Author Archives: Astronomy Department

Inclusive Astronomy Meeting Notes

Recent Meeting Notes 09/28/18: Began discussion of Chapter 2 of the LGBT+ Inclusivity Guide, finished with Section 2.3.2.  It was brought up that we may want to give a spiel about our IA group to the undergraduate astronomy club, and the plan is to inform them at their next meeting (10/02) that it will be on…
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Paper Spotlight: “Extinction Maps and Dust-to-Gas Ratios in Nearby Galaxies”

Dust is a major component of the interstellar medium in galaxies. It plays a major role in star formation, serving as both a means of radiative feedback and an important catalyst for the formation of molecular hydrogen. It also serves as an important reservoir of metals within a galaxy, which can impact chemical evolution models….
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A super blue blood moon

                  http://www.lcsun-news.com/story/news/local/2018/01/30/what-las-crucens-should-know-super-blue-blood-moon/1077136001/

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Paper Spotlight: “Determinations of the 12C/13C Ratio for the Secondary Stars of AE Aquarii, SS Cygni, and RU Pegasi”

A Type Ia supernova is the complete explosion of a white dwarf that was being orbited by a secondary star prior to the explosion. Their high luminosity allows them to be used as the primary cosmological distance indicator, yet their progenitors remain unknown. It is almost certain that the progenitors of Type Ia supernovae are…
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Paper Spotlight: “HALOGAS Observations of NGC 4559: Anomalous and Extra-planar HI and its Relation to Star Formation”

Carlos Vargas, a 5th year graduate student working with his adviser, Rene Walterbos, recently published a paper entitled “HALOGAS Observations of NGC 4559: Anomalous and Extra-planar HI and its Relation to Star Formation.” For this study, Carlos and the other authors analyzed new observations made by HALOGAS, a survey dedicated to analyzing interactions between spiral…
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Paper Spotlight: “A Possible Mechanism for Driving Oscillations in Hot Giant Planets”

In the same way earthquakes can shake the Earth when tectonic plates shift, so too can stars shake, or more scientifically, oscillate, as a result of the motion of hot plasma inside of the star. Similarly, gas giant planets like Jupiter and Saturn can oscillate, too, but astronomers aren’t exactly sure as to why. Recently,…
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NMSU Astronomy to lead efforts to reinvent the Dunn Solar Telescope.

  http://www.tomudall.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=2428 U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and U.S. Representative Steve Pearce announced that New Mexico State University (NMSU) will receive $1.2 million from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to upgrade the Richard B. Dunn Solar Telescope in Sunspot, N.M. The NSF award – appropriately announced on the fall equinox – will support…
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Major NASA press release on observation of a current sheet

NASA announce series of breakthrough observation of a current sheet in a solar flare. http://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2016/seeing-double-nasa-missions-measure-solar-flare-from-2-spots-in-space Published in Zhu et al, ApJ, 2016, 821, 2 http://www.astronomy.com/news/2016/04/nasa-missions-measure-solar-flare-from-2-spots-in-space http://www.irishtimes.com/news/science/irish-scientist-may-have-found-way-of-predicting-solar-flares-1.2616364 https://www.google.com/search?q=Seeing+Double%3A+NASA+Missions+Measure+Solar+Flare+from+2+Spots+in+Space&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8 Solar flares are intense bursts of light from the sun. They are created when complicated magnetic fields suddenly and explosively rearrange themselves, converting magnetic energy into light through…
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