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Shaking up Dark Matter at the World Science Festival

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...

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Alumni Update: Dr Jessica Gaskin

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...

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Galaxies and Alternative Gravity

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/

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2016 Nassau Prize winners

  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. Grace Olivier has been working with Professor Heather Morrison on testing inside-out galaxy formation models locally in the Milky Way.  Using the SEGUE stripes, she has created maps of the colors of stars in the outer disk of the Milky Way. From these maps she has found the ages of stars by matching the colors to stellar evolution models, after adjusting for the chemical composition of stars in different...

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