The inaugural Conference for Undergraduate Women in Astronomy (CUWiA) was held at West Virginia University (WVU) on November 1-3, 2019. Fifty-eight women undergraduate students attended, representing 21 colleges and universities in 10 states (CT, FL, GA, MA, MD, NY, OH, PA, VA, WV).
West Virginia University researchers have helped discover the most massive neutron star to date, a breakthrough uncovered through the Green Bank Telescope in Pocahontas County.
The neutron star, called J0740+6620, is a rapidly spinning pulsar that packs 2.17 times the mass of the sun (which is 333,000 times the mass of the Earth) into a sphere only 20-30 kilometers, or about 15 miles, across. This measurement approaches the limits of how massive and compact a single object can become without crushing itself down into a black hole.
Eight students from West Virginia University’s Eberly College of Arts and Sciences have been awarded undergraduate fellowships from the NASA West Virginia Space Grant Consortium for the 2018-2019 academic year.
Each student will receive a $1,000 award: $500 from the Eberly College and $500 from the NASA West Virginia Space Grant Consortium. The recipients mentored by GWAC advisors are Erica Chwalik (Lorimer), Ryan Culp (Anderson), Brenden Glover (Lorimer), and Olivia Young (McLaughlin).
The CHIME telescope, located in the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory in Kaleden, British Columbia, is comprised of four cylindrical reflectors, 256 dual-polarized antennas for data collection and an F-Engine and X-Engine for data processing. Bandura, an assistant professor in the Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, played a key role in developing the device’s F-Engine, which digitally processes signals from space into frequencies that can then be processed into digital maps of the Universe.
As reported in the January 9 issue of Nature , the international journal of science, during its pre-commissioning phase CHIME detected 13 FRBs. Prior to this, astronomers, including WVU astronomy professor Duncan Lorimer, had reported between 50-60 examples since they were first detected in 2007.
Congratulations to Maura McLaughlin, the Eberly Distinguished Professor of the WVU Department of Physics and Astronomy, for being named one of Nature's "Ones to watch" in 2019. McLaughlin and her colleagues monitor neutron stars, and could soon detect gravitational waves created by supermassive black holes for the first time.
A West Virginia University astronomer is working to locate the origin of fast radio bursts coming from outside the Milky Way Galaxy.
Sarah Burke-Spolaor, an assistant professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, has accepted a distinguished fellowship with the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) Azrieli Global Scholars Program. She will pursue her research as one of 12 members of the 2018 Global Scholars cohort. Three of these individuals will join CIFAR’s Gravity and the Extreme Universe program.