr. Öberg’s scientific leadership in her ability to identify important, well-defined, and tractable problems, yielding fundamental advances in the field of star and planet formation. Dr. Read more about AAS awards Dr. Karin I. Öberg the Pierce Prize
Graduate student Catherine Zucker’s research was featured on the American Astronomical Society’s “Nova” (News) site! Cara Battersby, SMA postdoc collaborator & Catherine’s REU mentor is the other co-author.
Stars are assembled in molecular clouds when matters condense and collapse under the gravitational pull. Massive stars (M > 8 Msun) are found mostly in clusters together with lower mass stellar objects (Lada & Lada 2003). How parsec-scale, massive molecular clumps collapse and fragment to give rise to a cluster of stars has been one of the central questions in star formation in the past decade. Jeans mass, the characteristic mass of fragments, is 1Msun for typical physical conditions in (pre) cluster forming clumps (Zhang et al. 2009, 2015). Read more about Qizhou Zhang: Magnetic Fields and Massive Star Formation
"Archaeologists and astronomers don’t seem to have much in common. One digs into the earth while the other looks at the sky, and a stone tool once wielded by Homo erectus couldn’t be more different from an exploding star at the edge of the visible universe...
"Our Sun is a relatively quiet star that only occasionally releases solar flares or blasts of energetic particles that threaten satellites and power grids. You might think that smaller, cooler stars would be even more sedate. However, astronomers have now identified a tiny star with a monstrous temper. It shows evidence of much stronger flares than anything our Sun produces. If similar stars prove to be just as stormy, then potentially habitable planets orbiting them are likely to be much less hospitable than previously thought" Read more about Tiny, Ultracool Star is Super Stormy