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New Mexico State University
College of Arts and Sciences
Department of Astronomy
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ASTRONOMY DEPARTMENT OPEN HOUSE

Please join us at the campus observatory at 7:00pm on Friday, January 23 for a guided tour of the night sky. Professor Rene Walterbos will present a short astronomical talk, joined by graduate students Kenza Arraki, Ethan Dederick, and Jacob Vander Vliet as your guides to the night sky.

Objects to be observed include the planet Uranus, the young double open star clusters h and x ('chi') Persei (NGC 869 and NGC 884 respectively) in the constellation Perseus, the spiral Andromeda Galaxy (M31), the Milky Way Galaxy's nearest "large galaxy" neighbor, located about 2.9 million light years distant from Earth.

Children are particularly welcome!

RECENT ASTRONOMY GRADUATE STUDENT AWARDS

Our hats go off to our six astronomy graduate students (shown below) who participated in the NMSU College of Arts & Sciences Three-Minute Thesis Competition on April 5, 2014. Students had three minutes each to present a thesis project (on one slide) and make the case in as compelling a fashion as possible, in an event designed to encourage graduate students to polish their communication skills and engage an audience.

Our students did us all proud! Graduate research fellow Kyle Uckert (third from left) won first place in the compeition with his solar system presentation, while Kyle Degrave (second from right) scored a third place win for his talk on helioseismology. Just imagine what they'll be able to cover in 45 minutes for a full PhD thesis presentation ...


Congratulations to graduate students Theresa Ross, winner of the 2013 Pegasus Award for excellence in teaching, and to Nikki Nielsen, who was recently awarded the 2013 Zia Award for excellence in research. Joining them are the 2013 winner of the Murrell Award for outstanding research or professional development, Maria Patterson, and Kenza Arraki, winner of the 2013 Rappaport Award for outstanding public service.

We also congratulate recent PhD Chas Miller for receiving a 2013 College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Graduate Award, and recent PhD recipient Sebastian Trujillo-Gomez for his 2013 Outstanding Graduate Student Award from the Graduate School.

Our hats go off as well to Laura Mayorga, winner of a Chambliss Astronomy Achievement Student Award at the American Astronomical Society Meeting in January 2014.