Tag Archives: Astrophysics

Chad Brisbois Places Second at Fermi Symposium Poster Session

Fermi SymposiumPhysics graduate student Chad Brisbois presented a poster at the Sixth International Fermi Symposium, which took place in Arlington, VA, on November 9-13, 2015. The poster won second place in the student poster contest sponsored by the Universities Space Research Association (USRA).

NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope observes light in the photon energy range of 8,000 electronvolts (8 keV) to greater than 300 billion electronvolts (300 GeV). It was launched in 2008.

The symposium showcases how the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope continues to revolutionize our understanding of the high-energy Universe. It highlights results from a variety of multi-wavelength and multi-messenger studies.

USRA is an independent, nonprofit research corporation whose mission is to advance the space- and aeronautics-related sciences exploration through innovative research, technology, and education programs; promote space and aeronautics policy; and develop and operate premier facilities and programs by involving universities, governments, and the private sector for the benefit of humanity.

Brisbois’ advisor is Robert Nemiroff.


Lunar Eclipse Viewing at Michigan Tech

Moonbeam: Event draws crowd to Tech’s telescope

HOUGHTON – At Michigan Technological University, people lined up Sunday night to view an astronomical event that, for most of them, was occurring for the first time in their lives.

“A lot of people think that when the moon is eclipsed, it disappears during totality, but it doesn’t,” said Amanda Shaw, a masters student at Tech and teacher of Tech’s astronomy class, who organized the viewing.

“This is a rather unique event, but otherwise people don’t necessarily get a chance to see things like a full moon with any detail,” said Tech physics student Scott Rutterbush. “Instead, it gives them a little bit of perspective. It gives them a chance to say, ‘in order to see up close on the moon, we have to go this big.'”

Read more at the Mining Gazette, by Garrett Neese (subscription required).


Nemiroff Interviewed on APOD by MUSEUM Magazine

Museum magazine published a special feature on NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day and interviewed Professor Robert Nemiroff (Physics), who co-developed and co-writes and edits the popular astronomy feature.

From Tech Today.

A special report on NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day archive—an image-driven attempt to catalogue (some) of the universe’s ephemera.

Existence is a loaded thing. Those of us who do not engage with the physical environment or, spiritually speaking, ritualistic practice, might wonder only briefly and in passing about that which we do not understand—the deep sea, impending apocalypse, where we come from—before shaking our heads and continuing onward.

MONICA USZEROWICZ As someone exploring the beginnings of the universe, what prompted your interest in the cosmos?

ROBERT NEMIROFF Like many scientists, in particular astronomers, I wanted to be a scientist from a very early age. I remember in second grade that I could say the names of the planets—then including Pluto—faster than anyone in the class. And that included—and I hope you are sitting down for this—the teacher. So obviously, I was pre-qualified to become an astronomer.

Read more at MUSEUM, by Monica Uszerowicz.


APOD is 20 Years Old

APOD VermeerAstronomy Picture of the Day (APOD) was launched this day in 1995. The massively followed online site is maintained by APOD co-founders Robert Nemiroff and Jerry Bonnell.

The 20th anniversary APOD image is a digital re-pixelation of a Vermeer using over 5,000 APOD images that have been featured on the site.

Nemiroff and Bonnell were interviewed by The Verge.

20 years of space photos: an oral history of Astronomy Picture of the Day

Exploring the cosmos one day at a time

APOD launched on June 16, 1995. In advance of its milestone birthday, I spoke on the phone with the two guys who have run the site by hand for two decades, a seemingly unfathomable task in the age of ephemeral content. How do they do it? A combination of Microsoft Word, a fiery passion for astrophotography, and lots and lots of emails.

So where did the idea originally come from?

Robert Nemiroff: Jerry Bonnell and I shared an office at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, and we were both — we’re still — active researchers. But the web was growing up, and so we brainstormed to try to figure out how we could contribute to this web. One idea, we thought, was maybe we can make lots of money, and buy a Hawaiian island or something. But that never worked out. [Laughs.]

Read more at The Verge, by Sean O’Kane.



Associate Professor Huentemeyer Provides Updates on HAWC

Petra Huentemeyer
Petra Huentemeyer

Astrophysics Highlights from the APS April Meeting

HAWC Observatory Online
At a press conference, Petra Huentemeyer of Michigan Technological University gave a status update and early results from the High-Altitude Water Chernkov (HAWC) observatory. HAWC will produce a wide-field picture of the universe in TeV gamma rays and cosmic rays. With just one third of its total planned array online, HAWC has already exceeded the sensitivity of its predecessor MILAGRO.

Read more at the American Physical Society News, by Calla Cofield.


Top 25 Hottest Articles in Astroparticle Physics

David Nitz and Brian Fick are each co-authors in 6 of the Top 25 Hottest Articles in Astroparticle Physics for the 2011 year. Four of those are in the top 10, including the top most downloaded article.

The number one article was “Search for first harmonic modulation in the right ascension distribution of cosmic rays detected at the Pierre Auger Observatory,” Astroparticle Physics34, Issue 8, March 2011, Pages 627-639. Other co-authors with or formerly with Michigan Tech are James Chye, Johana Chirinos Diaz, Roger M. Kieckhafer, Niraj Dhital, and Tolga Yapici. READ MORE


Cosmic race ends in a tie

Result puts limit on how ‘lumpy’ space-time can be.
A race between two energetic photons that began more than 7 billion years ago and spanned half the cosmos has ended in a virtual dead heat. The result, if it stands up to scrutiny, would tighten the limits, suggested by some theories, on how ‘lumpy’ space-time can be. The work, to be presented on 11 January at the 219th meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Austin, Texas, by Robert Nemiroff of the Michigan Technological University in Houghton and his colleagues, relies on an analysis of a short-lived, powerful stellar explosion known as a γ-ray burst that was recorded by NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope in May 2009 and dubbed GRB 090510A. The study focused on two photons, one with an energy of 25 gigaelectronvolts (GeV) and another of about 1.5 GeV, which were separated by just 0.00136 seconds. READ MORE



Michigan Tech Research Magazine 2011

Michigan Tech Research Magazine 2011 has three features on physics research this year. Left is Ranjit Pati, whose research team built a molecular computer using lessons learned from the human brain. In the middle are David Nitz and Brian Fick, who are corecipients of Michigan Tech’s 2010 Research Award in the fields of experimental particle physics and ultrahigh energy cosmic rays. On the right are boron nitride nanotubes representing the precision experimental work of Yoke Khin Yap and his research team.

Ranjit Pati

Lessons from the Brain

David Nitz and Brian Fick

Nitz, Fick Honored for Astrophysics Research

Boron Nitride Nanotubes

Taming the divas of the nanoworld