Stars are assembled in molecular clouds when matters condense and collapse under the gravitational pull. Massive stars (M > 8 Msun) are found mostly in clusters together with lower mass stellar objects (Lada & Lada 2003). How parsec-scale, massive molecular clumps collapse and fragment to give rise to a cluster of stars has been one of the central questions in star formation in the past decade. Jeans mass, the characteristic mass of fragments, is 1Msun for typical physical conditions in (pre) cluster forming clumps (Zhang et al. 2009, 2015). This mass, after taking account the star… Read more about Qizhou Zhang: Magnetic Fields and Massive Star Formation
Asteroids have great interest: not only do they preserve information about the earliest times in the pre-Solar nebula, and as a result contain unique minerals, they are also hazards to the Earth (see Chelyabinks) and are the easiest objects to reach with spacecraft. As targets for human exploration, scientific discovery, retrieval to Earth-Moon space and sources of abundant resources both for space and on Earth, asteroids are worth paying attention to. I investigate all aspects of near-Earth asteroids related to hazards, expeditions and especially resources, i.e. asteroid mining. Several… Read more about Martin Elvis: Asteroids
For a long time we have known that our view of the centers of quasars is often blocked by optically thick dusty material - the ‚Äúobscuring torus‚Äù. But to block a large solid angle requires a large height/radius ratio which is hard to achieve with cold matter. Andy Lawrence and I proposed that a thin torus that is twisted through large angles is a natural solution. I am investigating the spectral energy distributions (SEDs) of quasars in SDSS adding near-IR UKIDSS and mid-IR WISE data to see if the predictions of our model hold up.
Detection and characterization of exoplanetary atmospheres, with emphasis on developing new observational techniques to study the atmospheres of the Earth-like planets to be discovered by the NASA TESS mission.
Recent technical advances and observations have now demonstrated that the goal of making an image of a black hole is within reach. Using the technique of Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI), in which widely separated radio dishes are linked together to form an Earth-sized array, our group has succeeded in confirming event horizon scale structures in two super massive black holes: Sagittarius A*, the 4 million solar mass black hole at the center of the Milky Way (Nature, 455, 78, '08), and M87, a 6 billion solar mass black hole in the giant elliptical galaxy Virgo A (Science, 338, 355… Read more about Shep Doeleman: Imaging Black Holes with The Event Horizon Telescope
These entries serve as a bulletin board for advisors who are seeking graduate students for their research projects. Please contact Sarah Block (sblock AT cfa) or Robb Scholten (rscholten AT cfa) if you would like to post a project.