UA Science
Artist’s impression of a high-redshift quasar as it would have appeared a few hundred million years after the Big Bang. Powered by a supermassive black hole at their center, such quasars can be 1000 times more luminous than the Milky Way galaxy. NOIRLab/NSF/AURA/J. da Silva. Article by Hannah Hindley, Steward Observatory

'Mind-boggling' quasars and atmospheres of vaporized rock: UArizona astronomers explore cosmos with Webb Telescope

Competition to secure observing time for the world's most powerful space telescope is stiff – so stiff that for every nine applications submitted for the latest observation cycle for NASA's James Webb Space Telescope, only one was accepted. The Space Telescope Science Institute, which made the final selections for JWST Cycle 3, approved two types of programs: those requiring primary observation time, dictating which part of the sky the telescope views, and those that rely on parallel observation time, which can occur simultaneously while one or more instruments on JWST are occupied with a primary project. In a sea of national and international applicants, researchers from the University of Arizona Steward Observatory received 8% of the primary observation time for JWST Cyle 3 and 70% of the total parallel observation time, earning the university one of the highest observation allocations of any academic institution. Observation cycles typically last one year and provide the astronomy community with a time period for scheduling and conducting observations. Cycle 3 begins on July 1. Of the roughly 6,000 astronomers who submitted proposals, one of the...

James Webb Space Telescope spots the two most distant galaxies ever seen at cosmic dawn

When Kevin Hainline saw the data on his screen, he jumped up from his desk, startled by what he saw. In January 2023, Hainline – an associate research professor in the University of Arizona Department of Astronomy and Steward Observatory – was the first person to ever lay eyes on the galaxies JADES GS-z14-0 and the slightly less distant GS-z14-1. At the time of their discovery, these galaxies were merely two candidates among the hundreds Hainline had discovered, each one requiring careful follow-up observation to help confirm their extreme distances. Months later, standing over his desk, he had data confirming that the international team of astronomers working on the James Webb Space...

Steward Observatory’s Buell Jannuzi wins UArizona’s Distinguished Head/Director’s Award

This week, Buell Jannuzi, Head of the Department of Astronomy and Director of Steward Observatory, receives University of Arizona’s Distinguished Head/Director’s Award, an honor that reflects his abilities as a leader to engender trust, foster collaboration, and recruit and retain a diverse community of high-achieving staff, students and faculty.

"We are extremely fortunate to have such a dedicated and effective leader for Steward Observatory and the Department of Astronomy,” said Regents’ Professor George Rieke. “In a limited-funding, highly-constrained environment he has, nevertheless, managed to extend and expand the ambition of the faculty and staff of the department and...

Steward Observatory’s Marcia Rieke Wins Prestigious Gruber Cosmology Prize

The 2024 Gruber Cosmology Prize recognizes Marcia Rieke of the University of Arizona’s Steward Observatory for her pioneering work in infrared astronomy, especially her oversight of instruments allowing astronomers to explore the earliest galaxies in the universe.

Rieke will receive the $500,000 award as well as a gold laureate pin at a ceremony that will take place August 8 at the General Assembly of the International...

Steward Observatory PhD Alum Jane Rigby Receives the Presidential Medal of Honor

Today, Dr. Jane Rigby (PhD in Astronomy at University of Arizona, 2006) receives the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Joe Biden. This is the highest civilian award of the United States, and it honors Rigby’s role in the success of the James Webb Space Telescope mission and her longtime support of diversity and inclusion in science.

Rigby and her team at Goddard Space Flight Center played a major role in the smooth transfer of JWST from commissioning to routine science. Rigby worked on the development of JWST for many years and subsequently led the characterization of JWST's science performance — which now is exceeding expectations and continues to provide pioneering...

Congratulations to the CatSat team for a successful satellite integration at Vandenberg Space Force Base. Next step: orbit!

 At dawn on April 24, 2024, a student-led team from the University of Arizona climbed into a vehicle headed 660 miles across state lines to ...

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