Skip to Main Content

Past News & Announcements

Previous News & Announcements

Below you will find a list of previous news and announcements. If you are looking for current ones, please visit our main News and Announcements page.

2016 News & Announcements

Physics Today: The space weather on the closest Earth-like exoplanet - December 12, 2016

A numerical study suggests that the exoplanet’s atmosphere is unlikely to have survived the intense wind from its parent star.

For more information, please refer to The Space Weather of Proxima Centauri b, by Garraffo1, J. J. Drake1, and O. Cohen.

International meeting participation

  • International discussion of space in "Kamchia" article - November 9, 2016. The search for exoplanets is one of the latest projects of the University of Massachusetts in the US, which was presented by Prof. Supriya Chakrabarti. According to him, the aim of the scientists is the star Alpha Centauri around which suggests that there is a planet similar to ours.

Invited Space Physics Seminar - September 29, 2016

Prof. Tim Cook presented "What's up with 834" at Boston University.

Prof. Laycock and students travel to Haiti - Summer 2016

Tom Heywosz, Andrew Cozzens and Silas Laycock recently visited Haiti, where they spent a week teaching science at a school in the city of Les Cayes. The annual visit is part of their Astronomy Roadshow, which is available to visit schools in the Massachusetts/NH area during the school year. Read more in their Astronomy Roadshow blog.

Red and blue logo for the SACE HAUC program

Board of Trustees Dinner - SPAC HAUC Presentation - September 2016

On Tuesday, September 20, Prof. Supriya Chakrabarti and Dat Le, SPACE HAUC Student Project Manager, attended the Board of Trustees Dinner at University Crossing. Participants were interested to learn about the satellite itself as well as the educational benefits that the project is providing to our undergraduate students.

Prof. Supriya Chakrabarti received SPIE Award - July 2016.

Prof. Silas Laycock co-author on paper featured on AAS Nova! AAS Nova (aasnova.org) is designed to highlight some of the most interesting recent results being published in AAS journals, with the dual intent of a) gaining broader exposure for our authors, and b) providing astronomy researchers and enthusiasts with summaries of recent research across a wide range of astronomical fields. The article A Pulsar and a Disk can be read online.

Congratulations Graduates! - Spring / Summer 2016

Congratulations to Ewan Douglas, BU graduate student of Prof. Chakrabarti, who successfully defended his Ph.D. thesis "Advancing Spaceborne Tools for the Characterization of Circumstellar Environments" on July 12, 2016 to earn his Ph.D. in Astronomy. Also, congratulations to Prof. Cook's graduate student from BU, Meredith Danowski, who successfully defended her thesis "Enigmatic Extinction: An investigation of the 2175 Å extinction bump in M101, the Pinwheel Galaxy" on May 2 and earned her Ph.D. in Astrophysics. Meredith is working for Northwestern University on the Micro-X project, which is currently stationed at GSFC, but moving to Evanston, IL soon where she will conduct further testing and subsystems integration for the Micro-X payload to prepare for launch. All our best wishes for much success Ewan and Meredith. Also, congratulations to Samuel Fingerman who received his Master's Degree in Physics in May 2016! Sam will be working on his research this summer under Supriya Chakrabarti's supervision on the MISTIC WINDS program.

International Meeting Participation - May 2016

Graduate student Jun Yang and Prof. Silas Laycock attended XMM-Newton: The Next Decade which was held at European Space Astronomy Center, Madrid, Spain. Jun presented a talk "X-ray Sources in the Magellanic Clouds: Analysis of 15 Years of XMM-Newton and Chandra Observations."

April 19, 2016 - Our SPACE HAUC Student Team lead by Dat Le, presented "Science Program Around The Communications Engineering with High Achieving Undergraduate Cadres” at the Student Research Symposium

April 9, 2016 - Four of our Cubesat undergraduate researchers: Dat Le, Will Kammerer, Chuck Barbon and Jake Hulme attended the MIT Sloan New Space Age Conference in Cambridge, Mass.

2016 MA Space Grant Recipients - Congratulations Students

  • Spring 2016: Dat Le, Glenn Howe, Samuel Fingerman, and Ryan Maguire
  • Summer 2016 George Geddes and Glenn Howe

Observing Time Award - Congratulations

Jun Yang has won observing time at Kitt Peak National Observatory in Southern Arizona.  Her proposal was awarded 2 nights in October for spectroscopy with the Hydra multi-fiber spectrograph on the WIYN 3.5 meter telescope, and two half-nights in December for imaging with the Mayall 4-m telescope. Jun and Laycock are studying a nearby starburst galaxy, located a mere 2 million light-years away, in the constellation Cassiopeia. This little galaxy (only about 1/100 the size of our home-galaxy the Milky Way) is in the act of forming many new stars, making it an ideal laboratory to study a hard-to-catch phase of stellar evolution. The most massive stars (>10X more massive than the Sun) only shine for a short time before going supernova and (perhaps) collapsing into a black-hole. Jun’s mission is to find and count those newly-minted black holes in order to understand what controls their formation.

CONGRATULATIONS

March 7, 2016 - Supriya Chakrabarti has been named the 2016 recipient of the SPIE George W. Goddard Award! The George W. Goddard Award is presented annually in recognition of exceptional achievement in optical or photonic instrumentation for aerospace, atmospheric science, or astronomy.

The award is for the invention and development of a new technique, photonic instrumentation, instrument or system. The SPIE Awards Committee has made this recommendation in recognition of your efforts as an innovative scientist, a visionary physicist, a scholar of extraordinary insight, and as an extraordinary role model. Chakrabarti will receive his award at an upcoming SPIE meeting where he will present results from his NASA PICTURE-B launch.

March 7, 2016 - UMass Lowell students Will Chambers (honors college), and Patrick Ryan (Physics) presented their Astronomy Research project setting up and using the new Schueller Observatory, at the UMass advocacy reception held at the Massachusetts State House recently.

Check out these interesting links that relate to Prof. Laycock's outreach activities!

March 7, 2016 - UMass Lowell students Will Chambers (honors college), and Patrick Ryan (Physics) presented their Astronomy Research project setting up and using the new Schueller Observatory, at the UMass advocacy reception held at the Massachusetts State House recently.

Check out these interesting links that relate to Prof. Laycock's outreach activities!

February 9, 2016 - Congratulations to Jun Yang who received the American Astronomical Society international travel award.

Poster presentation: Derivation of Auroral Energy and Energy Flux using Simultaneous Multispectral Imaging, Saurav Aryal, Kuravi Hewawasam, Ryan Maguire, Susanna C. Finn, Timothy Cook, Jason Martel, Jeffrey L. Baumgardner and Supriya Chakrabart.

Saurav Aryal presents his poster at the Fall AGU meeting.

Fall AGU Meeting participation

Three posters were presented at the December meeting in SFO:

  • Derivation of Auroral Energy and Energy Flux using Simultaneous Multispectral Imaging, Saurav Aryal, Kuravi Hewawasam, Ryan Maguire, Susanna C. Finn, Timothy Cook, Jason Martel, Jeffrey L. Baumgardner and Supriya Chakrabart
Poster presentation: Retrieval of O+ Density From Combined OII 83.4 nm and OII 61.7 nm Limb Emissions, George Geddes, Susanna C. Finn, Andrew Stephan, Tim Cook, Supriya Chakrabarti

George Geddes presents his poster at the Fall AGU meeting.

  • Retrieval of O+ Density From Combined OII 83.4 nm and OII 61.7 nm Limb Emissions, George Geddes, Susanna C. Finn, Andrew Stephan, Tim Cook, Supriya Chakrabarti
  • Coordinated Ground- and Space-based Multispectral Campaign to Study Equatorial Spread-F Formation, Susanna C. Finn, George Geddes, Saurav Aryal, Andrew W. Stephan, Scott Budzien, Duggirala Pallamraju, Cesar Valladares, Supriya Chakrabarti

7th Nano-Satellite Symposium - Bulgaria - October 2016

Prof. Supriya Chakrabarti co-chaired a session and presented a talk during the October 18-19 satcom technologies event.

2015 News & Announcements

Congratulations!

November 13, 2015 - Graduate Students Glenn Howe and George Geddes have both received MA Space Grant Fellowships!

News

We are pleased to announce that Silas Laycock, Ph.D., received a promotion in August 2015 from Lecturer to Assistant Professor in Physics. Way to go Silas! Silas is Principal Investigator of a "big data" study of X-ray pulsars which involves assembling many thousands of satellite observations, detecting all the pulsars, and building a library of computer models He also leads a multi-wavelength observing project to discover and study X-ray binaries in our nearest starburst galaxy. The aim is to unlock the role of age and environment in the production of black holes and neutron stars. Silas is an enthusiastic proponent of time domain astronomy and adaptive optics.

Susanna Finn, Ph.D., presented "Limb-imaging Ionospheric and Thermospheric Extreme-ultraviolet Spectrograph (LITES) on the ISS", S. Finn, S. Chakrabarti, T. Cook, A. Stephan, and S. Budzien at the ISS R&D Conference in Boston, MA on July 7. Please see the online version of Boston Magazine (was also in Best of Boston July print issue) to read more.

Professor David Willis talks to NESN about the science behind the Wells report- the "Deflategate" investigation into allegations that the New England Patriots deflated footballs.