A group of astronomers, including Craig Sarazin from U.Va., have made the first high-resolution, high-frequency radio map of the Moon. The image, at a radio frequency of 90 GHz, was made with the MUSTANG2 camera on the Green Bank Telescope, the world’s largest steerable telescope. At this radio frequency, the image shows heat radiation form the lunar surface, and brighter regions are hotter. The image shows many of the same features as seen in more familiar optical images. However, because temperature variations across the lunar surface are smaller than the variations
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While our solar system contains dozens of moons orbiting the planets, there is as yet no clear detection of a moon orbiting an extrasolar planet. A group of astronomers and planetary scientists, led by former UVa graduate student Apurva Oza, have a new paper accepted to the Astrophysical Journal (http://arxiv.org/abs/1908.10732) which shows that these exo-moons may have been hiding in plain sight.
Nitya Kallivayalil, an associate professor in Astronomy, has been award a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). This is the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on outstanding scientists and engineers who are beginning their independent research careers and show exceptional promise for leadership in science and technology. Nitya was nominated by the National Science Foundation. The award was announced in a press release from the White House. The press release can be found here:
Steve Layman, an amateur astronomer who’s made a career in music, works with the astronomy department to bring telescopes to schools and Scouts. (Photo by Sanjay Suchak, University Communications)
Friday | July 12 | 6:30 - 9:30 p.m. | FREE
Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Apollo 11's moon landing at Light House Studio/Vinegar Hill Theatre. Enjoy a special screening from the new PBS American Experience series,Chasing the Moon, followed by a panel discussion with distinguished experts that represent the past, present and future of space research and exploration. This event is free, but registration is required.
The Astronomy Department is pleased to announce the creation of the Timothy P. McCullough, Jr. Scholarship in Astronomy, named for Dr. McCullough (1910-2004), who was a research physicist and radio astronomer at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, DC. Dr. McCullough made some of the first radio measurements of many objects in the Solar System. His radio measurements of Venus were among the first to indicate that Venus had a very high surface temperature. He also studied Mars and Jupiter. Later, his interest turned to supernovas, galaxies, and solar flares. Dr.
Astronomers, including Craig Sarazin from U.Va., have discovered jets shooting out at nearly the speed of light from the regions around a black hole, and which are changing their direction rapidly (minutes to hours). This reorientation of the jets is due to the Lense-Thirring Precession, an effect predicted by Einstein's Theory of General Relativity. This effect is expected to occur near a rotating black hole, and is caused by the rotating black hole dragging space and time around with it as it rotates. This is believed to be the first direct observation of the Lense-Thirring Precession
A University of Virginia-led program, “Dark Skies, Bright Kids,” has been bringing astronomy to local schools in Albemarle County for more than 10 years, opening up a universe of possibilities and knowledge for children in the Charlottesville community.
You can watch the video at UVA Today: Reaching for the Stars in the UVA Community
Graduate student Mengyao Liu has been selected as a 2019-2020 Jefferson Scholars Foundation Dissertation Year Fellow. The merit based fellowships are designed to "identify Ph.D. and M.B.A. candidates who demonstrate outstanding achievement and the highest promise as scholars, teachers, public servants, and business leaders in the United States and beyond. Once selected, Jefferson Fellows are charged with furthering the quality of education, intellectual life, and mission of the University."
An international group of astronomers, including Jonathan Tan from the University of Virginia, have made observations of a molecular cloud that is collapsing to form two massive protostars that will eventually become a binary star system. The observations showed that, even at this early stage, the cloud contains two objects: a massive “primary” central star and another “secondary” forming star, with a combined mass of at least 18 times that of our Sun. For the first time, the researchers were able to use these observations to deduce the dynamics of the system.
News & Announcements
September 28, 2022
Astronomer Matthew Pryal of the University of Virginia was among the many excited onlookers who checked out NASA’s livestream Monday to witness the space program perform the seemingly impossible... Read»
September 1, 2022
After a 50-year absence, NASA is aiming to go back to the moon.
The space agency has dubbed its newest lunar program “Artemis,” after the twin sister of Apollo in Greek mythology, with... Read»
July 15, 2022
Professor Kelsey Johnson and Assistant Professor Matt Pryal give their inital reactions to the first images from the James Webb Space Telescope.