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  • richardmitnick 8:29 pm on September 26, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "UH astronomers map distances to 56000 galaxies - largest-ever catalog University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa", The University of Hawai’i-Manoa Institute for Astronomy   

    From The University of Hawai’i-Manoa Institute for Astronomy : “UH astronomers map distances to 56000 galaxies – largest-ever catalog University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa” 

    From The University of Hawai’i-Manoa Institute for Astronomy

    9.25.22
    Roy Gal
    roygal@hawaii.edu
    (808) 388-8690

    1
    Full-sky map showing Cosmicflows-4’s 56,000 galaxies with distance measurements.

    How old is our universe, and what is its size? A team of researchers led by University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa astronomers Brent Tully and Ehsan Kourkchi from the Institute for Astronomy have assembled the largest-ever compilation of high-precision galaxy distances, called Cosmicflows-4. Using eight different methods, they measured the distances to a whopping 56,000 galaxies. The study has been published in The Astrophysical Journal [below].

    Galaxies, such as the Milky Way, are the building blocks of the universe, each comprised of up to several hundred billion stars. Galaxies beyond our immediate neighborhood are rushing away, faster if they are more distant, which is a consequence of the expansion of the universe that began at the moment of the Big Bang. Measurements of the distances of galaxies, coupled with information about their velocities away from us, determine the scale of the universe and the time that has elapsed since its birth.

    “Since galaxies were identified as separate from the Milky Way a hundred years ago, astronomers have been trying to measure their distances,” said Tully. “Now by combining our more accurate and abundant tools, we are able to measure distances of galaxies, and the related expansion rate of the universe and the time since the universe was born with a precision of a few percent.”

    From the newly published measurements, the researchers derived the expansion rate of the universe, called the Hubble Constant, or H0. The team’s study gives a value of H0=75 kilometers per second per megaparsec or Mpc (1 megaparsec = 3.26 million light years), with very small statistical uncertainty of about 1.5%.

    There are a number of ways to measure galaxy distances. Generally, individual researchers focus on an individual method. The Cosmicflows program spearheaded by Tully and Kourkchi includes their own original material from two methods, and additionally incorporates information from many previous studies. Because Cosmicflows-4 includes distances derived from a variety of independent, distinct distance estimators, intercomparisons should mitigate against a large systematic error.

    Science paper:
    The Astrophysical Journal

    See the full article here .


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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The The University of Hawai’i Institute for Astronomy is a research unit within the University of Hawai’i system. Institute for Astronomy’s main headquarters are located at 2680 Woodlawn Drive in Honolulu, Hawai’i, adjacent to the University of Hawai’i-Mānoa campus. Additional facilities are located at Pukalani, Maui and Hilo on Hawaiʻi island (the Big Island). Institute for Astronomy employs over 150 astronomers and support staff. Institute for Astronomy astronomers perform research into Solar System objects, stars, galaxies and cosmology.
    The Institute for Astronomy was founded in 1967 to conduct research and to manage the observatory complexes at Haleakalā, Maui and the Mauna Kea Observatory on the summit of Mauna Kea. It has approximately 55 faculty and employs over 300 people.

    From University of Hawai’i-Manoa

    University of Hawaii 2.2 meter telescope, Mauna Kea, Hawai’i

    The W. M. Keck Observatory operates the largest, most scientifically productive telescopes on Earth.

    The two, 10-meter optical/infrared telescopes near the summit of Mauna Kea on the island of Hawai’i feature a suite of advanced instruments including imagers, multi-object spectrographs, high-resolution spectrographs, integral-field spectrographs and world-leading laser guide star adaptive optics systems.

    System Overview

    The The University of Hawai‘i includes 10 campuses and dozens of educational, training and research centers across the Hawaiian Islands. As the public system of higher education in Hawai‘i, The University of Hawai‘i offers opportunities as unique and diverse as our Island home.

    The 10 University of Hawai‘i campuses and educational centers on six Hawai’ian Islands provide unique opportunities for both learning and recreation.

    The University of Hawai‘i is the State’s leading engine for economic growth and diversification, stimulating the local economy with jobs, research and skilled workers.

    The University of Hawaiʻi system, formally The University of Hawaiʻi is a public college and university system that confers associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees through three university campuses, seven community college campuses, an employment training center, three university centers, four education centers and various other research facilities distributed across six islands throughout the state of Hawaii in the United States. All schools of The University of Hawaiʻi system are accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. The University of Hawai‘i system’s main administrative offices are located on the property of the University of Hawaiʻi-Mānoa in Honolulu CDP.

    The University of Hawaiʻi-Mānoa is the flagship institution of The University of Hawaiʻi system. It was founded as a land-grant college under the terms of the Morrill Acts of 1862 and 1890. Programs include Hawaiian/Pacific Studies, Astronomy, East Asian Languages and Literature, Asian Studies, Comparative Philosophy, Marine Science, Second Language Studies, along with Botany, Engineering, Ethnomusicology, Geophysics, Law, Business, Linguistics, Mathematics, and Medicine. The second-largest institution is The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo on the “Big Island” of Hawaiʻi, with over 3,000 students. The University of Hawaiʻi-West Oʻahu in Kapolei primarily serves students who reside in Honolulu’s western and central suburban communities. The University of Hawaiʻi Community College system comprises four community colleges island campuses on O’ahu and one each on Maui, Kauaʻi, and Hawaiʻi. The schools were created to improve accessibility of courses to more Hawaiʻi residents and provide an affordable means of easing the transition from secondary school/high school to college for many students. The University of Hawaiʻi education centers are located in more remote areas of the State and its several islands, supporting rural communities via distance education.

    Research facilities

    Center for Philippine Studies
    Cancer Research Center of Hawaiʻi
    East-West Center
    Haleakalā Observatory
    Hawaiʻi Natural Energy Institute
    Institute for Astronomy
    Institute of Geophysics and Planetology
    Institute of Marine Biology
    Lyon Arboretum
    Mauna Kea Observatory
    W. M. Keck Observatory
    Waikīkī Aquarium

     
  • richardmitnick 1:02 pm on July 30, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Public input sought by NSF for environmental review of TMT", , , , , , The University of Hawai’i-Manoa Institute for Astronomy   

    From The University of Hawai’i-Manoa Institute for Astronomy and The National Science Foundation: “Public input sought by NSF for environmental review of TMT” 

    From The University of Hawai’i-Manoa Institute for Astronomy

    and

    The National Science Foundation

    The National Science Foundation (NSF) is seeking public input on whether it should move forward with a formal environmental review for the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) on Mauna Kea on Hawaiʻi Island.

    [This makes no sense. This project, so important for Northern Hemisphere Astronomy has already been twice approved by the appropriate governmental agencies in Hawai’i. There is agreement to decomission twelve existing telescopes in the Mauna Kea Observatory. So much time has been wasted already in this process as to defy description. Now, the NSF is simply adding to the problems.]

    The process begins with a series of public meetings on Hawaiʻi Island August 9–12. An open comment period runs through September 17 and comments can be submitted in-person at the public meetings or online.

    The University of Hawaiʻi has no formal role in the NSF process with the establishment of the Mauna Kea Stewardship and Oversight Authority authorized by the recent adoption of Act 255 (HB2024), however, UH community members are strongly encouraged to participate in the NSF process including its public hearings.

    “Whether you support TMT or not, the NSF needs to hear from you,” said UH Hilo Center for Mauna Kea Stewardship Executive Director Greg Chun. “Robust, public participation is key to finding the best path forward for Mauna Kea and astronomy in Hawaiʻi.”

    NSF has developed a Draft Community Engagement Plan to provide multiple opportunities for the public to participate in the environmental review process, which will include a 2–3 day interactive and NSF-facilitated workshop designed to develop a plan to define and practice responsible astronomy in Hawaiʻi. The public is invited to comment on draft study plans that outline the scope and methodology to be used in any studies that may be conducted as part of the environmental review.

    On July 19, 2022, the NSF posted in the Federal Register, its Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement and Initiate Section 106 Consultation for a Potential National Science Foundation Investment in the Construction and Operation of an Extremely Large Telescope Located in the Northern Hemisphere and Notice of Public Scoping Meetings and Comment Period. This notice officially starts (1) the public scoping process for NSF’s environmental impact statement required by the National Environmental Policy Act related to the proposed project’s impacts to resources, and (2) public consultation required under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act related to the proposed project’s impacts specifically on properties that are on or qualify for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.

    See the full article here .


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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The National Science Foundation is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 “to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense…we are the funding source for approximately 24 percent of all federally supported basic research conducted by America’s colleges and universities. In many fields such as mathematics, computer science and the social sciences, NSF is the major source of federal backing.

    We fulfill our mission chiefly by issuing limited-term grants — currently about 12,000 new awards per year, with an average duration of three years — to fund specific research proposals that have been judged the most promising by a rigorous and objective merit-review system. Most of these awards go to individuals or small groups of investigators. Others provide funding for research centers, instruments and facilities that allow scientists, engineers and students to work at the outermost frontiers of knowledge.

    NSF’s goals — discovery, learning, research infrastructure and stewardship — provide an integrated strategy to advance the frontiers of knowledge, cultivate a world-class, broadly inclusive science and engineering workforce and expand the scientific literacy of all citizens, build the nation’s research capability through investments in advanced instrumentation and facilities, and support excellence in science and engineering research and education through a capable and responsive organization. We like to say that NSF is “where discoveries begin.”

    Many of the discoveries and technological advances have been truly revolutionary. In the past few decades, NSF-funded researchers have won some 236 Nobel Prizes as well as other honors too numerous to list. These pioneers have included the scientists or teams that discovered many of the fundamental particles of matter, analyzed the cosmic microwaves left over from the earliest epoch of the universe, developed carbon-14 dating of ancient artifacts, decoded the genetics of viruses, and created an entirely new state of matter called a Bose-Einstein condensate.

    NSF also funds equipment that is needed by scientists and engineers but is often too expensive for any one group or researcher to afford. Examples of such major research equipment include giant optical and radio telescopes, Antarctic research sites, high-end computer facilities and ultra-high-speed connections, ships for ocean research, sensitive detectors of very subtle physical phenomena and gravitational wave observatories.

    Another essential element in NSF’s mission is support for science and engineering education, from pre-K through graduate school and beyond. The research we fund is thoroughly integrated with education to help ensure that there will always be plenty of skilled people available to work in new and emerging scientific, engineering and technological fields, and plenty of capable teachers to educate the next generation.

    No single factor is more important to the intellectual and economic progress of society, and to the enhanced well-being of its citizens, than the continuous acquisition of new knowledge. NSF is proud to be a major part of that process.

    Specifically, the Foundation’s organic legislation authorizes us to engage in the following activities:

    Initiate and support, through grants and contracts, scientific and engineering research and programs to strengthen scientific and engineering research potential, and education programs at all levels, and appraise the impact of research upon industrial development and the general welfare.
    Award graduate fellowships in the sciences and in engineering.
    Foster the interchange of scientific information among scientists and engineers in the United States and foreign countries.
    Foster and support the development and use of computers and other scientific methods and technologies, primarily for research and education in the sciences.
    Evaluate the status and needs of the various sciences and engineering and take into consideration the results of this evaluation in correlating our research and educational programs with other federal and non-federal programs.
    Provide a central clearinghouse for the collection, interpretation and analysis of data on scientific and technical resources in the United States, and provide a source of information for policy formulation by other federal agencies.
    Determine the total amount of federal money received by universities and appropriate organizations for the conduct of scientific and engineering research, including both basic and applied, and construction of facilities where such research is conducted, but excluding development, and report annually thereon to the President and the Congress.
    Initiate and support specific scientific and engineering activities in connection with matters relating to international cooperation, national security and the effects of scientific and technological applications upon society.
    Initiate and support scientific and engineering research, including applied research, at academic and other nonprofit institutions and, at the direction of the President, support applied research at other organizations.
    Recommend and encourage the pursuit of national policies for the promotion of basic research and education in the sciences and engineering. Strengthen research and education innovation in the sciences and engineering, including independent research by individuals, throughout the United States.
    Support activities designed to increase the participation of women and minorities and others underrepresented in science and technology.

    At present, NSF has a total workforce of about 2,100 at its Alexandria, VA, headquarters, including approximately 1,400 career employees, 200 scientists from research institutions on temporary duty, 450 contract workers and the staff of the NSB office and the Office of the Inspector General.

    NSF is divided into the following seven directorates that support science and engineering research and education: Biological Sciences, Computer and Information Science and Engineering, Engineering, Geosciences, Mathematical and Physical Sciences, Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences, and Education and Human Resources. Each is headed by an assistant director and each is further subdivided into divisions like materials research, ocean sciences and behavioral and cognitive sciences.

    Within NSF’s Office of the Director, the Office of Integrative Activities also supports research and researchers. Other sections of NSF are devoted to financial management, award processing and monitoring, legal affairs, outreach and other functions. The Office of the Inspector General examines the foundation’s work and reports to the NSB and Congress.

    Each year, NSF supports an average of about 200,000 scientists, engineers, educators and students at universities, laboratories and field sites all over the United States and throughout the world, from Alaska to Alabama to Africa to Antarctica. You could say that NSF support goes “to the ends of the earth” to learn more about the planet and its inhabitants, and to produce fundamental discoveries that further the progress of research and lead to products and services that boost the economy and improve general health and well-being.

    As described in our strategic plan, NSF is the only federal agency whose mission includes support for all fields of fundamental science and engineering, except for medical sciences. NSF is tasked with keeping the United States at the leading edge of discovery in a wide range of scientific areas, from astronomy to geology to zoology. So, in addition to funding research in the traditional academic areas, the agency also supports “high risk, high pay off” ideas, novel collaborations and numerous projects that may seem like science fiction today, but which the public will take for granted tomorrow. And in every case, we ensure that research is fully integrated with education so that today’s revolutionary work will also be training tomorrow’s top scientists and engineers.

    Unlike many other federal agencies, NSF does not hire researchers or directly operate our own laboratories or similar facilities. Instead, we support scientists, engineers and educators directly through their own home institutions (typically universities and colleges). Similarly, we fund facilities and equipment such as telescopes, through cooperative agreements with research consortia that have competed successfully for limited-term management contracts.

    NSF’s job is to determine where the frontiers are, identify the leading U.S. pioneers in these fields and provide money and equipment to help them continue. The results can be transformative. For example, years before most people had heard of “nanotechnology,” NSF was supporting scientists and engineers who were learning how to detect, record and manipulate activity at the scale of individual atoms — the nanoscale. Today, scientists are adept at moving atoms around to create devices and materials with properties that are often more useful than those found in nature.

    Dozens of companies are gearing up to produce nanoscale products. NSF is funding the research projects, state-of-the-art facilities and educational opportunities that will teach new skills to the science and engineering students who will make up the nanotechnology workforce of tomorrow.

    At the same time, we are looking for the next frontier.

    NSF’s task of identifying and funding work at the frontiers of science and engineering is not a “top-down” process. NSF operates from the “bottom up,” keeping close track of research around the United States and the world, maintaining constant contact with the research community to identify ever-moving horizons of inquiry, monitoring which areas are most likely to result in spectacular progress and choosing the most promising people to conduct the research.

    NSF funds research and education in most fields of science and engineering. We do this through grants and cooperative agreements to more than 2,000 colleges, universities, K-12 school systems, businesses, informal science organizations and other research organizations throughout the U.S. The Foundation considers proposals submitted by organizations on behalf of individuals or groups for support in most fields of research. Interdisciplinary proposals also are eligible for consideration. Awardees are chosen from those who send us proposals asking for a specific amount of support for a specific project.

    Proposals may be submitted in response to the various funding opportunities that are announced on the NSF website. These funding opportunities fall into three categories — program descriptions, program announcements and program solicitations — and are the mechanisms NSF uses to generate funding requests. At any time, scientists and engineers are also welcome to send in unsolicited proposals for research and education projects, in any existing or emerging field. The Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG) provides guidance on proposal preparation and submission and award management. At present, NSF receives more than 42,000 proposals per year.

    To ensure that proposals are evaluated in a fair, competitive, transparent and in-depth manner, we use a rigorous system of merit review. Nearly every proposal is evaluated by a minimum of three independent reviewers consisting of scientists, engineers and educators who do not work at NSF or for the institution that employs the proposing researchers. NSF selects the reviewers from among the national pool of experts in each field and their evaluations are confidential. On average, approximately 40,000 experts, knowledgeable about the current state of their field, give their time to serve as reviewers each year.

    The reviewer’s job is to decide which projects are of the very highest caliber. NSF’s merit review process, considered by some to be the “gold standard” of scientific review, ensures that many voices are heard and that only the best projects make it to the funding stage. An enormous amount of research, deliberation, thought and discussion goes into award decisions.

    The NSF program officer reviews the proposal and analyzes the input received from the external reviewers. After scientific, technical and programmatic review and consideration of appropriate factors, the program officer makes an “award” or “decline” recommendation to the division director. Final programmatic approval for a proposal is generally completed at NSF’s division level. A principal investigator (PI) whose proposal for NSF support has been declined will receive information and an explanation of the reason(s) for declination, along with copies of the reviews considered in making the decision. If that explanation does not satisfy the PI, he/she may request additional information from the cognizant NSF program officer or division director.

    If the program officer makes an award recommendation and the division director concurs, the recommendation is submitted to NSF’s Division of Grants and Agreements (DGA) for award processing. A DGA officer reviews the recommendation from the program division/office for business, financial and policy implications, and the processing and issuance of a grant or cooperative agreement. DGA generally makes awards to academic institutions within 30 days after the program division/office makes its recommendation.

    The The University of Hawai’i Institute for Astronomy is a research unit within the University of Hawai’i system. Institute for Astronomy’s main headquarters are located at 2680 Woodlawn Drive in Honolulu, Hawai’i, adjacent to the University of Hawai’i-Mānoa campus. Additional facilities are located at Pukalani, Maui and Hilo on Hawaiʻi island (the Big Island). Institute for Astronomy employs over 150 astronomers and support staff. Institute for Astronomy astronomers perform research into Solar System objects, stars, galaxies and cosmology.
    The Institute for Astronomy was founded in 1967 to conduct research and to manage the observatory complexes at Haleakalā, Maui and the Mauna Kea Observatory on the summit of Mauna Kea. It has approximately 55 faculty and employs over 300 people.

    From University of Hawai’i-Manoa

    University of Hawaii 2.2 meter telescope, Mauna Kea, Hawai’i

    The W. M. Keck Observatory operates the largest, most scientifically productive telescopes on Earth.

    The two, 10-meter optical/infrared telescopes near the summit of Mauna Kea on the island of Hawai’i feature a suite of advanced instruments including imagers, multi-object spectrographs, high-resolution spectrographs, integral-field spectrographs and world-leading laser guide star adaptive optics systems.

    System Overview

    The The University of Hawai‘i includes 10 campuses and dozens of educational, training and research centers across the Hawaiian Islands. As the public system of higher education in Hawai‘i, The University of Hawai‘i offers opportunities as unique and diverse as our Island home.

    The 10 University of Hawai‘i campuses and educational centers on six Hawai’ian Islands provide unique opportunities for both learning and recreation.

    The University of Hawai‘i is the State’s leading engine for economic growth and diversification, stimulating the local economy with jobs, research and skilled workers.

    The University of Hawaiʻi system, formally The University of Hawaiʻi is a public college and university system that confers associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees through three university campuses, seven community college campuses, an employment training center, three university centers, four education centers and various other research facilities distributed across six islands throughout the state of Hawaii in the United States. All schools of The University of Hawaiʻi system are accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. The University of Hawai‘i system’s main administrative offices are located on the property of the University of Hawaiʻi-Mānoa in Honolulu CDP.

    The University of Hawaiʻi-Mānoa is the flagship institution of The University of Hawaiʻi system. It was founded as a land-grant college under the terms of the Morrill Acts of 1862 and 1890. Programs include Hawaiian/Pacific Studies, Astronomy, East Asian Languages and Literature, Asian Studies, Comparative Philosophy, Marine Science, Second Language Studies, along with Botany, Engineering, Ethnomusicology, Geophysics, Law, Business, Linguistics, Mathematics, and Medicine. The second-largest institution is The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo on the “Big Island” of Hawaiʻi, with over 3,000 students. The University of Hawaiʻi-West Oʻahu in Kapolei primarily serves students who reside in Honolulu’s western and central suburban communities. The University of Hawaiʻi Community College system comprises four community colleges island campuses on O’ahu and one each on Maui, Kauaʻi, and Hawaiʻi. The schools were created to improve accessibility of courses to more Hawaiʻi residents and provide an affordable means of easing the transition from secondary school/high school to college for many students. The University of Hawaiʻi education centers are located in more remote areas of the State and its several islands, supporting rural communities via distance education.

    Research facilities

    Center for Philippine Studies
    Cancer Research Center of Hawaiʻi
    East-West Center
    Haleakalā Observatory
    Hawaiʻi Natural Energy Institute
    Institute for Astronomy
    Institute of Geophysics and Planetology
    Institute of Marine Biology
    Lyon Arboretum
    Mauna Kea Observatory
    W. M. Keck Observatory
    Waikīkī Aquarium

     
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