Faculty

Karin Öberg awarded the prestigious Packard fellowship

Karin Öberg awarded the prestigious Packard fellowship

October 15, 2014
Karin Öberg just won the prestigious Packard fellowship. Her citation reads: "Öberg is an astrochemist. She combines ice experiments and radio astronomy to explore the chemistry present during planet formation. This chemistry regulates the compositions and habitability of nascent planets, and is thus key to our understanding of the origins of life."

The Packard Foundation established the Fellowships program in 1988 to provide early-career...
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Avi Loeb presents New Search Methods for Primitive and Intelligent Life Far from Earth

Avi Loeb presents New Search Methods for Primitive and Intelligent Life Far from Earth

September 24, 2014

On Tuesday, September 23, 2014, Avi opened the academic year's Science Series Public Lecture with an overview of current strategies for identifying evidence of life on other planets in the Milky Way galaxy and beyond. For a summary of the lecture please consult this report in the Harvard Crimson: http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2014/9/24/chair-astronomy-extraterrestrial-life/

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Phil Sadler Awarded IPS Technology and Innovation Award

Phil Sadler Awarded IPS Technology and Innovation Award

August 19, 2014

Phil Sadler was honored this week at the International Planetarium Society meeting in Beijing China. He received the 2014 Technology and Innovation Award.The award is given to recognize an individual or institution, “…whose technology and/or innovations in the planetarium field have been, through the years, utilized or replicated by other members and/or planetariums.” In 1977, Sadler invented the Starlab portable planetarium while a middle...

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Earth 2.0: NPR Radio Interview

Earth 2.0: NPR Radio Interview

August 11, 2014

"With hundreds of Earth-like planets discovered over the past few years, it’s fair to say we’re on the verge of finding alien life. Two new programs at NASA hope to find and analyze thousands more of these exoplanets, as they’re called.  Scientists working on the Transiting Exoplanet Surveying Satellite (TESS) and the James Webb Space Telescope say there’s a very real chance of finding extraterrestrial life within the next two decades. So, if we’re about to meet our extraterrestrial neighbors, let’s get to work on some opening lines. What if we’re really not...

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 2014 Shaw Prize in Astronomy

2014 Shaw Prize in Astronomy

May 27, 2014

Harvard Astronomy Professor, Daniel Eisenstein, along with Shaun Cole and John Peacock, to receive the 2014 Shaw prize in astronomy for their contributions to the measurements of features in the large-scale structure of galaxies used to constrain the cosmological model including baryon acoustic oscillations and redshift-space distortions.

"The Shaw Prize is an international award established in 2002 to pay tribute to those who have made distinguished contributions to modern civilization. The three awards for Astronomy, Life Science and Medicine, and Mathematical Sciences will...

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Milky Way Has 4 Billion Years to Live -- But Our Sun Will Survive

Milky Way Has 4 Billion Years to Live -- But Our Sun Will Survive

March 24, 2014

"Four billion years from now, our galaxy, the Milky Way, will collide with our large spiraled neighbor, Andromeda.

The galaxies as we know them will not survive.

In fact, our solar system is going to outlive our galaxy. At that point, the sun will not yet be a red giant star – but it will have grown bright enough to roast Earth’s surface. Any life forms still there, though, will be treated to some pretty spectacular cosmic choreography."

National Geographic: ...

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Public Talk: 50 year anniversary for the discovery of the cosmic microwave background

Public Talk: 50 year anniversary for the discovery of the cosmic microwave background

February 24, 2014
Thursday February 18, 2014 there were four short presentations celebrating the 50 years anniversary for the discovery of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) as evidence for the Big Bang. The event took place at Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and featured Alan Guth (inflation), Bob Wilson (co-discoverer of the CMB), Bob Kirshner (cosmic acceleration), and Avi Loeb (future of the universe).
Karin Öberg Selected as 2014 Sloan Fellow

Karin Öberg Selected as 2014 Sloan Fellow

February 18, 2014

Karin Oberg won the Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship for 2014. Also among the recipients are the former students of our department, Ryan Hickox and Phil Hopkins, and the former ITC postdoc, Dan Fabrycky.

"The Sloan Research Fellowships seek to stimulate fundamental research by early-career scientists and scholars of outstanding promise.  These two-year fellowships are awarded yearly to 126 researchers in recognition of distinguished performance and a unique potential to make substantial contributions to their field."

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It’s Snack Time in the Cosmos

It’s Snack Time in the Cosmos

February 18, 2014

"Black holes, the ultradense collapsed objects predicted by Einstein’s theory of general relativity, are often depicted as voracious feeders whose extraordinary gravity acts like a one-way membrane: Everything is sucked in, even light, and virtually nothing leaks out.

Now, for the first time, astronomers may have a chance to watch as a giant black hole consumes a cosmic snack.

In March or April, a gas cloud...

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