The discovery, although mysterious, might provide a new window into the depths of our most familiar star.
Humans have made a staggering amount of scientific and technological progress over the past century, but from the reason we sleep at night to the origins of the universe, several fundamental questions remain unanswered. Paul Sutter from the Department of Astronomy weighs in.
Apple's "Off the Charts 2017" list of most popular courses on iTunes U includes six courses from The Ohio State University College of Arts and Sciences. Additional universities with a strong presence on the 83-course list include Harvard, Missouri State, Stanford and Yale.
"For decades, science popularizers have said humans are made of stardust, and now, a new survey of 150,000 stars shows just how true the old cliché is: Humans and their galaxy have about 97 percent of the same kind of atoms, and the elements of life appear to be more prevalent toward the galaxy's center, the research found."
"It's a great human-interest story that we are now able to map the abundance of all of the major elements found in the human body across hundreds of thousands of stars in our Milky Way," Jennifer Johnson, the science team chair of the SDSS-III APOGEE survey and a professor at The Ohio State University, said in the statement. "This allows us to place constraints on when and where in our galaxy life had the required elements to evolve, a sort of 'temporal galactic habitable zone.'"
"Michael Stamatikos is an assistant professor of physics and astronomy at Ohio State University-Newark. He also is part of a team of scientists working on interpreting data from NASA's Swift satellite. The dual role has proved ideal for Stamatikos, who said he realized he had a passion for teaching while in college at the State University of New York-Buffalo."
"For his students, having such a well-connected professor has proved invaluable because Stamatikos has involved several of them in his research. Because OSU-Newark is a branch campus, where students typically spend just a few semesters before moving on, they normally aren't exposed to such high-level research."
Image: An artist's rendering of a gamma-ray burst, the type of cosmic event being monitored by Stamatikos. (Goddard Space Flight Center)
CCAPP faculty Adam Leroy and his students will get the best look yet at how stars are born in galaxies' "stellar nurseries," thanks to a new, five-year National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award. The grant will enable Leroy and his graduate students to use a set of new radio telescopes to study how stars are born in galaxies.
A satellite mission that Michael Stamatikos, physics and astronomy assistant professor on Ohio State's Newark campus, supports was recently ranked number one by NASA in science output among similar class, ongoing missions. Stamatikos is a member of the Swift satellite mission science team and has been affiliated with NASA since 2006, when he was selected as a NASA postdoctoral fellow at Goddard Space Flight Center.
CCAPP faculty member Jim Beatty has been appointed to serve on a NASA advisory panel. He will join the Executive Committee of the Physics of the Cosmos Analysis Group (PhysPAG) from 2016 to 2019. This panel helps further the aims of the NASA's Physics of the Cosmos program, addressing missions at the intersection of physics and astronomy.
NASA recently named chairs to lead scientific studies of four potential contenders for the "flagship astrophysics mission" to take place in the 2030s. NASA appointed Brad Peterson, astronomy professor/chair emeritus, to the Large UV-Optical-IR Surveyor (LUVOIR) team and astronomy professor Scott Gaudi to the Habitable Exoplanet Surveyor (HabEx) team. In 2019, the four teams will submit final reports to NASA and ultimately to the National Academy of Sciences' 2020 Astronomy Decadal Survey, which sets each decade's priorities for federal investments. Laura Lopez, astronomy assistant professor, was named to the X-ray Surveyor team.
Paul Sutter, cosmological research and community outreach coordinator for CCAPP has also been appointed the first Cheif Scientist at COSI. "Proving that sometimes you can have the best of two possible worlds, both Ohio State and COSI created brand-new positions for Sutter that will allow him to captivate and innovate through scientific outreach...Sutter has gained a reputation for not just being able to translate science to the public, but doing it in such a way that is addictive."
"In his spare time, Sutter is one of the world's leading experts on cosmic voids - the vast empty spaces between galaxies - and has devised innovative methods for using radio telescopes to probe deep into cosmic history, when the first stars and galaxies formed."
OSU Arts & Sciences Article "Science is Sharing"
WOSU Article and Interview "COSI Hires First Chief Scientist, Paul Sutter"
David Weinberg was named to Thomson Reuters' 2015 list of Highly-Cited Researchers whose work has had worldwide impact and influence, ranking among the top one percent most cited for their field and year of publication. A member of the astronomy department since 1995, Weinberg studies the large scale structure of the universe, dark energy and dark matter, the formation and evolution of galaxies and quasars and the intergalactic medium.
Shirley Li is among 17 Arts and Sciences graduate students to win the Edward F. Hayes Graduate Research Forum Prize, winner in the area of Physics. Ohio State's Edward F. Hayes Graduate Research Forum showcases the innovative and exemplary research being conducted by Ohio State graduate students across the full range of graduate degree programs and facilitates fruitful exchanges between students, faculty, the administration, and the public.
Learn more about the Hayes Forum...
"Last week, NASA announced plans to move forward on the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope. Projected to launch in mid-2020, it has two major missions: discovering secrets of dark energy and dark matter; and worlds beyond our solar system. Three Ohio State researchers, astronomer Scott Gaudi and astrophysicists Chris Hirata and David Weinberg, were named to teams responsible for the critical final design."
"With three leading members of WFIRST's Science Investigation Teams, Ohio State has "the largest scientific footprint in WFIRST of any university in the country," according to Weinberg. Weinberg and Hirata are co-investigators on the team designing WFIRST's single largest program, an enormous map of hundreds of millions of galaxies that will be used to measure the growth of the universe and the clustering of dark matter."
"In the words of WFIRST Project Scientist Neil Gehrels, of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, "Ohio State has made enormous contributions to WFIRST. David Weinberg, Chris Hirata and Scott Gaudi are world experts in dark energy and exo-planets, which are its two main science areas. After Hubble and the James Webb Space Telescope, WFIRST is going to be NASA's next great optical and infrared observatory. It would not be moving forward without their seminal work."
"Researchers at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) have found evidence of gravitational waves, a key feature of standard models of how the universe works."
In relation to the big announcement from the LIGO collaboration on Thursday February 11, 2016, CCAPP Postdoc Paul Sutter composed an article describing the physics and importance of gravitational waves.
"In general relativity, space-time is dynamic...It can warp and twist, and bend and flex. It can wave. It responds to the presence of matter and energy, and can influence the behavior of that same matter and energy, exactly as you can. Space-time is a thing."
Image: View from a computer simulation showing the production of gravitational waves during a black-hole collision. Credit: MPI for Gravitational Physics/W.Benger-Zib
Read the full article at Space.com...
An international team of astronomers including Ohio State Astronomy Professors Krzysztof Stanek, Christopher Kochanek and Todd Thompson, may have discovered the largest supernova ever seen from Earth. The exploding massive star is only 10 miles across at its core, yet is much brighter than the entire output of the Milky Way. "This may be the most powerful supernova ever seen by anybody," said Stanek. The team of astronomers released their findings this week in the journal Science. Ohio State co-authors on the study include John Beacom, professor, physics and astronomy and director, Center for Cosmology and AstroParticle Physics (CCAPP): astronomy graduate students Thomas Holoien; Jonathan Brown; and Gregory Simonian and physics graduate student A. Bianca Danilet.
ASASSN-15lh was first spotted in June of last year using the All Sky Automated Survey for Supernovae (ASAS-SN), based at of Ohio State. The intention of ASAS-SN is to get better statistics on the different types of supernovas and where they are occurring in the cosmos. The survey uses smaller telescopes to scan the sky every two to three days, searching for changes in the heavens. If some new bright object pops up, they'll catch it, and astronomers can then use bigger telescopes to take a better look.
Image: An artist's impression of the record-breakingly powerful, superluminous supernova ASASSN-15lh as it would appear from an exoplanet located about 10,000 light years away in the host galaxy of the supernova. (Credit: Beijing Planetarium / Jin Ma)
Laura Lopez, assistant professor, astronomy, will receive the 2016 Annie Jump Cannon Award for outstanding research by early-career female astronomers (an astronomer within five years of receiving her PhD) for her contributions to understanding detailed astrophysics in the birth-to-death cycle of stars in our galaxy.
More about the Annie Jump Cannon Award.
Andrew Gould, astronomy professor emeritus, Distinguished Professor of Mathematical and Physical Sciences, was awarded the 2016 Beatrice Tinsley Prize, given every other year for "an outstanding research contribution to astronomy or astrophysics, of an exceptionally creative or innovative character." Gould is recognized for his development of gravitational microlensing, a critical tool for exoplanet discovery and characterization.
More about the Beatrice Tinsley Prize.
Big congratulations to both of them!