'little green men," a documentary about the Pulsar Search Collaboratory, at The Clay Center for Arts & Sciences on March 20th at 6 pm
Since the early 1900s scientists have known that the Universe is expanding but recent studies have shown that the rate of expansion is accelerating. The reason for this is currently unknown; however, Kevin Bandura, an assistant professor in the Lane Department of Computer and Electrical Engineering at West Virginia University, has been working on the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment, or CHIME, for the past several years to solve the mystery.
Researchers think that an unknown form of energy, called dark energy, is causing the accelerated expansion but this cannot be confirmed without first understanding the history of the Universe. CHIME is a telescope project that was designed to map that history by studying dark energy and observing hydrogen gas in distant galaxies that were strongly affected by it.
WVU researchers help detect gravitational waves for the third time; confirm new population of black holes
West Virginia University professors Zach Etienne and Sean McWilliams and a group of WVU graduate students are part of a global team of scientists who have detected gravitational waves for the third time, demonstrating that a new window in astronomy has been firmly opened.
The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory, or LIGO, made a third detection of ripples in space and time on January 4, which is described in a new paper in the journal Physical Review Letters.
From the May 2017 Student Spotlight article:
Anika Rowe is a rising senior at West Virginia University, where she is majoring in chemistry. Anika is specifically interested in astrochemistry research, a discipline of science described by the American Chemical Society as one that encompasses chemistry, planetary, science, chemical biology, physics, astronomy, and computational science.
You can’t see it, but billions of light years away cosmic flash bulbs are popping and no one knows why.
Fast radio bursts, brilliant and intense flashes of energy that blaze for a millisecond and then disappear, have puzzled scientists for years, but West Virginia University astronomers are helping to find the celestial bread crumbs that will help lead scientists to answers about this mysterious phenomenon.
Hydrogen. Atomic number 1. It is the simplest and lightest element on the periodic table, but don’t be fooled by its humble appearance. With just a single proton and a single electron it is the most abundant element in the universe and has fueled star formation for the past 13 billion years.
Now scientists – including an astrophysicist from West Virginia University – have mapped the key ingredient’s distribution across the Milky Way revealing details about our galaxy that have never been seen before.
No, it isn’t about aliens. While the title of the upcoming documentary “little green men” suggests an extra-terrestrial theme, it actually features life in our own backyard.
The film showcases student participants in the Pulsar Search Collaboratory, a joint project between West Virginia University and the National Radio Astronomy Observatory. The high school students search for pulsars, or exotic stars, using radio astronomy data from the Green Bank Telescope in Pocahontas County, W.Va. Over the past nine years, the students have discovered seven pulsars.
When a group of teachers from four West Virginia counties get asked what they did on their summer vacation in fall 2017, they will have an out-of-this-world answer, thanks to a grant received by a research team from West Virginia University.
Natalia Schmid and Kevin Bandura, faculty members in the Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, have been awarded a grant of $577,815 from the National Science Foundation that will allow them to team with the WVU Center for Gravitational Waves and Cosmology and the Green Bank Observatory in Green Bank to create a research experience for teachers. The program, Digital Signal Processing in Radio Astronomy, will provide high school teachers with hands-on experience using high-quality, open source software development tools, in both research engineering and educational settings.