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Don McCarthy receives University Distinguished Outreach Faculty Award

We are very pleased to let you know that Don McCarthy has been selected this year for the University Distinguished Outreach Faculty award, the highest University honor in this area so central to our land-grant mission. On December 10 at the 17th Annual "Regent's Professor, University Distinguished Professors, University Distinguished Outreach Faculty" Induction Ceremony, the University will recognize Don and present him with a silver medallion. From the date of the ceremony onward, Don will hold the title of University Distinguished Outreach Professor, University of Arizona, in addition to his current title of Astronomer.

Congratulations Don

Steward Grad Student Evan Schneider wins TAP Program Prize

Steward Graduate student Evan Schneider has won the 2014 University of Arizona Theoretical Astrophysics Program Student Research prize. TAP chair Renu Malhotra's announcement follows:


"It is my pleasure to write you that the evaluation committee has selected Evan Schneider, graduate student in Astronomy, for the TAP Graduate Student Research prize this year, for her paper, "Cholla : A New Massively-Parallel Hydrodynamics Code for Astrophysical Simulation" ( Congratulations, Evan!

The prize will be presented on Monday, December 8 at the usual 4pm TAP colloquium time, in room 312 in LPL, at which time Evan will also give us a talk about her work.

Thanks are due the evaluators, Randy Jokipii, Shufang Su, and Andrew Youdin, who wrote me that all the nominations were "excellent and deserving". Thanks also to the nominated students and their advisors for tackling interesting and challenging problems and writing excellent papers. All the nominated papers will shortly be posted on the TAP webpage."

Photo from Tucson Women in Astronomy website

How does a dense galaxy cluster affect star formation in its galaxies?

Former Steward Grad Student Suresh Sivanandam and Regents' Professors George Rieke and Marcia Rieke have obtained evidence for stripped molecular gas in galaxy clusters. These observations solve a long-standing mystery of why star formation is relatively low in galaxies in galaxy clusters. The UA News press release can be found HERE.

Dusty Baby Solar System Gives Clues On How Our Sun And Planets Grew Up

This isn’t a clone of our Solar System, but it’s close enough. Scientists eagerly scrutinized a young star system called HD 95086 ...
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

University of Arizona Takes Over Operations of the UKIRT Telescope

Steward Observatory of the University of Arizona, along with partners University of Hawaii and Lockheed-Martin Corporation, have taken over operations and ownership of the UKIRT Infrared Telescope on Mauna Kea in Hawaii. Steward's participation adds new capabilities to those of our existing suite of telescopes, and keeps this productive telescope in operation. UK scientists will continue to participate in data processing and archiving and in the completion of already-begun surveys.
For more information, read Daniel Stolte's UA News article HERE, and the Sky and Telescope article HERE.

photo courtesy Joint Astronomy Center

Astronomers Find Remarkable Diversities in Planetary Debris Systems

Circumstellar "disks" of material are both the progenitors and the outcomes of planetary system formation processes. Steward Observatory Astronomer Dr. Glenn Schneider and collaborators have now published a major Hubble Space Telescope (HST) based study of massive systems of exoplanetary, starlight-scattering, debris around a sample of nearby stars of different stellar ages and masses. Using imaging data they obtained with the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph's visible-light coronagraph (suppressing the otherwise blinding glare of the starlight illuminating these circumstellar disks of orbiting debris) they found an astounding diversity in debris disk morphologies, architectures, and inferred particle properties. These images directly inform on the posited interactions between the dusty debris episodically replenished by (sometimes catastrophic) collisions of "parent" bodies, planets (unseen) co-orbiting within (and "stirring") the debris disks, and other forces intrinsic and extrinsic to the systems, as well as on the physical properties of the inter- (and exo-) planetary material. Pictures appearing on the cover of the Oct 2014 Astronomical Journal illustrate some of the structural and morphological diversity in these systems. A link to the STSCI press release can be found HERE. The UA News story can be found HERE.


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