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First and Second Year Grad Students Back on Campus

On August 25, 2021, we welcomed the second-year grad students and new grad students back to campus after this long COVID closure. The photo above shows both groups of students: (from left to right) Xiangyu Jin, Hayden Foote, Jasmin Washington, Vivian Carvajal, Maria Gabriela Cota, Jeniveve Pearson, Christa DeCoursey, Jake Helton, Rebecca Minsley, Maria Pudoka, Joe Adamo, Nick Schragal, Yu-Hsiu Huang, Evan Mayer, Yang Sun.

(Not pictured - first-year students: Donghyeon (Jeff) Khim, Chia-Lin Ko second-year students: Haley Bowden, Soley Hyman, Aafaque Khan, Sophie Lebowitz, Matthew Murphy, Lily Whitler)

A more formal photo of the first-year students can be seen HERE, with the second-year students HERE.

Graduation 2020

On May 14, 2020, we used a "webinar" program to join from afar faculty, staff, parents, friends, relatives, and astronomy alumni. We all gathered to celebrate 29 graduating undergraduate astronomy majors and 12 astronomy minors.The list of names follows this text. Four screenshots, along with the text of former astronaut Dr. George "Pinky" Nelson's speech are given in the following five links: ONETWOTHREEFOURTEXT. You can watch the 80 min audio/video HERE.

Congratulations and good luck to everyone, and special thanks to everyone who made this graduation possible.

If you're interested in going to school in astronomy at UArizona, the presentation also provides a Department-wide perspective of our undergraduate program, including opportunities for research, funding, and inter-Department programming available to our students.


Astronomy Majors-- Samantha Elizabeth Andrews; Marco Antonio Barragan; Cassandra Bodin; Yuxuan Chen; Sean Cunningham; Xingzhong Fan; Farah Fauzi; Colin Alexander Hauch; Yuan Jea Hew; Joseph Robert Hickey; Mackenzie Madisen James; Charlotte Kevis; Michael Klein; Reagen Anne Leimbach; Collin Davis Lewin; Jimmy Lilly; Sammie Mackie; José Angel Pérez Chávez; Chirag Rathi; Daniel Ryan Robinson; William Walker Rockwell; Trevor James Smith; Alejandra Jimena Stephenson; James Jordan Taylor; Justin Tazeah Osiris Ugaitafa; Madison Victoria Walder; Emily Catherine Walla; Ryan T. Webster; Steven Zhou-Wright

Astronomy Minors-- Adam Michael Bauer; Haley Love Collins; Jackson Williams DeStefano; Nicholas Richard Ferrone; Rebeca Christine Gardner; Zackary Kyle Hatfield ;Jacob Reis Heller; Minseong Kang; Evan William Mekenney; Shitij Seth; Sukriti Sinha; Prem Kumar Thirunagari

ASTR Major Wins Data Visualization Challenge

We are happy to announce that undergraduate Asronomy Major Tintin Nguyen was awarded First Place ($250) in the UA's 2021 Data Visualization Challenge. "The Challenge highlights the power of communicating through graphical representations of data and provides students the opportunity to showcase their skills and network with the greater data visualization community."

Undergraduate and graduate students from different disciplines were invited to submit visual displays of data to tell stories. This is the second year that the Libraries’ Office of Digital Innovation & Stewardship (ODIS) has sponsored the event. View the winning entries and access the digital collection.

Abstract of Tintin's project: The Law of Large Numbers and the Central Limit Theorem are two of the most fundamental and elegant theorems in Probability Theory. However, these concepts are impractical to demonstrate because they require an immense number of trials to observe the long-term behaviors of random variables. Therefore, this case study runs computer simulations on coin tossing as an intuitive example to explain these statistical concepts. The visualizations provide insights into the theorems without mathematically rigorous proofs, making them accessible for introductory statistics learners.

Second place: Melanie Gin, Information Science & eSociety and Computer Science
Third place: Ashwin Raj, Mathematics
Honorable mention: Torin Hodge, Biosystems Engineering
(thanks to Don McCarthy for the text)

Three Upcoming Public Talks

The Dept. of Astronomy and Steward Observatory is hosting three talks in April.

The final, upcoming public talk for April, to be given in Spanish, is by Prof. Enrico Ramirez-Ruiz, UC Santa Cruz, on April 26, at 7:30pm. The Youtube link for this upcoming talk is HERE. The Flyer, in Spanish, is HERE.

The other two events have passed but you can watch the archived talks at the links below:

The first, on April 5, at 7:30pm MST (note that Arizona does not keep  Daylight Saving Time) is by Dr Kevin Wagner, entitled "Imaging New Worlds in the Alpha Centauri System." The Zoom address of the archived talk is HERE

The second, on April 12, at 7:30pm MST on Zoom (archived talk video is HERE) is by Professor Chris Impey. It's the 60th anniversary of the first manned spaceflight: Chris's talk is entitled: "Our Future in Space." You can see the talk flyer HERE.


TIMESTEP Tech Internship

The TIMESTEP Internship offers UA majors in Astronomy, Physics and Math the opportunity to gain valuable industry experience prior to graduation. This article details the experiences of one intern, UA astronomy and physics major Elizabeth Champagne, and her supervisors at ELE Optics, a UA FORGE partner. TIMESTEP is currently looking for industry partners for the Summer 2021 program and student applications will be due March 31, 2021. Details can be found HERE

GMT Mirror #6 Casting

Here is a live-streaming link for the high-temperature portion of the casting of GMT Mirror #6 (Saturday March 6 from 1:30pm MST to 2:30pm MST).

We are virtually celebrating the creation of the sixth segment of the Giant Magellan Telescope’s primary mirror array during the High Fire phase. This casting of an 8.4-meter telescope mirror is a major milestone moment in the engineering process.  This one-of-a-kind instrument will allow astronomers to solve some of the mysteries of the Universe.

When completed the Giant Magellan Telescope will be the largest and most powerful telescope in the world. The casting process uses an oven 40 feet in diameter to heat up 20 tons of glass to 2129° F. This unique fabrication process results in a lightweight honeycomb glass structure.

Here at the University of Arizona we are celebrating the achievement of this milestone. The Richard F. Caris Mirror Lab is the only place in the world where mirrors of this size are produced

The process is fascinating and you will have access to learn more and ask questions on Saturday March 6, 2021 from 1:30 - 2:30 pm MST.

This virtual event is being hosted by the Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter, where we engage people of all ages in the process of scientific exploration as we foster a deeper understanding of our Earth within the Universe.


For the public
For Public

Public events include our Monday Night Lecture Series, world-reknowned Astronomy Camp and Mt Lemmon Sky Center.

For Students

A good place to start if you want to become an undergrad major or grad student, or need to find our schedule of classes.


For Scientists
For Scientists

Find telescopes and instruments, telescope time applications, staff and mountain contacts, and faculty and staff scientific interests.