Are the inhabitants of Earth the only life forms in the universe, or could life exist elsewhere? As astronomers rapidly identify exoplanets—those beyond our solar system—the question has been transformed from a science-fiction trope to one discussed in scientific journals and conferences according to Professor of Astronomy, Dimitar Sasselov.
More than 12 billion years ago a star exploded, ripping itself apart and blasting its remains outward in twin jets at nearly the speed of light. At its death it glowed so brightly that it outshone its entire galaxy by a million times. Associate Professor Edo Berger and Ryan Chornock, a scientist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, were able to gear up quickly to collect data on it's afterglow just hours after it was detected by NASA's Swift spacecraft on June 6th.
Alicia Soderberg has been selected as the recipient of the IUPAP Young Scientist Medal and Prize of 2013 in the field of astrophysics. She will receive the award at the 27th Texas Symposium on Relativistic Astrophysics to be held in Dallas, Texas on December 8-13, 2013.
A gamma-ray burst is a flash of high-energy light (gamma rays) from an extremely energetic explosion. Associate Professor of Astronomy Edo Berger, Harvard graduate student Wen-fai Fong and Ryan Chornock recently observed data from a gamma-ray burst GRB 130603B which, at a distance of 3.9 billion light-years from Earth, is one of the nearest bursts seen to date.... Read more about Earth's gold came from colliding neutron stars
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.
Arturo Avelino will be coming to Harvard from the University of Guanajuato in October as the first ever recipient of the Harvard-Mexico Postdoc Program. He will work with Professor Robert Kirshner on learning the nature of the dark energy from...
Congratulations to all our 2013 graduates in Astronomy. Pictured below are the five graduates who attended the May 30th degree-awarding ceremony. In addition, Lauranne Lanz and Diego Munoz will be completing their degree requirements in August. Along with the four concentrators from Harvard College who also graduated in May - David Abaca, Caroline Huang, Samuel Meyer, Corinne Tu - we wish all of you the best. Pictured from left to right...
Bekki Dawson was awarded the 2013 Fireman Fellowship of the Astronomy department for her PhD thesis, "On the Migratory Behavior of Planetary Systems." Department chair Avi Loeb presented the award to Dawson at the annual departmental awards ceremony on Monday, May 20, 2013.