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  • richardmitnick 1:28 pm on January 16, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Astronomers dissect the anatomy of planetary nebulae using Hubble Space Telescope images", , , , , , , Rochester Institute of Technology   

    From Rochester Institute of Technology and Green Bank Observatory: “Astronomers dissect the anatomy of planetary nebulae using Hubble Space Telescope images” 

    From Rochester Institute of Technology

    and

    gbo-logo

    Green Bank Radio Telescope, West Virginia, USA, now the center piece of the GBO, Green Bank Observatory, being cut loose by the NSF, supported by Breakthrough Listen.


    Green Bank Radio Telescope, West Virginia, USA.

    gbo-sign

    From Green Bank Observatory

    January 15, 2021
    Luke Auburn
    luke.auburn@rit.edu

    Researchers from RIT and Green Bank Observatory shed new light on nebula formation processes.

    1
    On the left is an image of the Jewel Bug Nebula (NGC 7027) captured by the Hubble Space Telescope in 2019 and released in 2020. Further analysis by researchers produced the RGB image on the right, which shows extinction due to dust, as inferred from the relative strength of two hydrogen emission lines, as red; emission from sulfur, relative to hydrogen, as green; and emission from iron as blue.

    Images of two iconic planetary nebulae taken by the Hubble Space Telescope are revealing new information about how they develop their dramatic features.

    NASA/ESA Hubble Telescope.

    Researchers from Rochester Institute of Technology and Green Bank Observatory presented new findings about the Butterfly Nebula (NGC 6302) and the Jewel Bug Nebula (NGC 7027) at the 237th meeting of the American Astronomical Society on Friday, Jan. 15.

    Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 observed the nebulae in 2019 and early 2020 using its full, panchromatic capabilities, and the astronomers involved in the project have been using emission line images from near-ultraviolet to near-infrared light to learn more about their properties.

    NASA/ESA Hubble WFC3

    The studies were first-of-their-kind panchromatic imaging surveys designed to understand the formation process and test models of binary-star-driven planetary nebula shaping.

    “We’re dissecting them,” said Joel Kastner, a professor in RIT’s Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science and School of Physics and Astronomy. “We’re able to see the effect of the dying central star in how it’s shedding and shredding its ejected material. We’re now seeing where material that the central star has tossed away is being dominated by ionized gas, where it’s dominated by cooler dust, and even how the hot gas is being ionized, whether by the star’s UV or by collisions caused by its present, fast winds.”

    2
    On top is an image of the Butterfly Nebula (NGC 6302) captured by the Hubble Space Telescope in 2019 and released in 2020. Further analysis by researchers produced the RGB image on the bottom, which shows extinction due to dust, as inferred from the relative strength of two hydrogen emission lines, as red; emission from nitrogen, relative to hydrogen, as green; and emission from iron as blue. Credit: STScI, APOD/J. Schmidt; J. Kastner (RIT) et al.

    Kastner said analysis of the new HST images of the Butterfly Nebula is confirming that the nebula was ejected only about 2,000 years ago—an eyeblink by the standards of astronomy – and established that the S-shaped iron emission that helps give it the “wings” of gas is even younger. Surprisingly, they found that while astronomers previously believed they had located the nebula’s central star, that previously-identified star is actually not associated with the nebula and is instead much closer to Earth than the Butterfly Nebula. Kastner said he hopes that future studies with the James Webb Space Telescope could help locate the real dying star at the heart of the nebula.

    The team’s ongoing analysis of the Jewel Bug Nebula is built on a 25-year baseline of measurements dating back to early Hubble imaging. Paula Moraga Baez, an astrophysical sciences and technology Ph.D. student from DeKalb, Ill., called the nebula “remarkable for its unusual juxtaposition of circularly symmetric, axisymmetric, and point-symmetric (bipolar) structures.” Moraga noted, “The nebula also retains large masses of molecular gas and dust despite harboring a hot central star and displaying high excitation states.”

    Jesse Bublitz ’20 Ph.D. (astrophysical sciences and technology), now a postdoctoral researcher at Green Bank Observatory, has extended the team’s analysis of NGC 7027 with radio images from the Northern Extended Millimeter Array (NOEMA) Telescope, from which he has identified molecular tracers of how impinging ultraviolet and X-ray light continues to alter the chemistry of the nebula.

    IRAM NOEMA in the French Alps on the wide and isolated Plateau de Bure, the telescope currently consists of ten antennas each 15 meters in diameter and interferometer at an elevation of 2550 meters.

    The combined observations from telescopes at other wavelengths, like Hubble, and bright molecules CO+ and HCO+ from NOEMA indicate how different regions of NGC 7027 are affected by the high-energy radiation from its central star.

    “We’re very excited about these findings,” said Bublitz. “We had hoped to find structure that clearly showed CO+ and HCO+ spatially coincident or entirely in distinctive regions, which we did. This is the first map of NGC 7027, or any planetary nebula, in the molecule CO+, and only the second CO+ map of any astronomical source.”

    In addition to Kastner, Moraga, and Bublitz, the research team involved in the HST imaging work includes Rodolfo Montez Jr. ’10 Ph.D. (astrophysical sciences and technology) from Harvard-Smithsonian CfA; Bruce Balick from University of Washington; as well as Adam Frank and Eric Blackman from University of Rochester. Bublitz’s international team of collaborators on radio molecular line imaging of NGC 7027 includes Kastner, Montez Jr., and astrophysicists from Spain, France, and Brazil.

    See the full article here .

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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

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    Mission Statement

    Green Bank Observatory enables leading edge research at radio wavelengths by offering telescope, facility and advanced instrumentation access to the astronomy community as well as to other basic and applied research communities. With radio astronomy as its foundation, the Green Bank Observatory is a world leader in advancing research, innovation, and education.

    History

    60 years ago, the trailblazers of American radio astronomy declared this facility their home, establishing the first ever National Radio Astronomy Observatory within the United States and the first ever national laboratory dedicated to open access science. Today their legacy is alive and well.

    Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) is a private doctoral university within the town of Henrietta in the Rochester, New York metropolitan area.

    RIT is composed of nine academic colleges, including National Technical Institute for the Deaf. The Institute is one of only a small number of engineering institutes in the State of New York, including New York Institute of Technology, SUNY Polytechnic Institute, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. It is most widely known for its fine arts, computing, engineering, and imaging science programs; several fine arts programs routinely rank in the national “Top 10” according to US News & World Report.

    The Institute as it is known today began as a result of an 1891 merger between Rochester Athenæum, a literary society founded in 1829 by Colonel Nathaniel Rochester and associates, and Mechanics Institute, a Rochester institute of practical technical training for local residents founded in 1885 by a consortium of local businessmen including Captain Henry Lomb, co-founder of Bausch & Lomb. The name of the merged institution at the time was called Rochester Athenæum and Mechanics Institute (RAMI). In 1944, the school changed its name to Rochester Institute of Technology and it became a full-fledged research university.

     
  • richardmitnick 11:08 am on January 13, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "RIT’s Michael Zemcov helping to push new NASA space telescope toward launch", , , , , Managed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California SPHEREx is scheduled to launch as early as June 2024., Rochester Institute of Technology, Spectro-Photometer for the History of the Universe-Epoch of Reionization and Ices Explorer (SPHEREx) mission, SPHEREx instruments will detect near-infrared light which are wavelengths longer than the light visible to the human eye., Zemcov’s role in the SPHEREx mission focuses on the data pipeline—taking raw data from the telescope and carefully constructing images in a way that scientific conclusions can be drawn from them.   

    From Rochester Institute of Technology: “RIT’s Michael Zemcov helping to push new NASA space telescope toward launch” 

    From Rochester Institute of Technology

    January 6, 2021
    Luke Auburn
    luke.auburn@rit.edu

    SPHEREx will map the entire sky to study early expansion of the universe, planetary systems, and the history of galaxies.

    Michael Zemcov, assistant professor in the College of Science’s School of Physics and Astronomy, is part of the Spectro-Photometer for the History of the Universe, Epoch of Reionization and Ices Explorer (SPHEREx) mission, which just officially entered Phase C.

    NASA’s SPHEREx Spectro-Photometer for the History of the Universe, Epoch of Reionization and Ices Explorer depiction. Credit: Caltech.

    A Rochester Institute of Technology faculty member is helping to prepare an upcoming NASA mission that will look for clues about what happened less than a second after the universe-creating Big Bang. Michael Zemcov, assistant professor in the College of Science’s School of Physics and Astronomy, is part of the Spectro-Photometer for the History of the Universe, Epoch of Reionization and Ices Explorer (SPHEREx) mission, which just officially entered Phase C.

    By creating a map of the universe in more than 100 colors, the mission will also let scientists learn about the formation of galaxies and search for life-sustaining molecules in the clouds of material where stars and planets form. NASA has approved the mission’s preliminary design plans for the observatory, and work can begin creating a final, detailed design, as well as building the hardware and software components.

    Zemcov’s role in the SPHEREx mission focuses on the data pipeline—taking raw data from the telescope and carefully constructing images in a way that scientific conclusions can be drawn from them. Currently he is working on some of the more complex data analysis tasks, such as understanding the instrument’s responsivity to light and ensuring that the instrument’s performance is the same in flight as it is on the ground.

    “One unique aspect about SPHEREx is that we’re making the data available to the public really quickly, so we need to have a good data analysis pipeline in place at launch,” said Zemcov. “That is not easy to do and requires a lot of people to do many simulations to understand how the instrument might work in flight. We’re excited for the challenge and think this is going to be an important mission in NASA’s suite.”

    Managed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, SPHEREx is scheduled to launch as early as June 2024. Its instruments will detect near-infrared light, or wavelengths longer than the light visible to the human eye. During its two-year mission, it will map the entire sky four times, creating a massive database of stars, galaxies, nebulae (clouds where stars form), and many other celestial objects. About the size of a subcompact car, the space telescope will use a technique called spectroscopy to break near-infrared light into its individual wavelengths, or colors, just like a prism can break sunlight into its component colors, creating a rainbow.

    “That’s like going from black-and-white images to color; it’s like going from Kansas to Oz,” said Allen Farrington, the SPHEREx project manager at JPL.

    Spectroscopy data can reveal what an object is made of, because individual chemical elements absorb and radiate specific wavelengths of light. It can also be used to estimate an object’s distance from Earth, which means the SPHEREx map will be three-dimensional.

    Before entering Phase C, the SPHEREx team completed a preliminary design review in October 2020. During this multiday process, the team has to demonstrate to NASA leadership that they can make their complex, cutting-edge mission design a reality. Usually, the preliminary design review is done in-person, but with COVID-19 safety precautions in place, the team had to adjust their presentation to a new format.

    “It felt like we were producing a movie,” said Beth Fabinsky, SPHEREx’’s deputy project manager at JPL. “There was just a lot of thought put into the production value, like making sure the animations we wanted to show would work over limited bandwidth.”

    For more information about SPHEREx, visit the JPL website.

    See the full article here .

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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) is a private doctoral university within the town of Henrietta in the Rochester, New York metropolitan area.

    RIT is composed of nine academic colleges, including National Technical Institute for the Deaf. The Institute is one of only a small number of engineering institutes in the State of New York, including New York Institute of Technology, SUNY Polytechnic Institute, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. It is most widely known for its fine arts, computing, engineering, and imaging science programs; several fine arts programs routinely rank in the national “Top 10” according to US News & World Report.

    The Institute as it is known today began as a result of an 1891 merger between Rochester Athenæum, a literary society founded in 1829 by Colonel Nathaniel Rochester and associates, and Mechanics Institute, a Rochester institute of practical technical training for local residents founded in 1885 by a consortium of local businessmen including Captain Henry Lomb, co-founder of Bausch & Lomb. The name of the merged institution at the time was called Rochester Athenæum and Mechanics Institute (RAMI). In 1944, the school changed its name to Rochester Institute of Technology and it became a full-fledged research university.

     
  • richardmitnick 3:45 pm on December 18, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Bright millisecond pulsar J0437−4715, , Instituto Argentino de Radioastronomía (IAR)(AR), , Rochester Institute of Technology, Scientists from RIT and IAR just completed a yearlong pulsar timing study using two upgraded radio telescopes in Argentina that previously lay unused for 15 years.   

    From Rochester Institute of Technology: “Scientists complete yearlong pulsar timing study after reviving long-dormant radio telescopes” 

    From Rochester Institute of Technology

    December 16, 2020
    Luke Auburn
    luke.auburn@rit.edu

    RIT and IAR scientists outline the findings in a new paper in The Astrophysical Journal

    1
    Scientists from RIT and IAR just completed a yearlong pulsar timing study using two upgraded radio telescopes in Argentina that previously lay unused for 15 years.

    The Argentine Institute of Radio astronomy (IAR) is equipped with two single-dish 30 m radio antennas capable of performing daily observations of pulsars and radio transients in the southern hemisphere at 1.4 GHz.

    While the scientific community grapples with the loss of the Arecibo radio telescope, astronomers who recently revived a long-dormant radio telescope array in Argentina hope it can help modestly compensate for the work Arecibo did in pulsar timing. Last year, scientists at Rochester Institute of Technology and the Instituto Argentino de Radioastronomía (IAR)(AR) began a pulsar timing study using two upgraded radio telescopes in Argentina that previously lay unused for 15 years.

    The scientists are releasing observations from the first year in a new study to be published in The Astrophysical Journal. Over the course of the year, they studied the bright millisecond pulsar J0437−4715. Pulsars are rapidly rotating neutron stars with intense magnetic fields that regularly emit radio waves, which scientists study to look for gravitational waves caused by the mergers of supermassive black holes.

    _____________________________________________
    Women in STEM – Dame Susan Jocelyn Bell Burnell Discovered pulsars.

    Dame Susan Jocelyn Bell Burnell discovered pulsars with radio astronomy. Jocelyn Bell at the Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory, Cambridge University, taken for the Daily Herald newspaper in 1968. Denied the Nobel.

    Dame Susan Jocelyn Bell Burnell at work on first plusar chart 1967 pictured working at the Four Acre Array in 1967. Image courtesy of Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory.


    _____________________________________________

    Professor Carlos Lousto, a member of RIT’s School of Mathematical Sciences and the Center for Computational Relativity and Gravitation (CCRG), said the first year of observations proved to be very accurate and provided some bounds to gravitational waves, which can help increase the sensitivity of existing pulsar timing arrays. He said that over the course of the next year they plan to study a younger, less stable pulsar that is more prone to glitches. He hopes to leverage machine learning and artificial intelligence to better understand the individual pulses emitted by pulsars and predict when glitches occur.

    “Every second of observation has 11 pulses and we have thousands of hours of observation, so it is a lot of data,” said Lousto. “What we hope to accomplish is analogous to monitoring the heartbeat one by one to learn to predict when someone is going to have a heart attack.”

    Lousto said Ph.D. students from RIT’s programs in astrophysical sciences and technology, mathematical modeling, and computer science are at the forefront of the analysis. RIT has a remote station called the Pulsar Monitoring in Argentina Data Enabling Network (PuMA-DEN) to control the radio telescopes and store the data collected. He said the opportunities presented by the collaboration are important for the students from the College of Science and Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences because “the careers in astronomy are changing very quickly, so you have to keep up with new technology and new ideas.”

    In the longer term, Lousto said RIT and IAR are seeking out other radio telescopes that can be upgraded for pulsar timing studies, further filling the gap left behind by Arecibo. RIT and IAR’s observations seek to contribute to the larger efforts of the North American Nanohertz Observatory for Gravitation Waves (NANOGrav) and the International Pulsar Timing Array, an collaboration of scientists working to detect and study the impact of low frequency gravitational waves passing between the pulsars and the Earth.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) is a private doctoral university within the town of Henrietta in the Rochester, New York metropolitan area.

    RIT is composed of nine academic colleges, including National Technical Institute for the Deaf. The Institute is one of only a small number of engineering institutes in the State of New York, including New York Institute of Technology, SUNY Polytechnic Institute, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. It is most widely known for its fine arts, computing, engineering, and imaging science programs; several fine arts programs routinely rank in the national “Top 10” according to US News & World Report.

    The Institute as it is known today began as a result of an 1891 merger between Rochester Athenæum, a literary society founded in 1829 by Colonel Nathaniel Rochester and associates, and Mechanics Institute, a Rochester institute of practical technical training for local residents founded in 1885 by a consortium of local businessmen including Captain Henry Lomb, co-founder of Bausch & Lomb. The name of the merged institution at the time was called Rochester Athenæum and Mechanics Institute (RAMI). In 1944, the school changed its name to Rochester Institute of Technology and it became a full-fledged research university.

     
  • richardmitnick 6:07 pm on November 6, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "New black hole merger simulations could help power next-gen gravitational wave detectors", , , , , , , Rochester Institute of Technology   

    From Rochester Institute of Technology: “New black hole merger simulations could help power next-gen gravitational wave detectors” 

    From Rochester Institute of Technology

    November 5, 2020
    Luke Auburn
    luke.auburn@rit.edu

    Physical Review Letters paper highlights simulations of unequal mass binary mergers.

    1
    Color map of the curvature on the large black hole horizon generated by the near merging small black hole. Credit: Nicole Rosato.

    Rochester Institute of Technology scientists have developed new simulations of black holes with widely varying masses merging that could help power the next generation of gravitational wave detectors. RIT Professor Carlos Lousto and Research Associate James Healy from RIT’s School of Mathematical Sciences outline these record-breaking simulations in a new Physical Review Letters paper.

    As scientists develop more advanced detectors, such as the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA), they will need more sophisticated simulations to compare the signals they receive with.

    ESA/NASA eLISA. LISA will be listening.


    ESA/NASA eLISA space based, the future of gravitational wave research.

    The simulations calculate properties about the merged black holes including the final mass, spin, and recoil velocity, as well as peak frequency, amplitude, and luminosity of the gravitational waveforms the mergers produce.

    “Right now, we can only observe black holes of comparable masses because they are bright and generate a lot of radiation,” said Lousto. “We know there should be black holes of very different masses that we don’t have access to now through current technology and we will need these third generational detectors to find them. In order for us to confirm that we are observing holes of these different masses, we need these theoretical predictions and that’s what we are providing with these simulations.”

    The scientists from RIT’s Center for Computational Relativity and Gravitation created a series of simulations showing what happens when black holes of increasingly disparate masses—up to a record-breaking ratio of 128:1—orbit 13 times and merge.

    “From a computational point of view, it really is testing the limits of our method to solve Einstein’s general relativity equations on supercomputers,” said Lousto. “It pushes to the point that no other group in the world has been able to come close to. Technically, it’s very difficult to handle two different objects like two black holes, in this case one is 128 times larger than the other.”

    Collaborators on the project included Lousto, Healy, and Nicole Rosato ’18 MS (applied and computational mathematics), a mathematical modeling Ph.D. student. The research was supported through National Science Foundation funding and the simulations were performed using local computing clusters as well as national supercomputers such including the Texas Advanced Computing Center’s Frontera System and Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) is a private doctoral university within the town of Henrietta in the Rochester, New York metropolitan area.

    RIT is composed of nine academic colleges, including National Technical Institute for the Deaf. The Institute is one of only a small number of engineering institutes in the State of New York, including New York Institute of Technology, SUNY Polytechnic Institute, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. It is most widely known for its fine arts, computing, engineering, and imaging science programs; several fine arts programs routinely rank in the national “Top 10” according to US News & World Report.

    The Institute as it is known today began as a result of an 1891 merger between Rochester Athenæum, a literary society founded in 1829 by Colonel Nathaniel Rochester and associates, and Mechanics Institute, a Rochester institute of practical technical training for local residents founded in 1885 by a consortium of local businessmen including Captain Henry Lomb, co-founder of Bausch & Lomb. The name of the merged institution at the time was called Rochester Athenæum and Mechanics Institute (RAMI). In 1944, the school changed its name to Rochester Institute of Technology and it became a full-fledged research university.

     
  • richardmitnick 11:40 am on October 30, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "LIGO and Virgo announce 39 new gravitational wave discoveries during first half of third observing run", A catalog of results from the first half of its third observing run (O3a)., , Images: Masses in the Stellar Graveyard GWTC-2 plot v1.0 BY LIGO-Virgo Frank Elavsky and Aaron Geller at Northwestern University., , Rochester Institute of Technology   

    From Rochester Institute of Technology and LIGO Scientific Collaboration: “LIGO and Virgo announce 39 new gravitational wave discoveries during first half of third observing run” 

    From Rochester Institute of Technology

    and

    LSC LIGO Scientific Collaboration

    LIGO Scientific Collaboration

    October 29, 2020
    Luke Auburn
    luke.auburn@rit.edu

    RIT scientists helped analyze and interpret the ripples in space and time.

    Masses in the Stellar Graveyard 9-2-20. GWTC-2 plot v1.0 BY LIGO-Virgo Frank Elavsky and Aaron Geller at Northwestern University.

    Masses in the Stellar Graveyard GWTC-2 plot v1.0 BY LIGO-Virgo Frank Elavsky and Aaron Geller at Northwestern University.

    The LIGO Scientific Collaboration and Virgo Collaboration released a catalog of results from the first half of its third observing run (O3a). This shows the masses of the black holes and neutron stars in the 50 gravitational wave events detected to date.

    Scientists have detected more than three times as many gravitational waves than the first two runs combined. Gravitational waves were first detected in 2015 and are ripples in time and space produced by merging black holes and/or neutron stars. Several researchers from Rochester Institute of Technology’s Center for Computational Relativity and Gravitation (CCRG) were heavily involved in analyzing the gravitational waves and understanding their significance.

    Localizations of gravitational-wave signals detected by LIGO in 2015 (GW150914, LVT151012, GW151226, GW170104), more recently, by the LIGO-Virgo network (GW170814, GW170817). After Virgo (IT) came online in August 2018.

    The catalog details 39 new gravitational wave events detected during O3a, bringing the total to 50, and several of the newly detected binaries have unique properties that expand our understanding of binary black hole formation. O3a uncovered the largest and smallest binary black holes to date, ranging from 150 times the size of our sun to just 3 times larger. O3a also detected the first binary black hole confidently formed from highly asymmetrical black holes as well as several binary black holes with unique spin properties.

    Jacob Lange ’18 MS (astrophysical sciences and technology), ’20 Ph.D. (astrophysical sciences and technology) worked on the parameter estimation part of the analysis, which identifies important characteristics about each gravitational wave event, including the masses of the black holes or neutron stars involved, their spin, distance from Earth and position in the sky. While he was a Ph.D. student at RIT, he helped develop parameter estimation algorithms that were faster than conventional methods and used for many of the events released in the catalog. Lange, who is now a postdoctoral researcher at Brown University’s Institute for Computational and Experimental Research in Mathematics, said that improvements to the sensors and parameter estimation techniques have yielded increasingly unique findings that challenge our understanding of the universe.

    “We’re seeing much more complex events where nature’s really showing us its fascinating side,” said Lange. “We’ll be able to learn much more interesting physics and astrophysics from these detections. The more we build up this catalog of events, the more we can start making statements about the overall population.”

    Daniel Wysocki ’18 MS (astrophysical sciences and technology), ’20 Ph.D. (astrophysical sciences and technology) worked on analyzing the population properties of black holes following O3a. Wysocki, now a postdoctoral researcher at University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, said that we are gaining a clearer picture about what typical black holes look like, how many exist, how the population of black holes has changed as the universe evolved, and other important properties.

    “This catalog represents a significant increase in sample size from our previous release,” said Wysocki. “It’s like a census that provides data for people to see if their physical models are consistent with what happens in the universe. This has implications for general relativity, the physics of stars, and the behavior of matter at energies that aren’t possible in a terrestrial laboratory. Down the line that can really help us change our understanding of things on Earth.”

    With incremental improvements coming online in the next several years, new ground and space observatories in the coming decades, and LIGO and Virgo preparing for the fourth observing run, the future is bright for gravitational wave astronomy. Associate Professor Richard O’Shaughnessy, a member of CCRG and the LIGO Scientific Collaboration, said even more discoveries are on the horizon.

    “We’ve learned more about what nature permits,” said O’Shaughnessy. “We found more big black holes, smaller siblings of the massive event described in the summer and we found, too, that large black holes can be rapidly spinning. That breaks some theories for how large black holes could form. We see very tantalizing suggestions that some of the merging black holes may have spins misaligned with the orbit.”

    Speculating about the significance of these observations, O’Shaughnessy said, “Many years ago, I showed that misalignment could clearly identify how merging black holes came to be. We’re one step closer to finding a smoking gun.”

    For more information about O3a, visit the LIGO Scientific Collaboration website.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    About the LSC

    The LIGO Scientific Collaboration (LSC) is a group of scientists seeking to make the first direct detection of gravitational waves, use them to explore the fundamental physics of gravity, and develop the emerging field of gravitational wave science as a tool of astronomical discovery. The LSC works toward this goal through research on, and development of techniques for, gravitational wave detection; and the development, commissioning and exploitation of gravitational wave detectors.

    The LSC carries out the science of the LIGO Observatories, located in Hanford, Washington and Livingston, Louisiana as well as that of the GEO600 detector in Hannover, Germany. Our collaboration is organized around three general areas of research: analysis of LIGO and GEO data searching for gravitational waves from astrophysical sources, detector operations and characterization, and development of future large scale gravitational wave detectors.

    Founded in 1997, the LSC is currently made up of more than 1000 scientists from dozens of institutions and 15 countries worldwide. A list of the participating universities.

    Caltech/MIT Advanced aLigo Hanford, WA, USA installation
    Caltech/MIT Advanced aLigo Hanford, WA, USA installation

    Caltech/MIT Advanced aLigo detector installation Livingston, LA, USA
    Caltech/MIT Advanced aLigo detector installation Livingston, LA, USA

    VIRGO Gravitational Wave interferometer, near Pisa, Italy
    VIRGO Gravitational Wave interferometer, near Pisa, Italy

    Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) is a private doctoral university within the town of Henrietta in the Rochester, New York metropolitan area.

    RIT is composed of nine academic colleges, including National Technical Institute for the Deaf. The Institute is one of only a small number of engineering institutes in the State of New York, including New York Institute of Technology, SUNY Polytechnic Institute, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. It is most widely known for its fine arts, computing, engineering, and imaging science programs; several fine arts programs routinely rank in the national “Top 10” according to US News & World Report.

    The Institute as it is known today began as a result of an 1891 merger between Rochester Athenæum, a literary society founded in 1829 by Colonel Nathaniel Rochester and associates, and Mechanics Institute, a Rochester institute of practical technical training for local residents founded in 1885 by a consortium of local businessmen including Captain Henry Lomb, co-founder of Bausch & Lomb. The name of the merged institution at the time was called Rochester Athenæum and Mechanics Institute (RAMI). In 1944, the school changed its name to Rochester Institute of Technology and it became a full-fledged research university.

     
  • richardmitnick 11:39 am on September 25, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "RIT Sponsored Research garners record $82 million in funding", , , Rochester Institute of Technology, Strong submission of proposals fuel the boost.   

    From Rochester Institute of Technology: “RIT Sponsored Research garners record $82 million in funding” 

    From Rochester Institute of Technology

    September 25, 2020
    Ellen Rosen
    Ellen.Rosen@rit.edu

    Strong submission of proposals fuel the boost.

    1
    For fiscal year 2020, which ended June 30, RIT received 382 new awards totaling $82 million. The record funding follows $58 million in research expenditures in fiscal year 2019, also a record. Credit: Gabrielle Plucknette-DeVito.

    Rochester Institute of Technology had its best year ever for sponsored research funding.

    For fiscal year 2020, which ended June 30, RIT received 382 new awards totaling $82 million. The record funding follows $58 million in research expenditures in fiscal year 2019, also a record.

    During this most recent fiscal year, RIT had 339 principal investigators associated with 669 active research awards.

    “In these challenging times, RIT is quite fortunate to have obtained a record amount of support for its research programs,” said Ryne Raffaelle, RIT’s vice president for research and associate provost. “One thing that we have definitely learned through this pandemic, and the other challenges facing our society, is the importance of academic research. It is gratifying to note that we are doing our part.”

    Among the funding sources, RIT received:

    $44 million from federal agencies, including $15 million from the National Science Foundation, $8 million from the Department of Defense, $5 million from the Department of Health and Human Services (most of that from the National Institutes of Health) and $4 million from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration;
    $16 million from New York state.

    The university also submitted 722 research proposals, totaling $200 million this past fiscal year.

    Some of the research highlights include:

    Donna Burnette, director of RIT’s K-12 program, received a $3.5M Army Education Outreach Program (AEOP) award to support high school apprentices displaced by the COVID-19 pandemic. This virtual course addresses the AEOP mission of creating a STEM literate citizenry. Students will explore the concepts and effects of science and technology on society, look at how science and technology have affected and been affected by our values, and think about how we know what we know in science and engineering (metacognition).

    Bo Yuan, professor and chair of the Department of Computing Security, received $2.4M from NSF for the Scholarships for Service Program which takes exceptional BS students majoring in computer science, software engineering, or computing security and places them in an accelerated BS/MS programs leading in computing security.

    Matt Dye, assistant professor in the Department of Liberal Studies at RIT/NTID and Department of Psychology received a $1M award from NIH to examine the effects of auditory development, cognitive function and language outcomes in a large group of young deaf adults. The results of this study will provide much-needed and timely answers regarding the possible benefits of early cochlear implantation and early intervention with sign language that parents and policy makers seek as they determine how best to intervene with the next generation of deaf infants who are cochlear implant recipients or candidates.

    Jeanne Christman, associate professor in the College of Engineering Technology received a $1 million NSF award to use self-determination theory to inform practice on a proposed project, Critical Mass of Engineering Technology Scholar. Its purpose is to recruit and retain a more diverse pool of students to engineering technology by addressing factors that contribute to the underrepresentation of women, students of color and those who are deaf or hard of hearing.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) is a private doctoral university within the town of Henrietta in the Rochester, New York metropolitan area.

    RIT is composed of nine academic colleges, including National Technical Institute for the Deaf. The Institute is one of only a small number of engineering institutes in the State of New York, including New York Institute of Technology, SUNY Polytechnic Institute, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. It is most widely known for its fine arts, computing, engineering, and imaging science programs; several fine arts programs routinely rank in the national “Top 10” according to US News & World Report.

    The Institute as it is known today began as a result of an 1891 merger between Rochester Athenæum, a literary society founded in 1829 by Colonel Nathaniel Rochester and associates, and Mechanics Institute, a Rochester institute of practical technical training for local residents founded in 1885 by a consortium of local businessmen including Captain Henry Lomb, co-founder of Bausch & Lomb. The name of the merged institution at the time was called Rochester Athenæum and Mechanics Institute (RAMI). In 1944, the school changed its name to Rochester Institute of Technology and it became a full-fledged research university.

     
  • richardmitnick 12:24 pm on September 4, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Assistant Professor Carmody McCalley, , , EMERGE stands for “EMergent Ecosystem Response to ChanGE.”, EMERGE will focus on better understanding ecosystem and climate interactions like the thawing of the Arctic permafrost., EMERGE- a new NSF-funded Biology Integration Institute., Isotope geochemistry, Rochester Institute of Technology, The end result of the project will be a new “genes-to-ecosystems-to-genes” framework to create models that could help predict ecosystem response to change., The research will be done in Stordalen Mire- a long-studied peatland in northern Sweden where permafrost thaw drives changes in the landscape; plants; and microbes.,   

    From Rochester Institute of Technology: Women in STEM Carmody McCalley “RIT collaborates with 13 other universities to understand climate change and ecosystems” 

    From Rochester Institute of Technology

    Assistant Professor Carmody McCalley leads RIT’s contributions to NSF-funded institute.

    1
    RIT Assistant Professor Carmody McCalley at the research site Stordalen Mire in Abisko, Sweden. She will lead RIT’s contributions to EMERGE, a new NSF-funded Biology Integration Institute that will focus on better understanding ecosystem and climate interactions like the thawing of the Arctic permafrost.

    Rochester Institute of Technology is one of 14 universities from around the globe that have collectively been awarded $12.5 million from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to launch a new Biology Integration Institute (BII).

    It will focus on better understanding ecosystem and climate interactions—like the thawing of the Arctic permafrost—and how they can alter everything from the landscape to greenhouse gases.

    EMERGE, which stands for “EMergent Ecosystem Response to ChanGE,” is an ambitious five-year project that will concentrate on discovering how the processes that sustain life and enable biological innovation operate and interact within and between each other—from molecules to cells, species, and ecosystems—under dynamically changing conditions. The end result will be a new “genes-to-ecosystems-to-genes” framework to create models that could help predict ecosystem response to change.

    “The big goal is to see if we can do a better job at predicting how ecosystems respond to climate change and develop a better understanding of how molecular-scale and large-scale processes interact,” said Carmody McCalley, an assistant professor in the Thomas H. Gosnell School of Life Sciences and the principal investigator for RIT’s contributions to the project. “We’re attempting to achieve that by bringing together a large, interdisciplinary group. The key is collaborating across disciplines—everything from high-end molecular genomics to ecosystem modeling to isotope geochemistry.”

    McCalley is an expert in isotope geochemistry and looks at the isotopic composition of methane to determine where methane molecules came from. Changes in the isotopic signature of methane coming from a thawing permafrost system can indicate there has been a change in the biology and physics of how methane moves through the environment. The College of Science faculty member will work with her collaborators in fields such as microbial genomics and biogeochemistry to link those changes to causes and effects.

    The project will be led by The Ohio State University and will consist of a team of 33 scientists representing 15 specialties. The partnership brings together expertise inside and outside of biology, such as ecology and evolution, organismal biology, team science, and modeling and computational science.

    “Ecosystems respond to changing conditions, like a new agricultural practice or changing rainfall patterns, in a way that is greater than the sum of the responses of individual parts,” said Virginia Rich, associate professor of microbiology at Ohio State and co-director for EMERGE. “To address this challenge head-on, our team will pull cutting-edge ideas and methods from across biology and beyond into a unified vision for seeing what each discipline, alone, cannot—piecing back together the forest from the trees, if you will. It is incredibly exciting.”

    The research will be done in Stordalen Mire, a long-studied peatland in northern Sweden where permafrost thaw drives changes in the landscape, plants, and microbes. The institute, which will launch in September, will also have a strong training, education, and outreach component and will involve biologists at the postdoctoral, graduate, and undergraduate levels.

    Participating universities include University of Arizona, Florida State University, Colorado State University at Fort Collins, Case Western Reserve University, University of California at Berkeley, Rochester Institute of Technology, Berkeley Labs, Joint Genome Institute, all in the United States; Lund University, Umeå University and Stockholm University, all in Sweden; and Queensland University of Technology in Australia.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) is a private doctoral university within the town of Henrietta in the Rochester, New York metropolitan area.

    RIT is composed of nine academic colleges, including National Technical Institute for the Deaf. The Institute is one of only a small number of engineering institutes in the State of New York, including New York Institute of Technology, SUNY Polytechnic Institute, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. It is most widely known for its fine arts, computing, engineering, and imaging science programs; several fine arts programs routinely rank in the national “Top 10” according to US News & World Report.

    The Institute as it is known today began as a result of an 1891 merger between Rochester Athenæum, a literary society founded in 1829 by Colonel Nathaniel Rochester and associates, and Mechanics Institute, a Rochester institute of practical technical training for local residents founded in 1885 by a consortium of local businessmen including Captain Henry Lomb, co-founder of Bausch & Lomb. The name of the merged institution at the time was called Rochester Athenæum and Mechanics Institute (RAMI). In 1944, the school changed its name to Rochester Institute of Technology and it became a full-fledged research university.

     
  • richardmitnick 2:15 pm on September 2, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "New mathematical method shows how climate change led to the fall of an ancient civilization", Measuring the presence of a particular isotope in stalagmites from a cave in South Asia scientists were able to develop a record of monsoon rainfall in the region for the past 5700 years., , Rochester Institute of Technology, Settlements of the Indus Valley Civilization during different phases of its evolution.   

    From Rochester Institute of Technology: “New mathematical method shows how climate change led to the fall of an ancient civilization” 

    From Rochester Institute of Technology

    September 2, 2020
    Luke Auburn
    luke.auburn@rit.edu

    Chaos paper by RIT Assistant Professor Nishant Malik applies method to Indus Valley Civilization.

    1
    This figure shows the settlements of the Indus Valley Civilization during different phases of its evolution. RIT Assistant Professor Nishant Malik developed a mathematical method that shows climate change likely caused the rise and fall of the ancient civilization.

    A Rochester Institute of Technology researcher developed a mathematical method that shows climate change likely caused the rise and fall of an ancient civilization. In an article recently featured in the journal Chaos: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Nonlinear Science, Nishant Malik, assistant professor in RIT’s School of Mathematical Sciences, outlined the new technique he developed and showed how shifting monsoon patterns led to the demise of the Indus Valley Civilization, a Bronze Age civilization contemporary to Mesopotamia and ancient Egypt.

    Malik developed a method to study paleoclimate time series, sets of data that tell us about past climates using indirect observations. For example, by measuring the presence of a particular isotope in stalagmites from a cave in South Asia, scientists were able to develop a record of monsoon rainfall in the region for the past 5,700 years. But as Malik notes, studying paleoclimate time series poses several problems that make it challenging to analyze them with mathematical tools typically used to understand climate.

    “Usually the data we get when analyzing paleoclimate is a short time series with noise and uncertainty in it,” said Malik. “As far as mathematics and climate is concerned, the tool we use very often in understanding climate and weather is dynamical systems. But dynamical systems theory is harder to apply to paleoclimate data. This new method can find transitions in the most challenging time series, including paleoclimate, which are short, have some amount of uncertainty and have noise in them.”

    There are several theories about why the Indus Valley Civilization declined—including invasion by nomadic Indo-Aryans and earthquakes—but climate change appears to be the most likely scenario. But until Malik applied his hybrid approach— rooted in dynamical systems but also drawing on methods from the fields of machine learning and information theory—there was no mathematical proof. His analysis showed there was a major shift in monsoon patterns just before the dawn of this civilization and that the pattern reversed course right before it declined, indicating it was in fact climate change that caused the fall.

    Malik said he hopes the method will allow scientists to develop more automated methods of finding transitions in paleoclimate data and leads to additional important historical discoveries.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) is a private doctoral university within the town of Henrietta in the Rochester, New York metropolitan area.

    RIT is composed of nine academic colleges, including National Technical Institute for the Deaf. The Institute is one of only a small number of engineering institutes in the State of New York, including New York Institute of Technology, SUNY Polytechnic Institute, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. It is most widely known for its fine arts, computing, engineering, and imaging science programs; several fine arts programs routinely rank in the national “Top 10” according to US News & World Report.

    The Institute as it is known today began as a result of an 1891 merger between Rochester Athenæum, a literary society founded in 1829 by Colonel Nathaniel Rochester and associates, and Mechanics Institute, a Rochester institute of practical technical training for local residents founded in 1885 by a consortium of local businessmen including Captain Henry Lomb, co-founder of Bausch & Lomb. The name of the merged institution at the time was called Rochester Athenæum and Mechanics Institute (RAMI). In 1944, the school changed its name to Rochester Institute of Technology and it became a full-fledged research university.

     
  • richardmitnick 11:47 am on July 22, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Groundbreaking study of binary star evolution is focus of new NSF grant", , , , , Rochester Institute of Technology   

    From Rochester Institute of Technology: “Groundbreaking study of binary star evolution is focus of new NSF grant” 

    From Rochester Institute of Technology

    July 24, 2020 [Sorry about that, folks. I do not make the news, I just report it as accurately as possible. That is the date they gave even though it is now 7.22.20]

    Vienna McGrain
    vienna.carvalho@rit.edu

    RIT/NTID professor Jason Nordhaus leads research team that aims to solve ‘one of the most challenging problems in stellar astrophysics’.

    1
    RIT/NTID assistant professor and astrophysicist Jason Nordhaus is leading a groundbreaking study of binary star evolution. Credit: Elizabeth Lamark.

    A new grant will help researchers at Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf learn more about “one of the most challenging phases in stellar astrophysics,” according to the National Science Foundation.

    The nearly $300,000 project, which incorporates research opportunities for deaf and hard-of-hearing undergraduate students, will revolutionize how scientists understand a crucial phase of binary star evolution that rapidly shrinks the orbit of two stars to 0.1 percent of the distance from the Earth to the sun in only one year. This is the main method for forming tight binaries in the universe, such as binary black holes, neutron stars, white dwarfs, and many other classes of objects. But scientists have never seen it happen.

    Jason Nordhaus, an RIT/NTID assistant professor of physics and the principal investigator on the grant, is “beyond excited” to lead the first-of-its-kind survey that will allow astrophysicists to create the first observational constraints on the outcomes of what is called the common envelope phase.

    Through the project, titled “Brief But Spectacular: New Windows into the Physics of Common Envelope Evolution,” Nordhaus and his team will be conducting an observational survey of all galactic star clusters within 1 kiloparsec of Earth to hunt for close binary systems. To do that, they will use data from NASA and the European Space Agency’s flagship space missions, TESS and Gaia, in addition to some of the largest telescopes on the planet—the Lowell Discovery Telescope in the northern hemisphere and the Magellan Telescopes in the southern hemisphere.

    NASA/MIT TESS replaced Kepler in search for exoplanets

    ESA/GAIA satellite


    Discovery Channel Telescope, operated by the Lowell Observatory in partnership with UMD, Boston University, the University of Toledo and Northern Arizona University, at Lowell Observatory, Happy Jack AZ, USA, Altitude 2,360 m (7,740 ft)

    Carnegie 6.5 meter Magellan Baade and Clay Telescopes located at Carnegie’s Las Campanas Observatory, Chile. over 2,500 m (8,200 ft) high

    “The common envelope phase is responsible for making the systems that will later merge and create gravitational waves,” explains Nordhaus. “Because only one star in our galaxy is experiencing this phase at any time, we have never directly seen it. However, close binaries in clusters act as a Rosetta stone, allowing us to map the conditions right before the common envelope phase to the conditions right after the phase is over.”

    As part of this three-year project, several deaf and hard-of-hearing RIT/NTID undergraduates will help conduct research at Boston University each summer. Philip Muirhead, co-PI on the project, is the director of graduate admissions for Boston University’s astronomy department. Nordhaus and Muirhead will work together on best practices for supporting those students successfully in the summer. Also contributing to the project are Maria Drout, assistant professor of astronomy and astrophysics at the University of Toronto, and Jeffrey Cummings, associate research scientist at Johns Hopkins University.

    “This new venture that Dr. Nordhaus is taking on will lead to discoveries beyond our imagination,” said Gerry Buckley, NTID president and RIT vice president and dean. “This work also provides a tremendous opportunity for our young deaf and hard-of-hearing science students to work in a research setting and be a part of this remarkable project.”

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) is a private doctoral university within the town of Henrietta in the Rochester, New York metropolitan area.

    RIT is composed of nine academic colleges, including National Technical Institute for the Deaf. The Institute is one of only a small number of engineering institutes in the State of New York, including New York Institute of Technology, SUNY Polytechnic Institute, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. It is most widely known for its fine arts, computing, engineering, and imaging science programs; several fine arts programs routinely rank in the national “Top 10” according to US News & World Report.

    The Institute as it is known today began as a result of an 1891 merger between Rochester Athenæum, a literary society founded in 1829 by Colonel Nathaniel Rochester and associates, and Mechanics Institute, a Rochester institute of practical technical training for local residents founded in 1885 by a consortium of local businessmen including Captain Henry Lomb, co-founder of Bausch & Lomb. The name of the merged institution at the time was called Rochester Athenæum and Mechanics Institute (RAMI). In 1944, the school changed its name to Rochester Institute of Technology and it became a full-fledged research university.

     
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