"The landscape in Chile’s Atacama desert is Martian-like: dry, barren and flanked by volcanoes, and its high altitude and unpolluted skies make it a prime spot for stargazing. It was there, after a full night of such observation — and over a 4 p.m. breakfast — that astronomer Stefan Gillessen found himself in possession of some very special data. His observations showed a cloud of gas being stretched out, or “spaghettified,” about to be ripped apart, as it barreled toward the black hole at the center of our galaxy...
Sarah Rugheimer was selected as a 2014 Horizon Scholar. The Horizon Scholars are recognized as graduate students "whose ideas, innovations, and insights have the potential to reshape their disciplines."
A group of graduate students, including six from the Harvard Department of Astronomy, developed and organized Communicating Science 2013, or “ComSciCon 2013”, a first-of-its kind workshop on science communication specifically for grad students in the sciences and engineering. ComSciCon brought together graduate students from across the country and from a wide range of scientific disciplines to the Microsoft NERD center in Cambridge on June 13-15. These 50 attendees were selected from a pool of 730 applicants based on their enthusiasm for and achievements in communicating science.
Harvard Astronomy graduate student Bekki Dawson and CFA Hubble postdoctoral fellow Matt Walker won the Block Prize at the Aspen Center for Physics Winter Conference this year. Organizers of each winter conference choose promising young physicists to receive the Block Award. This year, two out of the seven awardees are ITC members. For more details, see http://www.aspenphys.org/physicists/winter/block.html
Harvard graduate students Nicholas Stone and Rebekah Dawson were the recipients of the 2012 Rodger Doxsey Travel Prize—established through the support of his father, John Doxsey, and other friends, family, and colleagues—provides graduate students or postdocs within one year of receiving or receipt of their PhD a monetary prize to enable the oral presentation of their dissertation research at a winter meeting of the AAS.
Stone was also selected by Springer, the European publisher, to have his thesis published as an individual hardcover book. Springer selects a small number of theses in astronomy every year for this prize.
Harvard Astronomy graduate student Nathan Sanders was recently awarded Harvard's "Bowdoin Prize in the Natural Sciences" for his essay entitled "Observing the Twenty-First Century Sky and Understanding the Universe."
A vibrant online astronomy community created by PhD students highlights new research and advice for professional growth.
Among the founders and contributors of Astrobites are, from left, Aaron Bray (G2), Elisabeth Newton (G2), Nathan Sanders (G2), Joshua Suresh (G2), Christopher Faesi (G1), and Courtney Dressing (G2), here pictured on their home turf, the observatory at 60 Garden Street.