What else have the members of the Department of Astronomy & Planetary Science been doing?
Our faculty, staff, and students are making a difference on campus and around the world. Read about some of our achievements, activities, and successes.
Thanks to David Trilling for keeping track of all these accomplishments!
AST 598: Planetary Analogs Accordion Closed
At the start of the semester, three teams of two students in AST 598: Planetary Analogs began the process of recreating a Mars rover mission from landing site selection through surface operations. The class was tasked with exploring the Granite Wash Mountains of western Arizona. Teams selected and advocated for landing regions based on
their safety and proximity to areas of interest. The class then voted on a single landing site, where each team then designed a rover traverse and data collection and sampling plan, emphasizing specific research questions and hypotheses to be investigated.
In mid-November, the class traveled to the Granite Wash Mountains and implemented their science plan for their “rovers.” Teams collected images and samples while following their pre-field strategies. Despite a few “anomalies” that restricted some of the data collected by the teams, each team successfully explored the region and made interesting observations regarding the local geology and ecology. Then like every good rover mission, the investigation ended with some homemade Mexican food and relaxing by a campfire.
Ty Robinson is on a new paper, Accordion Closed
Congratulations to Graduating Senior, Adrian Luna, Accordion Closed
who won a Gold Axe Award, and the President’s Prize.
Undergraduate student, Ethan Goff, Accordion Closed
was recognized for his excellence in SI teaching/mentoring.
Physics and Astronomy alumna, Kim Ward-Duong Accordion Closed
is now an Education and Research Fellow at Five College Astronomy Department.
Josh Emery is on this new super cool paper: Accordion Closed
Undergrad, Anna Ross, and Ty Robinson have a new paper out: Accordion Closed
NAU passed a major research funding milestone recently Accordion Closed
#ResearchGoals: NAU joins list of elite research universities in nationwide ranking. David Trilling was interviewed for this article and astronomy is mentioned several times as one of the areas leading this research boom.
Devon Burr has a new paper out: Accordion Closed
PhD student Ari Koeppel has his first first-author paper! Accordion Closed
Differentiation in impact melt sheets as a mechanism to produce evolved magmas on Mars. Congratulations, Ari!
Fall AGU Meeting Accordion Closed
Members of our department (including both faculty and students) were first or co-authors on at least 15 presentations at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) meeting in San Francisco.
Christopher Edwards and Jennifer Buz Accordion Closed
are co-authors on a new paper about subsurface water ice on Mars: Widespread Shallow Water Ice on Mars at High Latitude and Mid-latitudes.
December Commencement Accordion Closed
Our department had (at least) four undergraduate students graduate last week with degrees in astronomy: Sheridan Hatch, Adrian Luna, Gonzalo Muniz and Rachel Sobecki. That’s pretty good for a department that has only existed for less than six months! Congratulations to them and to all of us.
“Asteroid Science in the Age of Hayabusa2 and OSIRIS-REx” meeting in Tucson Accordion Closed
was attended by faculty David Trilling and Josh Emery, grad students Andy Lopez and Lauren McGraw, and undergraduate student Brian Szutu.
Josh Emery and Devon Burr were selected Accordion Closed
to participate in the NASA “PI Launchpad” workshop (intended to increase the pool of principal investigators for NASA missions) in Tucson next week.
Chad Trujillo gave an invited talk at NOAO, Accordion Closed
the National Optical Astronomy Observatories, in Tucson.
Nadine Barlow is a co-author on a paper Accordion Closed
recently accepted by Geophysical Research Letters on “Impact Outgassing of H2 on Early Mars and its Effect on the Climate System.”
Andrew McNeill and David Trilling (and others) have a new paper out: Accordion Closed
PhD Candidate Aaron Weintraub was recently interviewed by his undergraduate institution’s alumni magazine, Accordion Closed
Geneseo Scene. The article was released in the June 2019 issue of the magazine. In the article, Aaron discusses his work on Martian science in graduate school with advisor Prof. Christopher Edwards and his thoughts on the importance of planetary climate studies.
Navajo Bridge Star Party Accordion Closed
Students Andy Lopez-Oquendo, Kathryn Turrentine, Schuyler Borges, Aaron Weintraub, and Adora Hall traveled to Navajo Bridge on Friday, October 25th-27th with the American Indian Mobile Educational Resources (AMIER) representative Mary Lara, and NAU representative Ed Anderson. The excursion began on Friday night when a Star Party was held on Navajo Bridge. Approximately 15 telescopes were set up on the bridge, including 6 from NAU and AMIER. Both locals and travelers alike stopped by the bridge to watch the sky and learn from the operators who discussed concepts of astronomy, physics, and planetary science for approximately 3 hours. The following day, the NAU Team set up 5 solar scopes, one of which with an H-alpha filter, to observe
solar flares and sunspots. Unfortunately, this time of year is currently marked by a minimum of stellar activity, and no sunspots were visible. But limb darkening, and small solar flares were visible and discussed with the public. UV Beads (small beads that change color in UV light due to electron excitation) were also set-up in a “DIY-UV-Detector-Lanyard-Making-Station”. That evening a second Star Party got underway. With less wind, slightly warmer temperatures, and just as many tourists (travelers from as far as Australia, Switzerland, and Italy) the second night proved even more successful than the first. With lots of small children and genuine interest in learning about astronomy, this weekend of outreach was fun for all.
AIMER Coordinator, Mary Lara, and PhD student, Aaron Weintraub, visited the Kaibeto Boarding School, Accordion Closed
outside of Page, this past week. The day begin with the in-class presentations to 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th graders at the school. They discussed the phases of the moon, relative sizes of Earth, the Moon, and Mars, and even gave a UV Detector Bead demonstration, where the students made their own bracelets to learn about the Ultraviolet Light Rays emitted by the sun and the importance of protecting your skin from such rays. The day proceeded to a family night with over 15 separate, hands-on educational demonstrations to engage the young students. Some of these experiments included; playing with Oobleck (the incredibly-cool, non-newtonian fluid), dissolving Alka-Seltzer tablets in water to demonstrate sublimation, and the effervescent affects of various liquids on baking soda, and even a station to make slime out of glue and laundry starch. The day ended with a Star Party with four telescopes. Families with small children came for the hour and half viewing and discussing session of Lunar lava, binary stars, and Jupiter’s Galilean Moons. A successful education outreach expedition.
SpaceVision 2019 Explore: A Human Imperative Accordion Closed
— this year’s national meeting of the Students for the Exploration and Development of Space — was held at ASU, and undergraduate students Hannah Zigo, Ava Chard, and Savannah Perez all attended.
PhD student Ari Koeppel presented a poster Accordion Closed
entitled “Testing Methods for Detection of Unfamiliar Life in Martian Regolith” at the “Mars Extant Life” conference held in Carlsbad, New Mexico. His co-authors are David Trilling and Christopher Edwards from Astronomy and Planetary Science and George Koch and Egbert Schwartz from Biological Sciences.
Cong Pan and Christopher Edwards’ NASA PDART proposal Accordion Closed
entitled “Improving THEMIS-based Compositional Analysis Accessibility: Generation of Emissivity Products and Processing Tools” was funded. This work will create a dataset that enables users to more easily qualitatively use thermal infrared data from the 2001 Mars Odyssey Thermal Emission Imaging System. This project is around $300K and 3 years.
Devon Burr gave a colloquium Accordion Closed
at UA’s Lunar and Planetary Laboratory last week.
An ABOR/TRIF/OVPR/REAP proposal by Mark Salvatore and Christopher Edwards was funded. Accordion Closed
This internal award will provide funds to purchase a new multi-user X-ray diffraction (XRD) machine.
The Research Notes of the American Astronomical Society Accordion Closed
(a quick, lightly refereed journal of the pre-eminent national professional society of astronomers) recently celebrated its second anniversary, and the editor sent around a list of “a few of his favorite” articles, including one that has Chad Trujillo as a co-author: “New Jupiter Satellites and Moon-Moon Collisions.”
NASA’s Solar System Workings panel selected proposals from the Department of Astronomy and Planetary Science. Accordion Closed
- Postdoctoral scholar Andrew McNeill and professor David Trilling were funded for “Mining the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) Data Archive for Asteroid Science.”
- Associate professor Mark Loeffler received a grant for his project, “The Role of Electron Irradiation in the Evolution of Planetary Icy Surfaces.” His proposal focuses on laboratory studies to understand erosion of icy extraterrestrial surfaces using electron irradiation. Robyn Meier, a recent graduate of the Applied Physics Program, contributed to the preliminary data used in the proposal.
Professor Devon Burr Accordion Closed
was elected as a GSA Fellow at the Geological Society of America annual meeting. GSA Fellowship is an honor that recognizes a sustained and distinguished record of contributions to the geosciences and the Geological Society of America through multiple avenues of academic achievements. She and graduate student Tony Maue also presented their research on Mars and Titan geomorphology in several talks.
Allie Rutledge writes about her funded NASA SSW proposal (cool stuff!): Accordion Closed
Our proposal is “Between a rock and a frozen place: Cold-based glacial chemical alteration of volcanic bedrock as an analog for Mars.” The project will last three years and includes some funding for a graduate student. We will be collecting and analyzing sediments, rocks, and water from the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, to study chemical alteration at the base of cold-based glaciers (glaciers that are frozen to their beds). These measurements will better help us understand processes at work on the Red Planet!
Robyn Meier (graduate of MS program in Applied Physics) and Mark Loeffler just published a paper Accordion Closed
in Surface Science, titled “Sputtering of water ice by keV electrons at 60 K“. The paper details their laboratory study that focuses on understanding erosion of icy extraterrestrial surfaces, such as Enceladus, through a process known as sputtering. This work utilizes electron irradiation, a relatively unexplored but very important component of the radiation environment impinging airless bodies in our solar system. [This work was Robyn’s thesis project, which she did under Mark L’s supervision.]
Josh Emery is on a new paper: Accordion Closed
Tyler Robinson, with co-author Chis Reinhard, Accordion Closed
had a chapter on “Earth as an Exoplanet” accepted into a forthcoming volume from the University of Arizona Press planetary science series called Solar System Astrobiology.
Tyler Robinson had a proposal selected by NASA’s Habitable Worlds program. Accordion Closed
The project emphasizes uncovering the most efficient avenues for detecting habitability signatures from exoplanets, and will involve collaborators from UC Santa Cruz and NASA Ames. At NAU, the project will fund a three-year postdoc in the HABLab (Ty’s research group).
PhD student, Will Oldroyd gave a public talk for the Prescott Astronomy Club Accordion Closed
titled “Exploring the Gap Beyond the Kuiper Belt: Implications for Planet X.” It was a good sized, enthusiastic group with lots of questions.”
Chad Trujillo just had the third known Inner Oort Cloud object (formerly 2015 TG387) numbered and named. Accordion Closed
It was discovered using Subaru telescope on Mauna Kea and we consulted with some Hawaiian language experts in the naming.
We had six — unless it was seven, or eight — students submit proposals to NSF’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) Accordion Closed
in the last two weeks. Congratulations to all of them, to their mentors, and to Ty Robinson for his terrific encouragement, support, and mentorship of these students.
Mark Salvatore gave a research seminar at Tulane University Accordion Closed
entitled “Cold and dry processes on Earth and Mars: A tale of two planets.”
Mark Loeffler was interviewed for an article in Outside magazine about the radiation scare in the Grand Canyon’s Museum of Collections: Accordion Closed
Josh Emery is on a new paper: Accordion Closed
Undergrad, Megan Gialluca, presented their research at the 2019 TESS Science Conference in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Accordion Closed
Mark Salvatore, assistant professor in astronomy and planetary sciences, Accordion Closed
contributed to research in multiple presentations at the 9th International Conference on Mars in July. He also spoke at the annual McMurdo Long Term Ecological Research meeting on the results of his recent fieldwork in Antarctica using satellites to identify and characterize microbial communities in glacial melt streams. Additionally, he was awarded a supplement to his current National Science Foundation award for mapping the Antarctic continent using big data and novel image processing techniques. The supplement will allow Salvatore’s group to work with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in Flagstaff to validate their remote sensing techniques in Arizona and assist the USGS in their efforts to geologically map the western Arizona region.
Ty Robinson, assistant professor of astronomy and planetary sciences, Accordion Closed
and doctoral student Colin Chandler presented at the Exoclimes V meeting held in Oxford, England. Chandler spoke on the Habitable Exoplanet Explorer mission concept based on the final report, in which Ph.D. student Amber Young is mentioned as a contributing scientist. Robinson presented on his work related to simulating the atmospheres of mysterious mini-Neptune exoplanets.
Mark Loeffler, Associate professor of astronomy and planetary sciences, Accordion Closed
had his proposal, “Spectroscopy and Physical Properties of Ices in Cold Astrophysical Environments,” accepted for funding by NASA’s Astrophysics Research and Analysis Program. The goal of the project, which is funded for three years for a total of about $435,000, is to characterize the spectral properties of homonuclear molecules that are expected to exist in icy grains present in the Interstellar Medium. Professor Stephen Tegler and Lowell Observatory astronomer Will Grundy are also collaborators on this project.
Nadine Barlow, chair of the Department of Astronomy and Planetary Sciences, Accordion Closed
organized the 10th Planetary Crater Consortium meeting held at the U.S. Geological Survey in August. The meeting discussed impact craters on the moon, Mars, asteroids and Europa, as well as gave updates on the modeling of crater formation, the effect of terrain properties on crater derived surface ages and new crater analysis tools. Barlow gave a talk at the meeting on “The Role of Large Impacts in Greenhouse Warming on Early Mars.”
Cristina Thomas, assistant professor of astronomy and planetary sciences, Accordion Closed
co-authored two papers published through the American Astronomical Society’s Committee on the Status of Women.
Annika Gustafsson, Ph.D. student in astronomy and planetary sciences, Accordion Closed
presented at the “New Cometary Insights from the Close Approach of 46P/Wirtanen: A Symposium in Celebration of Mike A’Hearn,” located in Maryland.
Ari Koeppel, Ph.D. student in astronomy and planetary sciences, Accordion Closed
co-authored “Differentiation in impact melt sheets as a mechanism to produce evolved magmas on Mars.” The paper was published in Icarus.
Professor Devon Burr and associate professor Josh Emery Accordion Closed
from the Department of Astronomy and Planetary Science co-authored “Planetary Geoscience.” The textbook highlights planets and how they are shaped by geological processes.
Postdoctoral researcher, Jennifer Buz, Accordion Closed
was featured in an article from the Times Observer. The work highlights a presentation Buz gave to fourth-grade students at the Warren Area Elementary Center.
Trilling co-authored a paper Accordion Closed
on gravitational waves and a white paper on how to support collaborations preparing for large-scale projects; he also was re-elected chair of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope Solar System Science Collaboration.
Cristina Thomas co-authored Accordion Closed
At a symposium at the Goddard Space Flight Center on CubeSats, Accordion Closed
incoming faculty Josh Emery and Devon Burr presented a poster on a concept for a SmallSat Mission to the Polana asteroid family, hypothesized to be the parent family of both Bennu (the subject of NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission) and Ryugu (the subject of JAXA’s Hayabusa2 mission). Poster co-authors are Cristina Thomas, David Trilling, Mark Loeffler, Christopher Edwards and Mark Salvatore.
Incoming Ph.D. students Lauren McGraw and Audrey Martin Accordion Closed
were selected to participate in the JWST (James Webb Space Telescope) Master Class in November. They will attend the training in Baltimore, then teach a regional master class in Flagstaff in the next academic year.
New NAU Astronomy and Physics departments formed on July 1. Accordion Closed
As of July 1, our department of Physics and Astronomy will cease to exist, and NAU will have two exciting new departments instead: The Department of Applied Physics and Materials Science (APMS), in the College of Engineering, Informatics, and Applied Sciences, and the Department of Astronomy and Planetary Science (APS), which will remain in the College of the Environment, Forestry, and Natural Sciences.
Good luck to us all in this transition and with the new opportunities that lie ahead!
You can reach the APMS website here.
Nadine Barlow, Astronomy and Planetary Sciences chair, Accordion Closed
made national news discussing NAU’s role in space research and exploration. In a Fox News article, Barlow highlighted Flagstaff’s history of training astronauts for the first moon landing and NAU’s current research, such as finding the best location for humans to live on the moon.
NAU planetary scientist Christopher Edwards Accordion Closed
will participate in the Remote, In Situ, and Synchrotron Studies for Science and Exploration 2 (RISE2) team, which was recently selected by NASA to collaborate on research into the intersection of space science and human space exploration as part of the Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (SSERVI). The team will address key aspects of interpreting the surfaces of and samples from the Moon, Near Earth Asteroids (NEAs), Phobos and Deimos. Using a comprehensive approach to better understand the spectral data of samples and surfaces, develop protocols for safe and scientifically productive exploration of those surfaces, and in turn maximize the scientific value of samples, especially small, precious returned samples, RISE2 will produce a wealth of information and a team of well-trained next-generation scientists. Learn more on the NASA website.
PhD student, Colin Chandler, and co-authors published in Astrophysical Journal Letters Accordion Closed
Colin Orion Chandler (Phd Student), Jay Kueny (BS 2019, Merged Physics & Astronomy), Annika Gustafsson (Phd Student), along with faculty members Chad Trujillo, Tyler Robinson, David Trilling published “Six Years of Sustained Activity from Active Asteroid (6478) Gault” in The Astrophysical Journal Letters. The paper presents observations on the comet-like activity of the main belt asteroid Gault.
Colin and co-authors appeared in NAU News Spotlight and in the New Scientist article, “We’ve spotted a strange asteroid that’s spinning itself to pieces”
The ApJ Letters article is published here.
Cristina Thomas Accordion Closed
Cristina has given a number of presentations and been featured by different media outlets.
- The Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART), being developed for NASA, featured Thomas’ blog post on their web page. The post includes a gif created by Colin Chandler.
- Thomas presented the DART Observations Working Group update at the Investigation Team meeting.
- Thomas presented on “Observations of Didymos in Support of AIDA/DART” at the Planetary Defense Conference.
- Newsweek invited Thomas to comment in an article about the discovery of water in asteroid samples.
Megan Gialluca (Physics and Astronomy major) named a Goldwater Scholar Accordion Closed
For the second year in a row, three Northern Arizona University students have been named national Goldwater Scholars.
Ty Robinson is so great that he appears *twice* in the author list of a new paper! Accordion Closed
David Trilling gave an invited talk at the LSST@Asia conference in Sydney, Australia. Accordion Closed
PhD students, Ari Koeppel and Lori Glaspie Accordion Closed
have both been accepted to participate in the fully funded 2019 Planetary Volcanology Workshop taking place on the big island of Hawaii in July. Awesome!
PhD Student, Lori Glaspie, received an honorable mention for her NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program application Accordion Closed
More info is here.
Cristina Thomas, David Trilling, current undergrad Mitch Magnusson, and three (!) former MS students (Dan Avner, Mary Hinkle, and Brian Burt) are co-authors on a new paper. Accordion Closed
Steve Tegler has published a new paper with co-authors Terry Stufflebeam (former MS student), Anna Engle (incoming PhD student), Randy Dillingham, David Trilling, and Greg Mace (former MS student), as well as several colleagues from chemistry. Accordion Closed
Space.com picked up on the story: “Neptune’s Moon Triton Has a Rare Kind of Ice”
Former undergrad student, Ryan Blackman (BS 2014, Merged Physics & Astronomy), is lead author of a new paper. Accordion Closed
PhD student, Annika Gustafsson, has a new paper out — her first first-author paper! Accordion Closed
David Trilling and Andrew McNeill (postdoctoral scholar) are co-authors.
Christopher Edwards was co-author on an article recently published paper Accordion Closed
in the peer-reviewed journal Sensors. “Spatially Consistent High-Resolution Land Surface Temperature Mosaics for Thermophysical Mapping of the Mojave Desert” discusses new data-fusion techniques that generate mosaics of nighttime and daytime land surface temperatures across large regions.
This was picked up by NAU News Spotlight.
Planetary scientist Christopher Edwards Accordion Closed
is a collaborator on a Caltech-led project that is one of three finalists selected by NASA from a dozen proposals. The Lunar Trailblazer mission would map water on the surface of the Moon and ice deposits inside craters. The mission will receive funding for up to one year before NASA reviews the preliminary design.
PhD student, Sarah Lamm, was named one of the “24 under 24 leaders and innovators in STEAM and space” by the Mars Generation. Accordion Closed
Cristina Thomas was quoted in an article published in The Atlantic about the NASA mission to the asteroid Bennu. Accordion Closed
David Trilling and postdoctoral scholar, Andrew McNeill, were co-authors on a paper. Accordion Closed
The paper, “Taxonomic Study of Asteroid Families from KMTNet-SAAO Multi-band Photometry,” focuses on the photometry of more than 2000 Main-belt asteroids.
Story picked up by NAU Spotlight.
Tyler Robinson co-authored a paper. Accordion Closed
Chad Trujillo co-authored a paper in the Astronomical Journal Accordion Closed
Story picked up by NAU Spotlight.
Undergrads, Justin Castaneda, Mike Ortiz, Edgar Villalpando and Benjamin Pieczynski received an Honorable Mention Accordion Closed
Visiting doctoral student Samuel Navarro-Meza publishes his first lead-authored paper in the Astronomical Journal. Accordion Closed
“First Results from the rapid-response spectrophotometric characterization of Near-Earth Objects,” focuses on rapid response observations of small Near-Earth Objects.
Story picked up by NAU Student Spotlight.
PhD student, Sarah Lamm, spoke at back-to-back conferences. Accordion Closed
Members of our department (faculty, postdocs, students) were authors on at least 30 presentations Accordion Closed
at the 2019 Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in March.
Physics and astronomy assistant professor Chad Trujillo Accordion Closed
and his collaborators Scott Sheppard and Dave Tholen have discovered something in space even more Farout than their latest discovery. While Farout, the first trans-Neptunian object discovered while beyond 100 AU from the Sun, is 120 times farther away from Earth, the new discovery FarFarOut is 140 times further away.
Cristina Thomas, Annika Gustafsson and David Trilling Accordion Closed
were co-authors on “Near-Earth asteroid 2012 TC4 observing campaign: Results from a global planetary defense exercise,” published in the scientific journal Icarus. The paper describes a comprehensive telescope campaign to observe the near-Earth asteroid in 2017.
David Trilling, Annika Gustafsson and Andrew McNeill Accordion Closed
were co-authors on the paper “Constraining the Shape Distribution of Near Earth Objects from Partial Lightcurves,” published by Cornell University.
Department chair Nadine Barlow Accordion Closed
had a chapter entitled “Databases and Metadatabases in Planetary Geology—the Mars Crater Database” published in the book “Planetary Cartography and GIS.” The book is part of the Springer Lecture Notes in Geoinformation and Cartography series.
Graduate student Richard Gaughan Accordion Closed
published “Gravitational Waves Explained” and “Antimatter Explained” as part of Enslow Publishing’s “Mysteries of Space” series targeted toward middle school-aged children. Gaughan published “Wormholes Explained” for the series last year.
Physics and astronomy professor David Trilling Accordion Closed
co-authored a white paper on Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) cadence. “Enabling Deep All-Sky Searches of Outer Solar System Objects” contributes to LSST’s goal of mapping the solar system small body populations to better understand its formation and evolution.
Sarah Lamm and Helen Eifert, Accordion Closed
doctoral students in physics and astronomy, spoke at the Women in Space Conference at Arizona State University on Feb. 8. The event is designed to support women in STEM by highlighting achievements of engineers and researchers in the field of planetary and space science. Lamm presented her string-model design of NASA’s Curiosity Rover to provide richer outreach demonstrations to the public.
David Trilling, associate professor of astronomy, Accordion Closed
gave an invited talk at the 6th annual Thirty-Meter-Telescope (TMT) Science Forum in Pasadena, California. His talk “Observing the Solar System with TMT,” discussed highlights of the solar system from the National Optical Astronomy Observatory’s Extremely Large Telescope Key Science Program development with an emphasis on topics and discovery space available with the TMT.
Postdoctoral scholar Jennifer Buz Accordion Closed
had a chapter from her thesis, “Photometric characterization of Lucideon and Avian Technologies color standards: Application for calibration of the Mastcam-Z instrument on the Mars 2020 rover,” accepted at the Society of Photographic Instrumentation Engineers Optical Engineering. Her thesis talks about the photometric properties of the Mastcam-Z calibration targets, which will fly on the Mars 2020 rover.
David Trilling, professor of astronomy, Accordion Closed
co-wrote “Deep Drilling Fields for Solar System Science” with physics and astronomy assistant professor Chad Trujillo and postdoctoral scholars Michael Mommert and Cesar Fuentes. The paper is a proposal of an ecliptic Deep Drilling Field that will discover 10,000 small Kuiper Belt Objects, mostly primitive rock and icy bodies that orbit outside of the solar system.
Chad Trujillo, physics and astronomy assistant professor, Accordion Closed
was in Science Magazine’s “Top stories: 2018’s top breakthrough, our solar system’s most distant dweller, and pushback on USDA relocation plans.” He was included for having helped discover the most distant object in the solar system. The tiny dwarf planet is named Farout and is 120 times farther from the sun than Earth is from the sun.
Ed Anderson, Support Systems Analyst, Pr., Accordion Closed
was recognized for 20 years service to the university and community during the 2019 Years of Service Ceremony.
Mark Salvatore, assistant professor in physics and astronomy, Accordion Closed
and graduate student Schuyler Borges are on a two-month field work expedition in Antarctica. The project includes collecting field samples and acquiring spectral measurements in the field while coordinating with the Polar Geospatial Center to collect orbital data from a satellite. Salvatore has been writing regular blog posts on the department website with updates.
Postdoctoral scholar in physics and astronomy Maggie McAdam Accordion Closed
won the Best SOFIA-based Ph.D. Thesis prize at the January meeting of the American Astronomical Society. McAdam’s thesis focuses on how studying water in the solar system could help explain how life evolved on Earth. SOFIA, the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, is an airborne observatory.
Helen Eifert, doctoral student of physics and astronomy, Accordion Closed
made the United States U24 National Team for Ultimate Frisbee. Tryouts were extended to 200 athletes with only 74 named to the national teams. Eifert will compete at the World U24 Ultimate Championships in Heidelberg, Germany, this summer.