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). For each galaxy, the team collected both HI data and Spitzer images at 3.6 um. The HI data provide the gas distribution and the galaxy rotation curve, tracing the total gravitational potential: these data are the fruits of 30 years of...
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. Why are these particles so elusive? Might they not be there at all? On the evening of June 2 at the World Science Festival in New York City, CWRU Astronomy chair Stacy McGaugh joined a panel of scientists to discuss alternative theories about the presence (or absence!) of dark matter in the universe. You...
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. It's a lesson that serves her well: "It's part of the learning process," she writes. "You have to make mistakes. You have to break things. That's how we learn."
Read more about Jessica's work in the article "Learned...
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.
Watch his TEDxCLE talk at this link: http://www.tedxcle.com/stacy-mcgaugh/