Date posted: May 5th, 2017
Red giant stars are the most luminous ones found in a population of old stars, and so are particularly useful to study the early history of the Milky Way. “We use these stars like fossils, because in many cases their chemistry and motions have been unchanged since they were formed more than 10 Gyr ago”, says CWRU astronomer Heather Morrison. …Read more.
Date posted: December 8th, 2016
This fall marks the full public release of CWRU Astronomy’s Burrell Schmidt Deep Virgo Survey. Over the course of seven observing seasons from 2004 through 2011, CWRU astronomer Chris Mihos and collaborators used the Burrell Schmidt telescope to conduct deep wide-field imaging of the nearby Virgo Cluster of galaxies. …Read more.
Date posted: September 22nd, 2016
A new radial acceleration relation found among spiral and irregular galaxies challenges current understanding – and possibly existence – of dark matter.
In the late 1970s, astronomers Vera Rubin and Albert Bosma independently found that spiral galaxies rotate at a nearly constant speed: the velocity of stars and gas inside a galaxy does not decrease with radius, as one would expect from Newton’s laws and the distribution of visible matter, but remains approximately constant. …Read more.
Date posted: September 8th, 2016
With the new fall semester kicking off, we’ve just published the latest CWRU Astronomy newsletter. It features a Hubble Space Telescope study of the nearby spiral galaxy M101 by Chris Mihos and collaborators, a variety of new research databases created by CWRU astronomers, a feature of our historic 9.5″ Warner and Swasey refractor, and more. …Read more.
Date posted: August 26th, 2016
The new Spitzer Photometry and Accurate Rotation Curves (SPARC) database is publicly available online. Created by team leaders Federico Lelli and Stacy McGaugh (CWRU Astronomy) and Jim Schombert (UOregon Physics), SPARC is a sample of 175 disk galaxies covering a broad range of morphologies (S0 to Irr), luminosities (107 to 1012 Lsun), and sizes (0.3 to 15 kpc). …Read more.
Date posted: June 3rd, 2016
For years, the reigning model for cosmology argues that the universe is filled with unseen dark matter, believed to comprise the bulk of the mass in the universe. However, despite painstaking searches, scientists have yet to detect particles which would make up this dark matter. …Read more.
Date posted: May 19th, 2016
NASA scientist and CWRU alumna Dr Jessica Gaskin recently won NASA’s Early Career Achievement Medal for her work in developing X-ray telescopes to study the Sun, stars, and galaxies. But back when she was a graduate student in the CWRU Astronomy Department, she learned a valuable lesson from her mentor, Professor Earle Luck: you gotta break things to make progress in science. …Read more.
Date posted: February 17th, 2016
Interested in galaxy dynamics and prospects for alternative gravity models? In a recent TEDxCLE talk, CWRU Astronomy’s Stacy McGaugh discusses how the kinematics of galaxies presents new challenges to models of cosmology and galaxy formation, and how alternative gravity models might be a viable explanation for how galaxies behave. …Read more.
Date posted: February 15th, 2016
CWRU Astronomy’s Jason J Nassau prize is awarded to outstanding senior astronomy majors for excellence in academics and research. This year’s award was shared by two students, Grace Olivier and Liz Tarantino. …Read more.
Date posted: December 18th, 2015
A team of CWRU astronomers has recently identified 43 new protoclusters of galaxies, seen as they were 12 billion years in the past, when the Universe was only a few billion years old. …Read more.
Date posted: November 30th, 2015
We are always grateful for the strong support we receive from our alumni and friends. CWRU alumnus Walter Bonsack (’54) got his start in astronomy as an undergraduate, using the Burrell Schmidt (located at the time in East Cleveland) to study the chemical composition of early type stars. …Read more.