CUNY Faculty Research Result Featured in Nature! - Sept 2014
Barry McKernan & Saavik Ford's (BMCC) recent
work on pumping up stars with gravitational waves was picked up as a research highlight by
NASA Grant Awarded to support Community College Students and Faculty - Summer 2014
Tim Paglione and the New York Space Grant (NYSG) Consortium
received a NASA grant to improve the graduation and transfer rates of
community college and technical school STEM students from
underrepresented groups. The NYSG Community College Partnership
Program (NYSG CCPP) will support over 30 students and more than 20
faculty from community colleges over the next two years with
scholarships, release time, and summer research internships. The NYSG
CCPP (Saavik Ford) will also run three workshops to train community college faculty in implementing a Methods of Science Research course to prepare students for research. We are actively recruiting students so spread the word - it is open to the entire state of NY! See the Cornell NYSG page for more info and applications.
CUNY Astro Alumna is now a Professor - August 2014
Stephanie Fiorenza, a recent CUNY Astro PhD recipient, is now a science professor at the College of Southern Nevada in Las Vegas. CSN is the largest and most ethnically diverse higher education institution in Nevada.
CUNY AstroCom featured in NPR's Morning Edition - April 2014
The CUNY AstroCom program is an NSF-funded project to support CUNY undergraduates interested in pursing a career in Astronomy.
AstroCom Scholars Ariel Diaz (BMCC), Betsy Hernandez (Hunter) were featured along with Prof. Tim Paglione (York College) and Prof. Saavik Ford (BMCC). The full audio of the story is available on the NPR website.
CUNY Astronomers Awarded Time on the Keck Telescope
Adric Riedel led a successful proposal for one night of time on one of the world's largest telescopes in a highly competitive selection process. The research team includes Emily Rice (College of Staten Island), Kelle Cruz (Hunter College), and Jackie Faherty (Carnegie-DTM & AMNH) of the BDNYC collaboration
. Riedel, a postdoctoral researcher at Hunter College and AMNH, will lead the effort to use the Keck II telescope
on Mauna Kea in Hawaii
and its building-sized 10 meter (33 foot) wide mirror to obtain spectroscopy of brown dwarfs
, objects less massive than stars but more massive than planets. "Spectroscopy is like a fingerprint," Riedel notes, "and with it, among other things, we can learn how fast the brown dwarfs are moving." Knowing these motions will help determine if the brown dwarfs are part of any known nearby "moving groups
" of stars, which will help them determine their physical properties. Observing time on the gigantic Keck telescopes is notoriously difficult to get, but, as Riedel explains, "measuring the motions of stars is hard enough, and the brown dwarfs we're trying to measure are much, much dimmer. So we needed Keck, and I'm incredibly excited we're going to get to do this." The observations are scheduled for May 2014.
NSF Astronomy and Astrophysics Award to CUNY Collaboration
Kelle Cruz (Hunter College), Emily Rice (College of Staten Island), and Jackie Faherty (Carngeie-DTM & AMNH) of the BDNYC collaboration
have been awarded $350,000 from the Astronomy and Astrophysics program of the National Science Foundation
to study brown dwarfs — objects in between stars and planets in mass. The project will exploit the properties of well-characterized benchmarks to test, interpret, and refine atmosphere and evolutionary models. Brown dwarfs are promising analogs for young, massive exoplanets and this project will creatively advance our understanding of the key physical parameters that sculpt the observed spectral data of exoplanet atmospheres.
In research published in the Monthly Notices
of the Royal Astronomical Society, scientists from the American Museum of Natural History, the City University of New York, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory of the California Institute of Technology, and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics propose that intermediate-mass black holes can grow in the gas disks around supermassive black holes in the centers of galaxies. See it here in Sky and Telescope!
Three graduating seniors and one alumna from Hunter College have been awarded National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships for work toward their master's or doctoral degrees, among them, Vivienne Baldassare will receive up to $121,500 for three years of advanced study in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines.