Author Archives: wwwastro

2017 Total Solar Eclipse

On August 21, 2017, millions of people across the United States will see nature’s most wondrous spectacle — a total eclipse of the Sun. It is a scene of unimaginable beauty; the Moon completely blocks the Sun, daytime becomes a deep twilight, and the Sun’s corona shimmers in the darkened sky. In Las Cruces, you…
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Nancy Chanover named director of telescope at Apache Point Observatory

Nancy Chanover is the first New Mexico State University astronomy professor to be named director of the 3.5-meter telescope at the Apache Point Observatory. The NMSU astronomy department operates the observatory for the Astrophysical Research Corporation (ARC), a collaborative partnership of eight universities that includes NMSU, University of Washington, Johns Hopkins University, Georgia State University,…
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Finlator et al. explores cosmic reionization

What created the light that flowed between galaxies when the Universe was only a billion years old? Measuring it is akin to taking the young Universe’s pulse, and working out where it came from is akin to guessing the Universe’s diet. The light could have come from hot, massive stars within young galaxies.  Alternatively, it…
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Astronomy Department Students Excel in 3-Minute Thesis Competition

The NMSU Astronomy Department is no stranger to doing well in NMSU’s annual 3-Minute Thesis competition, and this year was no different. The competition challenges students to compress a research project into a short 3-minute presentation. It tests their ability to concisely and effectively communicate complex ideas to a general audience. This year, astronomy graduate…
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Astronomy Students Receive Space Grant Awards

The New Mexico Space Grant Consortium (NMSGC) has awarded a total of $30,000 in research fellowships to three New Mexico State University College of Arts and Sciences students for the 2016 calendar year. Award recipients include Ethan Dederick, Sten Hasselquist and Lauren Kahre, all doctoral candidates in the Department of Astronomy. “Our job here at…
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NMSU graduate students awarded NASA fellowships for planetary astronomy research

Two doctoral candidates at New Mexico State University are among 13 students in the country selected to receive NASA Harriett G. Jenkins graduate fellowships, providing each student with more than $50,000 in annual funding through the completion of their dissertations. Kathryn Steakley and Alexander Thelen, both third-year doctoral candidates in the Department of Astronomy in…
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Red-giant twins help us test asteroseismology

Graduate student Meredith Rawls and collaborators used NASA Kepler data, Apache Point Observatory 3.5m spectroscopic data, and other analysis to understand a unique double red-giant eclipsing binary system with pulsations detected on one of the stars. The system is unique in that the masses and radii can be tested from several independent methods. Please see…
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Researchers study how stars in galaxy have moved

New Mexico State University researchers are part of a team of scientists with the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) who created a new map of the Milky Way that shows nearly a third of the stars have dramatically changed their obits. “In our modern world, many people move far away from their birthplaces, sometimes halfway…
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