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Moiya McTier

Moiya McTier Awarded 2016 Chambliss Student Achievement Award

February 9, 2016

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.

AAS awards Dr. Karin I. Öberg the Pierce Prize

AAS awards Dr. Karin I. Öberg the Pierce Prize

January 5, 2016

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.

Qizhou Zhang: Magnetic Fields and Massive Star Formation

Qizhou Zhang: Magnetic Fields and Massive Star Formation

December 1, 2015

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).

Professor Ramesh Narayan was elected a Fellow of The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS

Professor Ramesh Narayan was elected a Fellow of The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS

November 19, 2015

Professor Ramesh Narayan was elected a Fellow of The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS). TWAS is a global science academy based in Trieste, Italy, working to advance science and engineering for sustainable prosperity in the developing world.

Read More: http://twas.org/article/twas-elects-44-new-fellows

Tiny, Ultracool Star is Super Stormy

Tiny, Ultracool Star is Super Stormy

November 19, 2015

"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"

2015  Fellows of the American Physical Society

2015 Fellows of the American Physical Society

October 13, 2015

Avi Loeb (Harvard), Douglas Finkbeiner (Harvard), and Patrick Slane (Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory) have been selected as Fellows of the American Physical Society (APS). This is a high honor, restricted to 0.5% of the membership in a given year. They were nominated by the APS Division of Astrophysics (DAP) because of their leading contributions to the field. APS will present the Fellowship certificates at the APS April Meeting.

BBC program on the Cosmic Dawn

BBC program on the Cosmic Dawn

September 9, 2015
Below is the trailer of the BBC program on the Cosmic Dawn at
The program aired at 8PM England on September 9. The link to the video is below. You might be amused by the closing couple of minutes of where Avi Loeb grades the scientific accuracy of the biblical story of genesis.
Could Alien Life Spread 'Like a Virus' to the Stars?

Could Alien Life Spread 'Like a Virus' to the Stars?

August 31, 2015
"As astronomical techniques become more advanced, a team of astrophysicists think they will be able to not only detect the signatures of alien life in exoplanetary atmospheres, but also track its relentless spread throughout the galaxy.

The research, headed by Henry Lin of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA), assumes that this feat may be possible in a generation or so and that the hypothesis of panspermia may act as the delivery system for alien biology to hop from one star system to another."

Successful Undergraduate Field Trip to Hawaii!

Successful Undergraduate Field Trip to Hawaii!

August 25, 2015

August 24, 2015, a group of Harvard Astronomy students returned from the first annual undergraduate field trip to Hawaii.  They spent six days on the Big Island, which included a visit to Volcanoes National Park and Punalu'u Beach (black sand beach), and then three nights on Mauna Kea.  On the summit they got in-depth tours of several telescopes, and attempted to use the