Harvard Astronomy Department

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Photos by third-year graduate student Chani Nava from a recent observing run at the Telescopio Nationale de Galileo at R...
06/18/2019

Photos by third-year graduate student Chani Nava from a recent observing run at the Telescopio Nationale de Galileo at Roque de los Muchachos Observatory in La Palma, Canary Islands.

Gizmodo writes about new work led by Harvard postdoc Li Zeng.  https://gizmodo.com/water-worlds-could-have-mind-boggling...
04/30/2019
Water Worlds Could Have Mind-Bogglingly Deep Oceans, New Models Suggest

Gizmodo writes about new work led by Harvard postdoc Li Zeng.
https://gizmodo.com/water-worlds-could-have-mind-bogglingly-deep-oceans-ne-1834390409

Scientists have good reason to believe that so-called water worlds—exoplanets with surfaces covered entirely by a single gigantic ocean—are common in the galaxy. But a new computer simulation suggests that not only are water worlds prevalent, they’re also teeming with water—and at mind-boggl...

Our graduate student Theron Carmichael ran the Boston Marathon on Monday. Photos courtesy of fellow graduate students Jo...
04/17/2019

Our graduate student Theron Carmichael ran the Boston Marathon on Monday. Photos courtesy of fellow graduate students John Lewis and Locke Patton. Congratulations Theron!

Local scientists belonging to the Event Horizon Telescope collaboration will be discussing how they made the first image...
04/13/2019
Photographing Black Holes: First Results from the Event Horizon Telescope – Cambridge Science Festival

Local scientists belonging to the Event Horizon Telescope collaboration will be discussing how they made the first image of a black hole at 3:30 pm on April 15 at the Harvard Science Center.
https://www.cambridgesciencefestival.org/event/photographing-black-holes-first-results-from-the-event-horizon-telescope/

« All Events Photographing Black Holes: First Results from the Event Horizon Telescope April 15 @ 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm « Tour Mass General’s Russell Museum and Ether Dome Sci-Art Exhibit: Opening Reception » Hear from the Harvard/MIT/Smithsonian team that is working on taking the first image of a ...

04/10/2019
Harvard University

Harvard University

A global team of astronomers, led by Harvard scientists, have, for the first time, captured an image of a black hole.

Undergraduates taking Astro 100 (Methods of Observational Astronomy) gained some observing experience at Mount Hopkins i...
03/24/2019

Undergraduates taking Astro 100 (Methods of Observational Astronomy) gained some observing experience at Mount Hopkins in Arizona this past week.

Celebrating Pi Day with 291 chocolate digits of π!
03/14/2019

Celebrating Pi Day with 291 chocolate digits of π!

ALMA observations of the protoplanetary disk around the young star AS 209. Learn more about this disk at https://www.eso...
02/23/2019

ALMA observations of the protoplanetary disk around the young star AS 209. Learn more about this disk at https://www.eso.org/public/images/potw1905a/. Image credit: The Disk Substructures at High Angular Resolution Team (S. M. Andrews et al. 2018).

Smithsonian astrophysicist and Harvard lecturer Sean Andrews talks to Planetary Radio about searching for signatures of ...
02/18/2019
Watching the Births of Solar Systems

Smithsonian astrophysicist and Harvard lecturer Sean Andrews talks to Planetary Radio about searching for signatures of planet formation with the ALMA radio telescope.
http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2019/0213-2019-sean-andrews-dsharp-protoplanetary.html

Radio telescopes are delivering stunning images that, in some cases, current optical telescopes can’t equal. Witness the 20 beautiful protoplanetary disks imaged by the DSHARP team using the ALMA radio telescope in Chile.

Scientific American writes about recent research led by Harvard graduate student Tarraneh Eftekhari.
02/15/2019
Scientific American

Scientific American writes about recent research led by Harvard graduate student Tarraneh Eftekhari.

Roughly 1.3 billion years ago a star exploded with such force that it was 50 times brighter than the hundred billion stars in its host galaxy combined--a rare class of explosion called a “superluminous” supernovae. But what causes it?

Stop in to the Graduate Lounge on the first floor and take a look at the amazing chalk mural which several of our gradua...
10/04/2018

Stop in to the Graduate Lounge on the first floor and take a look at the amazing chalk mural which several of our graduate students have created on the blackboard there. Photo credit: Sebastian Gomez Lead mural design: Munazza Alam & Nina Maksimova

09/25/2018
Why The Universe May Be Full Of Alien Civilizations

In our first episode of John Michael Godier's Event Horizon, we discuss the possibility of Alien civilizations moving to Galaxy Clusters to make the best use of mass and energy, why making copies of ourselves may be the key to interstellar travel and colonization, the habitability of planets around red dwarf stars such as Proxima Centauri, Black Holes, and so much more with our first guest Harvard Theoretical Physicist Dr. Avi Loeb, the Frank B. Baird Jr. Professor of Science at Harvard University. Event Horizon Telescope

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @JMGEventHorizon https://twitter.com/jmgeventhorizon https://www.instagram.com/jmgeventhorizon In our first episode of Joh...

Distinguished astrophysicist, renowned science writer and accomplished academic leader  has been named the 22nd dean of ...
06/26/2018
Ray Jayawardhana named dean of Arts and Sciences | Cornell Chronicle

Distinguished astrophysicist, renowned science writer and accomplished academic leader has been named the 22nd dean of Cornell’s College of Arts and Sciences, Provost Michael Kotlikoff announced June 26. He earned a Ph.D. degree in astronomy from Harvard University and his co-advisors were Giovanni Fazio and Lee Hartmann, now at Michigan.

Read More: http://news.cornell.edu/stories/2018/06/ray-jayawardhana-named-dean-arts-and-sciences

Distinguished astrophysicist, renowned science writer and accomplished academic leader Ray Jayawardhana has been named dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. He is currently dean of the Faculty of Science at York University in Toronto.

Black Hole Essay CompetitionThe Black Hole Initiative announces awards for original essays on the topic of Black Hole, f...
05/22/2018
BHI Paper Competition!!

Black Hole Essay Competition

The Black Hole Initiative announces awards for original essays on the topic of Black Hole, for more information, https://bhi.fas.harvard.edu/news/bhi-paper-competition

Black Hole Essay Competition The Black Hole Initiative announces awards for original essays on the topic of Black Holes First Prize: $10,000 Second Prize: $5,000

"How do we determine where best to look for planets with detectable biosignatures? To figure out which stars make the op...
04/26/2018
Where Should We Look for Life?

"How do we determine where best to look for planets with detectable biosignatures? To figure out which stars make the optimal targets, Lingam and Loeb suggest an approach based on standard cost-benefit analyses common in economics. Here, what’s being balanced is the cost of an exoplanet survey mission against the benefit of different types of stellar targets."
http://aasnova.org/2018/04/25/where-should-we-look-for-life/

A recent study explores whether Sun-like stars or low-mass M dwarfs are the best target as we search for exoplanets with detectable signatures of life.

Avi Loeb offers his perspective on opening up academia. "Academic freedom is a precious commodity, critical to ensure th...
04/17/2018
Making Academia Matter Again, by Abraham Loeb

Avi Loeb offers his perspective on opening up academia. "Academic freedom is a precious commodity, critical to ensure that discovery of the truth is not encumbered by political or ideological forces. But this does not mean that intellectuals should hide in academic bunkers that, by protecting us from criticism by “non-experts,” allow ego to flourish and enable a focus on questions that are not actually relevant to anyone else. We experts should have to explain ourselves." https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/academia-support-diversity-innovation-by-abraham-loeb-2018-04

Academics can no longer afford to pat themselves on the back and celebrate their own privileges. If they are to defend the freedom of their enterprise, they must restore dialogue with the broader public and ensure that the relevance of their research – and how research actually occurs – is well ...

Avi Loeb has written another great essay,  "Astronomers have recently determined that rare elements such as gold and ura...
03/14/2018
For E.T. Civilizations, Location Could Be Everything

Avi Loeb has written another great essay, "Astronomers have recently determined that rare elements such as gold and uranium are produced as a result of rapid capture of free neutrons during the merger of two neutron stars. Neutron stars are the densest stars known, having the size of a city (12 kilometers) and up to twice the mass of the sun, with the density of an atomic nucleus. A teaspoon of neutron star material weighs a trillion kilograms, as much as a tall mountain on Earth."

Scientific American: https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/for-e-t-civilizations-location-could-be-everything/

Their economies and their fate may depend on the abundance of gold and uranium, forged in relatively nearby neutron star mergers  

Harvard ITC - Institute for Theory and Computation
03/14/2018

Harvard ITC - Institute for Theory and Computation

"Stephen embodied the superiority of mind over matter. He demonstrated that the human spirit can overcome all physical limitations and that the human mind can comprehend the deep secrets of nature. With his optimistic mindset, he discovered that even black hole can shine brightly."

Avi Loeb, Harvard University

"It is easy for professors to hide deep inside the trenches of their expertise—bunkers that protect them from criticis...
02/14/2018
Renewing the Contract between Academia and Society

"It is easy for professors to hide deep inside the trenches of their expertise—bunkers that protect them from criticism by “non-experts” and allow them to promote their egos without supervision. True, academic freedom is a precious commodity that should be held sacred in order to enable discovery of the truth in the face of sociological forces and ideological dogma." https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/renewing-the-contract-between-academia-and-society/

Universities owe the public a fresh look at their educational and research missions 

Congratulations to Ilse Cleeves, Hubble Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard-Smithsonian CfA, for receiving the Annie Jump Canno...
01/16/2018
Annie Jump Cannon Award in Astronomy | American Astronomical Society

Congratulations to Ilse Cleeves, Hubble Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard-Smithsonian CfA, for receiving the Annie Jump Cannon Award in Astronomy. https://aas.org/grants-and-prizes/annie-jump-cannon-award-astronomy

The Annie Jump Cannon Award is for outstanding research and promise for future research by a postdoctoral woman researcher. It is given to a North American female astronomer within five years of receiving her PhD in the year designated for the award. For example, the recipient of a PhD in 2011 would...

08/20/2017
Harvard University

Harvard University

Excited about the solar eclipse? Here's how Harvard's been following them over the years.

08/09/2017
NASA Sun Science

NASA Sun Science

The solar eclipse is less than two weeks away!

Remember that it's never safe to look directly at the partially eclipsed or uneclipsed Sun. One way to safely watch the eclipse on Aug. 21 is through pinhole projection. Any object with tiny holes -- like a colander, or even a piece of cardstock with a pinhole -- can be used to project an image of the Sun onto a piece of paper on the ground. You can also make a pinhole projector using a cereal box and a few basic supplies. Learn how with this video: https://youtu.be/vWMf5rYDgpc?list=PL_8hVmWnP_O2oVpjXjd_5De4EalioxAUi

Get all the safety information you need at eclipse2017.nasa.gov/safety

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