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Images courtesy of NASA Exoplanet Exploration and Steward Observatory.

Steward Graduate Student Ya-Lin Wu Receives 51 Pegasi b Fellowship

The Heising-Simons Foundation announced Jan 31 that two University of Arizona Ph.D. students, Ya-Lin Wu of Astronomy and Thaddeus Komacek of LPL/Planetary Sciences, have been selected 51 Pegasi b fellows. They and six others comprise the 2018 class .
Ya-Lin Wu is an astronomy graduate student who worked on very high resolution imaging with adaptive optics and UA's large telescopes to study exoplanet formation. In particular, he has utilized the Magellan Adaptive Optics system (MagAO; located at the 6.5m Magellan telescope in Chile) to make some of the very highest resolution images in astronomy. He has also worked at radio wavelengths with the ALMA radio interferometer in Chile. He discovered that very low mass companions to young stars do not seem to have large dusty disks of material orbiting around them: the disks instead appear to be very compact. This fact was something of a surprise, as larger disks had been observed around "free-floating" objects of similar ages and masses. Ya-Lin worked with his adviser Professor Laird Close while a graduate student at UA these past six years. Ya-Lin will continue to research the nature of circumplanetary disks as a 51 Pegasi b fellow at the University of Texas, Austin. This research will shed light on how, and where, planets can form moons. For more details about Ya-Lin's research plans please click HERE.
Please join us in congratulating Ya-Lin and Thaddeus.
We also learned that in the initial 2017 class, one of the awardees was former Steward undergrad (BS in 2010) Jason Dittmann of Harvard, who moved to MIT to pursue his 51 Pegasi b postdoc.


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