Category Archives: Science Highlight

Sunspot acting as a set of eyes for Parker Solar Probe

Sunspot Solar Observatory assisted NASA’s Parker Solar Probe by predicting and observing the Sun. https://www.alamogordonews.com/story/news/local/community/2018/11/02/sunspot-observatory-helping-nasa-solar-probe/1861301002/

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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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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: “A massive, dead disk galaxy in the early Universe”

NMSU Astronomy professor Dr. Moire Prescott recently co-authored an article in Nature on the surprising discovery of a massive, fast-spinning, disk-shaped galaxy in the early Universe that appears to be “dead”, in that it has long since stopped making any new stars.  Dr. Prescott contributed the dynamical modeling demonstrating that the galaxy is rotating more…
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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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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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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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IAU responds to US executive order

The IAU has released a statement regarding the recent US executive order banning access to the US from seven countries. See the IAU’s statement.

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