News from the Department (2019)

Department of Astronomy RSS Feed

August 2019

  • Congratulations to Astronomy's Suvi Gezari, who has been named Kavli Foundation Plenary Lecturer at the 235th American Astronomical Society (AAS) meeting in Honolulu, Hawaii. Her lecture, to be delivered on January 5, 2020, will be titled "Black Holes Snacking on Stars: A Systematic Exploration of Transients in Galaxy Nuclei." Find out more on the CMNS website.
  • A team of astronomers, including our very own Drake Deming collected the first observations of heavy metals, magnesium and iron, escaping the atmosphere of the 'ultra-hot Jupiter' exoplanet, Wasp121b. Due to the exoplanets close proximity to its host star, the planet's upper atmosphere reaches 4,600 degrees Fahrenheit and the star's gravity is nearly pulling the planet apart resulting in Wasp121b's unique egg shape. Find out more on the CMNS website.
  • Predicting the exact beginning and end of our Sun's, on average, 11 year sunspot cycle, has been a big challenge to scientists. A team of researchers including Astronomy's Robert Leamon, however, may be closer to predicting these events by identifying signs of "terminators" and creating simulations of solar tsunamis! Find out more on the NCAR & UCAR news site.

July 2019

  • Congratulations to Astronomy's Matthew Knight, co-lead author of a new study, "The Natural History of 'Oumuamua," published in Nature. Matthew and fellow scientists undertook the most comprehensive analysis to date of 'Oumuamua, the first known interstellar object to visit our solar system. Early reports of 'Oumuamua's odd characteristics led some to speculate that the object could be an alien spacecraft, sent from a distant civilization to examine our star system. But the new analysis strongly suggests that 'Oumuamua has a purely natural origin. Check out the wide media coverage on this story including the CMNS Website, CNN, Newsweek, Fox News, and more!
  • Congratulations to Professor Derek Richardson who received one of the four Distinguished Scholar-Teacher awards to be given campus-wide. The award honors faculty members who exhibit excellence in scholarship and teaching each year, particularly, it recognizes Richardson's notable role in the DART mission, his success as a mentor, effectiveness in the classroom and contribution to computational astrophysics.

    As part of the honor, Derek Richardson will be giving a presentation on October 23, 2019 at 4:00pm in the PSC Lobby regarding the threats of asteroid impacts and the DART deflection mission. Find out more on the CMNS website.

April 2019

  • Congratulations to Astronomy/JSI's Cole Miller, co-author of a new review article, "The new frontier of gravitational waves," published today in the journal Nature.The article traces a century's worth of research, beginning with the publication of Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity in 1915, through the historic first detection of gravitational waves by the twin Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) detectors in 2015-and beyond. Co-authored by Nicolás Yunes of Montana State University, the article is part of a series that celebrates the 150th anniversary of the journal, which was first published on November 4, 1869. Checkout the Nature article and the CMNS summary.
  • Checkout the numerical simulation created by Astronomy's Derek Richardson and graduate student Julian Marohnic which demonstrates how two trans-Neptunian objects merged to become Ultima Thule. Formally known as 2014 MU69, Ultima Tule became a target for observation by New Horizons which revealed two objects seemingly clumped together like a "snowman". To find out more about 2014 MU69 and to view the simulation refer to The New York Times article.

February 2019

  • Congratulations to all the UMD and JSSI astronomers who have contributed to the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF) project; their efforts have led to a wealth of discoveries including 50 near-earth asteroids, more than 1,100 supernovas, black holes and more and have led to several papers. Checkout the CMNS article to find out more about the survey and the research it has generated.

January 2019

  • Congratulations to Erin Kara and her team whose paper "The Corona Contracts in a New Black Hole Transient," appears as the cover story of this week's issue of Nature (January 11, 2019). In this study, the team of scientists observed the echoes of x-ray waves to map the size and shape of the environment nearby the stellar-mass black hole. To find out more, visit the CMNS website!

2018 Department News
2017 Department News
2016 Department News
2015 Department News
2014 Department News
2013 Department News
2012 Department News
2011 Department News
2010 Department News
2009 Department News
2008 Department News

Full news list
Center for Research and Exploration in Space Science & Technology II    Joint Space-Science Center    Two intriguing investigations -- One flight-proven spacecraft    UMd Astronomy-Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile Partnership    UMd Astronomy-Cote d'Azur Observatory Scientific Cooperation and Academic Exchange