UA Science
Tethered by a long cable, the high altitude balloon carrying the GUSTO telescope is launched from McMurdo Research Station in Antarctica on Dec. 31.

GUSTO balloon mission breaks NASA record 22 miles above Antarctica! 57 days and counting! Congratulations Chris Walker and Team!

GUSTO aims to map out distribution of carbon, oxygen and nitrogen in the young Milky Way and in the neighboring Large Magellanic Cloud, which has characteristics comparable to much older galaxies. A comparison of the two galaxies will help the GUSTO team provide the first complete spectroscopic study of all phases of the stellar life cycle, from the development of interstellar gas clouds, to the formation of stellar nurseries, to the birth and evolution of stars.

If Walker's next research proposal goes through, the same instrumentation currently aboard GUSTO may be tested in space, in search of the elusive far infrared signatures of planet-forming systems and habitable zones.

"If you're not pushing the edge, what's the point?" Walker said.

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Congratulations Dr. Kate Alexander, for receiving a 2024 Sloan Research Fellowship!

Kate is not just among the leaders working to discover and observe transient sources, she is also a driving force for the ambitious efforts to understand the physics behind their spectacular and astonishing observed properties.” – Buell Jannuzi, Director of Steward Observatory

Dr. Alexander took a lead role in understanding the gamma ray burst event GRB 221009A: the brightest cosmic explosion ever seen by humanity. The Sloan Fellowship will help further her study of energetic transients, in particular the high-energy jets associated with black holes as they consume stars.

Dennis Zaritsky: Galaxy's Edge

On the morning of January 11, 2024, Dennis Zaritsky, Deputy Director and Astronomer at Steward Observatory, received the Beatrice M. Tinsley Prize from the American Astronomical Society, in recognition of an outstanding research contribution to astronomy or astrophysics, of an exceptionally creative or innovative character. 

Zaritsky studies the hidden parts of galaxies—not the easily visible galactic center, but the massive and mysterious halo that surrounds each galaxy, made up of dark matter, diffuse gas and dim stars that are hard to track down. He picks up clues about the nature of galaxy halos by studying the spectra taken of other galaxies. Unique galaxy halo signatures will...

Webb Telescope reveals stunning structures in nearby spiral galaxies

New images taken with the James Webb Space Telescope reveal intricate, never-before-seen structures and features hidden in visible light. The insights will help astronomers better understand the history of the Milky Way.

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