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Project Manager Bradley Williams Named a 2019 Flinn-Brown Fellow

Project manager Bradley Williams has been named a 2019 Flinn-Brown Fellow. To quote the website, "Every year, 30 Arizonans are selected for the Flinn-Brown Civic Leadership Academy through a competitive statewide process. Flinn-Brown Fellows are committed to expanding their knowledge, skills, and networks to help address Arizona’s long-term issues..." You can read his accolade at Lo Que Pasa (towards bottom of the article).

50th Anniversary of the Discovery of Optical Pulsations of the Crab Nebula Pulsar

The optical pulsations of the Crab Nebula Pulsar were discovered 50 years ago by Stewardites John Cocke, Mike Disney and Don Taylor using the Steward 36" telescope on Kitt Peak. On Jan 14  (the link is a blowup of the picture) we celebrated the anniversary, bringing John Cocke to Tucson to talk about what happened in 1969, and having Feryal Ozel give a more current perspective. A link to the podcast is HERE.

Three Faculty Win Awards

Professor Robert Kennicutt, Ass't Professor Erika Hamden, and Mirror Lab Project Scientist Buddy Martin have recently been recognized with awards.

Rob, who recently rejoined us after a decade in Cambridge, UK, has won two recent awards. The first is from the National Academy of Sciences and is called the 2019 NAS Award for Scientific Reviewing. The second is from the RAS, one of the 2019 Gold Medals of the Royal Astronomical Society. The UA press release can be found HERE.

Assistant Professor Erika Hamden was recently named a TED2019 Fellow. You can read the press release HERE

Faculty member Hubert (Buddy) Martin, Project Scientist of the Mirror Polishing Program at the Richard F. Caris Mirror Lab, received the SPIE's A.E. Conrady Award. We quote the citation here: "Dr. Buddy Martin has been awarded the A.E. Conrady Award in Optical Engineering for his contributions to the polishing of large mirrors, including those for the GMT. Dr. Martin has been the guiding hand in the polishing of the GMT mirrors." You can find the press release HERE

Paola Pinilla Receives a 2018 Sofja Kovalevskaja Award of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation

Steward Postdoc Paola Pinilla has received a 2018 Sofja Kovalevskaja Award of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. Paola is at center bottom of the image on the award page. Paola will leave for Germany in Summer 2019, and will have the funding to create a research group at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Heidelberg, Planet and Star Formation Department, for a five-year period. Congratulations, Paola.

Protoplanetary Disks and Planets in Taurus

An international team lead by Feng Long (Peking University) and Paola Pinilla (Steward/University of Arizona), have obtained for the first time an unbiased ALMA survey of 32 protoplanetary disks in the Taurus star forming region, which spans a wide range of properties (e.g., millimeter brightness). In this sample, about 40% of the disks show concentric rings and gaps around young stars, confirming the commonality of these features. These rings and gaps give indirect evidence of planets being formed in their nascent environment. Interestingly, the morphology of these structures suggests that embedded super-Earths and Neptunes are the most likely possibility to explain these rings/gaps, in line with the most common type of planets discovered so far. The UA of Arizona press release can be found HERE. The scientific paper was published in the Astrophysical Journal HERE


Commencement 2018

On May 11, 2018, Astronomy/Steward graduated ten Astronomy majors, seventeen Astronomy minors, and hooded five PhD students.

Below we show eight photos, all of which can be enlarged by clicking. Photos are courtesy of Michelle Cournoyer and Marina Dunn.

Majors: Tyler Baines; Rafia Bushra; Jenny Calahan; Quadry Chance; Marina Dunn; Aidan Gibbs; Andrew Henrici; Frida Jauregui; Andrew Weldon; Nicole Zawadzki.

Minors: Andrew Brewer; Cody Dalton; Taylor East; Ryan Hamilton; Morgan Harlan; Elizabeth Kinney; Alexis Lugo; Seth Martin; Raul Moraga, III; Liam Murphy; Will Nelson; Angelo Pama; Gordon Ramsbottom, III; Lennon Reinhart; Kimberly Rodas; Linden Willems; Mindi Zudekoff.

PhDs: Melissa Halford; Ben Rackham; J. T. Schindler; Brian Svoboda; Ya-Lin Wu.

From left to right: Graduate students are Brian Svoboda, Melissa Halford, Benjamin Rackman, Jan-Torge Schindler. Undergraduates are Aidan Gibbs, Quadry Chance, Nicole Zawadzki, Marina Dunn, Jenny Calahan, Frida Jauregui, Tyler Baines, Andrew Weldon, Rafia Bushra. 

Jenny Calahan giving Outstanding Senior in the College of Science speech at the College of Science Commencement Ceremony.

Quadry Chance, Nicole Zawadzki, Marina Dunn, and Jenny Calahan.

Jenny Calahan, Nicole Zawadzki, and Marina Dunn.

Ya-Lin Wu, Brian Svoboda, and Jan-Torge Schindler after the ceremony.

Advisor Laird Close and advisee Ya-Lin Wu.

Advisor Dennis Zaritsky and advisee Melissa Halford.

On May 3, we had a a celebration and ceremony for graduating Majors and Minors. Pictured here are  (left to right) Nicole Zawadzki, Marina Dunn,  Andrew Henrici, Jenny Calahan, Undergrad Studies Program Coordinator Dr Yancy Shirley, Jeffrey Hamilton, Andrew Weldon, Aidan Gibbs, Tyler Baines, Frida Jauregui, Angelo Pama, Quadry Chance, Dr Tom Fleming, William Nelson, and Head of the Dept of Astronomy Buell Jannuzi.