"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
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.
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.
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.
With the goal of inspiring young kids to enter science, the Science Education Center of the Smithsonian Institution produced the following video about Avi Loeb's unconventional career path from a farm in Israel to Harvard,
"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."
Prof. Soderberg participated in the 2015 BBC Stargazing Live television show at Jodrell Bank radio telescope (http://www.jodrellbank.net/) during the total solar eclipse in the UK on March 20. Together with Professor Brian Cox and Dara O'Brianin, she described the the life, death, and the "sound" of stellar explosions as compiled by the Harvard/CfA Supernova Forensics Team.
We are very sad to report that our colleague Alex Dalgarno passed away on April 9. Alex was an extraordinary scientist and teacher, who led for decades the application of atomic and molecular physics to astrophysics. He conceived of ITAMP, the Institute for Atomic and Molecular Physics, and led it for many years. Read more about Alex Dalgarno
Physics World: An Italian bid to host the headquarters of the world’s largest radio telescope has been judged superior to a British proposal – yet it has failed to get the green light. Edwin Cartlidge reports:
Physics World: UK and Italy vie over telescope HQ (pdf)
"A song about the greatest astrophysics professor who ever lived: Edo Berger. After a trip to the Whipple Observatory in Mt. Hopkins AZ, the students in Astro 100 wanted to make a video about their experience there and, of course, about Edo."
A Science magazine issued a special issue in March, 2015 which was dedicated to the 100 years anniversary of Einstein's General Theory of Relativity. The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT), a project in which members of the Astronomy department are involved, is mentioned on the last two pages as the final frontier.Read more about The Dark Lab: Special Issue of Science features EHT