"Humanity is on the threshold of being able to detect signs of alien life on other worlds. By studying exoplanet atmospheres, we can look for gases like oxygen and methane that only coexist if replenished by life. But those gases come from simple life forms like microbes. What about advanced civilizations? Would they leave any detectable signs?"
Alexander Krolewski, has been awarded a Hoopes Prize for the project entitled "Measuring the luminosity and black hole mass dependence of quasar-galaxy clustering at z ~ 0.8." Natania Wolansky, has been awarded a Hoopes Prize for the project entitled "Are You There Gas? It's Me, Planet: The Effects of Gas on Growth of Gas Giant Cores through Planetesimal Accretion."... Read more about 2014 Hoopes Prize and Goldberg Prize Awarded to Astrononomy Undergraduates
The graduating Senior Concentrators in the Department presented their theses on April 7, 2014 in Phillips Auditorium. Pictured below are: (left to right) Caleb Canas, Diana Powell, Natania Wolansky, Adrian Arteaga, and Brian Claus.... Read more about 2014 Undergraduate Thesis Presentations
Harvard Astronomy's Supernova Forensics group has teamed up with Astronomy 100 undergraduate students to unveil the nature of the peculiar SN2012au - a massive star that exploded some 75 million years ago. This energetic, slow-evolving and helium-rich explosion provides a golden link between the emerging class of "super-luminous" supernovae and other more seemingly normal supernovae that are far less bright.
Some observations of the supernova were obtained by two generations of Astro 100 students in 2012 and 2013 as part of the department's annual Spring Break trip to Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory in Arizona. Students were the first to classify the new supernova in 2012 with the FLWO 1.5m telescope within just hours of its discovery by the Catalina Sky Survey. A year later, the next group of students used the FLWO 1.2m telescope to show that SN2012au is still shining bright and thus evolving slowly. A paper led by postdoc, Dan Milisavljevic, has been submitted to the Astrophysical Journal Letters with details on this unusual stellar explosion (link).
Each year undergraduate students enrolled in Astronomy 100 hone their practical astronomy knowledge by using the 48-inch and 60-inch telescopes at the Fred L. Whipple Observatory in Arizona. This unique week-long trip during Spring Break includes a visit to the University of Arizona Mirror Lab, 3 nights of hands-on observing, nightly pot-luck dinners cooked by the students and teaching staff, and most importantly, an intimate view of how observational astronomers explore the cosmos. The picture shows the 14 happy students who are currently participating in the observing trip along with Professor Edo Berger and Teaching Fellow Maria Drout (kneeling), with the dome of the 48-inch telescope in the background. The picture was taken by Allyson Bieryla, manager of the Astronomy Lab and Clay Telescope at Harvard.... Read more about Berger, Drout, and Bieryla lead the Astronomy 100 Observing Trip to the Fred L. Whipple Observatory in Arizona
Eighty-nine seniors received this year’s prestigious Hoopes Prize for outstanding research or scholarly work, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Prize Office announced Friday.
The distinction—funded by the estate of Thomas T. Hoopes ’19—comes with a $4,000 award for students and a $1,000 honorarium for faculty advisors who nominated student theses or projects this spring, according to Tarik Umar ’10, an economics concentrator and a Hoopes winner.
Four prizes were awarded to Harvard Astronomy Undergraduates:
Dierickx, Marion Inge for her submission entitled "Constraining Local Group Dark Matter Using M33's Past Orbit" - nominated by Professor Abraham Loeb
Fogarty, Kevin Welsh for his submission entitled "Galaxy Cluster Mass Proxies: Examining X-Ray and Sunyaev- Zel'dovich Effect Observations of 114 Galaxy Clusters in the Planck Early SZ Catalog" - nominated by Dr. Christine Jones
Kruse, Ethan Alexander for his submission entitled "A Systematic Search for New Kepler Circumbinary Planets" - nominated by Dr. Darin Ragozzine
Rice, Thomas Sean for his submission entitled "A Hierarchical Catalog of Molecular Clouds in the Milky Way" - nominated by Professor Alyssa Goodman