April

Avi Loeb

Prof. Avi Loeb, Chair of the Astronomy Department, nominated to serve on White House Science and Technology Advisory Committee.

April 22, 2020

The President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) is an advisory group of the Nation's leading scientists and engineers, appointed by the President to augment the science and technology advice available to him from inside the White House and from cabinet departments and other Federal agencies.   Prof. Loeb's nomination is subject to approval by Congress.  Also nominated was Dr. Daniela Rus, Andrew and Erna Viterbi Professor of Engineering and Computer Science at MIT and director of MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence...

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Catherine Zucker

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

April 20, 2020

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: ...

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Zoe Todd

Zoe Todd successfully defends thesis "From Astronomy to Chemistry: Origins of the Building Blocks of Life."

April 15, 2020

Abstract: The circumstances surrounding the origins of life on Earth are still unknown, though substantial progress has been made recently. In general, the origins of life might have followed the path where first, simple feedstock molecules available in the planetary environment react to form the molecular building blocks of life, which then come together to make chemical polymers and eventually self-replicating systems that could constitute life. This thesis addresses the first part of this postulated process, attempting to answer the questions: 1) what planetary sources exist for...

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Stephen Hawking speaking at the launch of the Black Hole Initiative at Sanders Theater, Harvard University

Stephen Hawking visits Harvard for the inauguration of Harvard's Black Hole Initiative

April 25, 2016
"World-famous theoretical cosmologist Stephen W. Hawking discussed the history of and recent breakthroughs in research on black holes at the inauguration of Harvard's Black Hole Initiative in Sanders Theatre on Monday afternoon.
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Destination: Nearest star

Destination: Nearest star

April 15, 2016

Astronomer explains plan to send tiny spaceships to Alpha Centauri

"A group of astronomers and technology entrepreneurs has announced an audacious plan to send a fleet of tiny spaceships traveling at a fifth the speed of light to the nearest star, Alpha Centauri. 

"The plan would see humankind leap out of the solar system with the aid of an ultralight vessel made of what are essentially cellphone components and a thin, reflective light sail propelled by an enormous array of Earth-based lasers. 

Read full interview with Avi Loeb. 

...

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Fast Radio Burst "Afterglow" Was Actually a Flickering Black Hole

Fast Radio Burst "Afterglow" Was Actually a Flickering Black Hole

April 4, 2016
Last February a team of astronomers reported detecting an afterglow from a mysterious event called a fast radio burst, which would pinpoint the precise position of the burst's origin, a longstanding goal in studies of these mysterious events. These findings were quickly called into question by follow-up observations. New research by Harvard astronomers Peter Williams and Edo Berger shows that the radio emission believed to be an afterglow actually originated from a distant galaxy's core and was unassociated with the fast radio burst.
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Astronomy 191 Students pose with Bob Wilson

Astro191 Undergrads visit Bell Labs with Bob Wilson and make measurements with the telescope that "discovered the Big Bang"

April 4, 2016

On April 2, twelve students of the advanced undergraduate lab course Astro191 along with Prof. John Kovac (course head), Prof. Josh Grindlay, Teaching Fellow Tyler St. Germaine, and other enthusiastic friends from the CfA community traveled to Holmdel, NJ to the Bell Labs facilities where radio astronomy was "discovered" by Karl Jansky in 1932 and where fossil radiation from the Big Bang, the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB), was first detected in 1965.  The visit was hosted by Nobel laureate Bob Wilson (now at the CfA) who described the history and...

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