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Ravenous Supermassive Black Holes May Sterilize Nearby Planets

May 31, 2017

Press coverage of a new paper in Scientific American: A new study sheds light on how damaging black holes can be to the habitability of planets throughout the Milky Way and the universe.

Link: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/ravenous-supermassive-black-holes-may-sterilize-nearby-planets/

Astrobites: https://astrobites.org/2017/05/30/blown-away-by-black-holes-losing-planetary-atmospheres-to-quasar-radiation/

Image: This artist’s conception of a distant quasar shows how luminous they can be—...

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Patrick Thaddeus

Pat Thaddeus

April 28, 2017

Dear Colleagues,

I am very sorry to report that our colleague Pat Thaddeus passed away this morning. 

Pat was a highly influential teacher and astronomer for over 50 years, including the past 30 at the CfA. His interests were extremely broad, including pioneering work on the cosmic microwave background radiation, planetary atmospheres, and large-scale studies of star formation and galactic structure. He was one of the founders of the now flourishing field of astrochemistry.  His elegant laboratory spectroscopy provided ironclad identifications of...

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Astronomy Rewind Image Capture

With Astronomy Rewind, Citizen Scientists Bring Zombie Astrophotos Back to Life

March 23, 2017

 

"A new citizen-science project will rescue tens of thousands of potentially valuable cosmic images that are mostly dead to science and bring them fully back to life. Called Astronomy Rewind, the effort, which launches today (22 March 2017), will take photographs, radio maps, and other telescopic images that have been scanned from the pages of dusty old journals and place them in context in digital sky atlases and catalogs. Anyone will then be able to find them online and compare them with modern electronic data...

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President Obama Honors Federally-Funded Early-Career Scientists

President Obama Honors Federally-Funded Early-Career Scientists

January 9, 2017

In recognition of his work in advancing the most sensitive measurements of polarization of the cosmic microwave background, the faint fossil radiation from the Big Bang, Professor John Kovac was selected by President Obama as one of 102 scientists and researchers as a recipient of the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the highest honor bestowed by the United States Government on...

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The American Astronomical Society has selected Professor Charlie Conroy to receive the Helen. B. Warner Prize for 2017

The American Astronomical Society has selected Professor Charlie Conroy to receive the Helen. B. Warner Prize for 2017

January 10, 2017

The American Astronomical Society has selected Professor Charlie Conroy to receive the Helen. B. Warner Prize for 2017.  The prize includes a cash award and an invitation to give a plenary talk, hopefully at the upcoming summer AAS meeting in Austin, Texas.  AAS Press Release 

The Helen B. Warner Prize is given annually for a significant contribution to observational...

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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

Image:...

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