Advancing science goes hand in hand with educating scientists of the future and engaging the public. David Trilling and Mike Gowanlock have hosted two astroinformatics bootcamps introducing students from diverse backgrounds to the data science behind astronomy, including writing and testing algorithms to measure the properties of asteroids. Now they’re building small robotic telescopes that will enable students at NAU,… Read more
NAU Astronomy & Planetary Science In the News
Learning from the terrestrial geology with extraterrestrial secrets
Where can you study extraterrestrial geology without leaving the planet? Northern Arizona, of course. The geology of this region, from Grand Canyon to Meteor Crater, offer unique educational experiences for students of astronomy and planetary science and may help researcher unlock clues into one of the most elusive questions—is there life on other planets? NAU’s Department of Astronomy and Planetary Science offers a lab course, taught by… Read more
New Emirates Mars Mission observations hint at the origins of Mars’ mysterious moon
The Emirates Mars Mission (EMM), the first interplanetary exploration undertaken by an Arab nation, has unveiled a series of groundbreaking observations of Mars’ smaller moon, Deimos. The observations, shared during a special session at the European Geosciences Union General Assembly (EGU23) in Vienna, used all three of the mission’s science instruments (EMUS, EMIRS and EXI) to reveal new details of Mars’ most mysterious moon and where it came… Read more
Spotting A Satellite
Graduate students, Ryder Strauss, Jessica Walsh, and Maria Chernyavskaya participated in a 200-person occultation campaign in February where they watched the Jupiter Trojan asteroid Polymele pass in front of a distant star. Here is Ryder’s summary (with pictures!).
Here is a recent press release about the campaign.
We know there is a big science result coming, but not mentioned in this press release. Note, Ryder says “You can spot Jessica’s yellow jacket in… Read more
NAU professor, students assisting in mission to Mars to learn about its 2 moons
It’s a project that could also improve life here on Earth.
“If you think about this project—it’s pretty ambitious,” said Dr. Christopher Edwards, associate professor in NAU’s department of astronomy and planetary science.
He’s over the moon about this opportunity.
“We’re going to send a spacecraft to orbit another planet, land on its moon, pick up samples and bring it back to Earth,” Edwards explained.
Read the article and see the video of the interview at FOX 10 Phoenix
NASA selects NAU researcher for international mission to Martian moons
Christopher Edwards, an associate professor in the Department of Astronomy and Planetary Science, received a six-year, $650,000 grant for the Martian Moons eXploration (MMX) mission awarded by NASA. This goal is to send an uncrewed spacecraft to Mars’ two moons, Phobos and Deimos, to gather information about them. It also will collect surface material from Phobos, a first-of-its-kind attempt.
Read the full story at The NAU Review.