Catherine Zucker chosen as 2020 Fireman Fellow by the Astronomy Faculty. Department's highest honor.

April 20, 2020
Catherine Zucker

Her research focuses on understanding the structure of our Milky Way Galaxy. Catherine will be defending her dissertation on May 5th.  Catherine and one of her advisors, Alyssa Goodman, appeared live on the National Public Radio's series Science Friday. Link to the program: https://www.sciencefriday.com/segments/galaxy-formation/

“What many people don’t realize is that because we are inside the Milky Way Galaxy, it is incredibly hard to map its 3D structure, since we will never have the benefit of a face-on view. I develop novel techniques — combining observations, numerical simulations, statistics, and data visualization — to tease out the true 3D structure of our Galaxy from within it. Specifically, I set myself the goal of creating the most precise 3D map of stellar nurseries — the birthplaces of new stars — in our corner of the Galaxy, called the solar neighborhood. However, in the process, we uncovered something else — a 9,000 light year long string of stellar nurseries, which form a gigantic sine wave. Known as the Radcliffe Wave, it is the largest coherent star-forming structure we know of in the Galaxy, yet only 500 light years from us at its closest point."

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See also: Fellowships, 2020, April