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  • richardmitnick 6:40 am on August 30, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: CAST, , , U Arkansas   

    From U Arkansas: “NSF Continues Support for Program in Spatial Archaeometry” 

    U Arkansas bloc

    University of Arkansas

    Aug. 30, 2017
    Rachel Opitz,
    Spatial Archaeometry Research Collaborations
    Center For Advanced Spatial Technologies
    479-575-6159
    rachel.opitz@glasgow.ac.uk

    [Finally something good to say about the NSF.]

    1
    Researchers Katie Simon and Jennie Sturm use the SIR 3000 with 400 MHz antennas to map an iron metalworking site in western Oman. Photo Submitted

    The National Science Foundation has renewed funding for the Spatial Archaeometry Research Collaborations program, an initiative through the University of Arkansas, Dartmouth College and the University of Glasgow that acts as a national hub for geospatial research in archaeology.

    The $158,762 grant allows the SPARC program to continue to provide research and technical expertise to archaeological research projects working with a variety of technologies, including 3-D survey and modeling, geospatial analysis and visualization, and geophysical and airborne remote-sensing. In 2017-2018 the SPARC team plans to focus on analytical and publication projects.

    The SPARC program was created by the Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies and the Archaeo-Imaging Laboratory with a $250,000 grant from the NSF in 2013. The program offers direct support to archaeological projects through awards in fieldwork, data and analytics, and publication. In addition to collaborating on research projects directly, SPARC helps researchers learn about the latest technologies and their archaeological applications through residencies at the Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies or through online resources and periodic webinars.

    For many decades, space has been viewed as one of the central dimensions of archaeological study, from artifacts to landscapes, and SPARC supports a wide variety of collaborators and projects around the world. Researchers at the Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies have collaborated on 29 projects worldwide, including working with the Cameron Monroe, University of California-Santa Cruz, to document and study the standing architecture and sub-surface archaeology at San Souci in Haiti; with Nick Carter and colleagues at Harvard University to analyze relationships between terrain, routeways, and evolving settlement patterns in the Five Lands region during the Classic period of Maya culture history; and with Krysta Ryzewski, Wayne State University, and John Cherry, Brown University, to use airborne lidar to map potential cultural landscape features and other anomalies in the Centre Hills region of Montserrat.

    A full list and complete descriptions of recent awards can be found on the SPARC website.

    About the Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies: The Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies is a multidisciplinary center for spatial research and technology housed within the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Arkansas. Established in 1991, CAST offers students, faculty, and the public opportunities to learn about the various applications of geographic information systems. CAST investigators span the social and physical sciences with expertise in the measurement and analysis of spatially referenced, multi-scalar data and processes, and are funded primarily through external sponsorships. More information about CAST can be found at http://cast.uark.edu/. For ongoing news, follow CAST on Facebook and Twitter.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition

    U Arkansas campus

    The University of Arkansas provides an internationally competitive education for undergraduate and graduate students in more than 200 academic programs. The university contributes new knowledge, economic development, basic and applied research, and creative activity while also providing service to academic and professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the University of Arkansas among only 2 percent of universities in America that have the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Arkansas among its top American public research universities. Founded in 1871, the University of Arkansas comprises 10 colleges and schools and maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio that promotes personal attention and close mentoring.

     
  • richardmitnick 9:45 am on August 11, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , U Arkansas, U of A Astrophysicists Discover Mechanism for Spiral-Arm Formation in Disk Galaxies   

    From U Arkansas: “U of A Astrophysicists Discover Mechanism for Spiral-Arm Formation in Disk Galaxies” 

    U Arkansas bloc

    University of Arkansas

    Aug. 11, 2016
    Hamed Pour-Imani, doctoral student
    Department of Physics
    479-575-7634, hpourima@uark.edu

    Chris Branam, research communications writer/editor
    University Relations
    479-575-4737, cwbranam@uark.edu

    Astrophysicists at the University of Arkansas have discovered a mechanism for the formation of the spiral arms in disk galaxies.

    The finding was published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters, the journal of the American Astronomical Society.

    The discovery provides a better understanding for the formation of spiral arms in a kind of disk galaxy known as a spiral galaxy, said Hamed Pour-Imani, a physics doctoral student at the U of A and lead author of the study.

    Spiral arms are the elongated and curved spiral sections that are connected to the center of a spiral galaxy, such as our own Milky Way.

    Milky Way NASA/JPL-Caltech /ESO R. Hurt
    Milky Way NASA/JPL-Caltech /ESO R. Hurt

    “Spiral galaxies are fascinating structures in astronomy, and the exact mechanism of the formation of spiral arms is still a mystery in astrophysics,” Pour-Imani said. “Our work provides strong evidence for the density wave theory of spiral galaxies, which is one of two popular theories to explain the spiral structures.”

    Density wave theory was proposed in the 1960s to explain the spiral arm structure of spiral galaxies. The theory posited that spiral arms are not material in nature, but instead made up of areas of greater density, similar to a traffic jam on the highway. Stars move in and out of the spiral arms as they orbit the galaxy. The density wave theory predicts that the pitch angle of spiral arms should vary with the wavelength of the galaxy’s image.

    Previous research either failed to find any significant variation in pitch angle or only limited evidence for it, Pour-Imani said. In this study, U of A astrophysicists used an optical wavelength image for disk galaxies and images from the NASA Spitzer Space Telescope at two infrared wavelengths. The pitch angles agreed with the density wave theory.

    Pour-Imani is a member of the member of astrophysics research group led by Daniel Kennefick, associate professor in the Department of Physics and faculty member in the Arkansas Center for Space and Planetary Sciences.

    The results were obtained through a collaboration that included Julia Kennefick, associate professor of physics and the space and planetary sciences center; Benjamin L. Davis, a U of A space and planetary sciences graduate who is now a postdoctoral fellow at the Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia; and U of A doctoral students Douglas W. Shields and Mohamed Shameer Abdeen.

    The research included the use of the NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database, which is operated by the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition

    U Arkansas campus

    The University of Arkansas provides an internationally competitive education for undergraduate and graduate students in more than 200 academic programs. The university contributes new knowledge, economic development, basic and applied research, and creative activity while also providing service to academic and professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the University of Arkansas among only 2 percent of universities in America that have the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Arkansas among its top American public research universities. Founded in 1871, the University of Arkansas comprises 10 colleges and schools and maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio that promotes personal attention and close mentoring.

     
  • richardmitnick 1:19 pm on April 2, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , U Arkansas   

    From U Arkansas: “U of A Researcher Links Mass Extinctions to ‘Planet X’ “ 

    U Arkansas bloc

    University of Arkansas

    March 30, 2016
    Daniel Whitmire, faculty
    Department of Mathematical Sciences
    479-575-7661, dpwhitmi@uark.edu

    Bob Whitby, feature writer
    University Relations
    479-575-5709, whitby@uark.edu

    1
    Daniel Whitmire. Photo by Matt Reynolds

    Periodic mass extinctions on Earth, as indicated in the global fossil record, could be linked to a suspected ninth planet, according to research published by a faculty member of the University of Arkansas Department of Mathematical Sciences.

    Daniel Whitmire, a retired professor of astrophysics now working as a math instructor, published findings in the January issue of Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society that the as yet undiscovered “Planet X” triggers comet showers linked to mass extinctions on Earth at intervals of approximately 27 million years.

    Though scientists have been looking for Planet X for 100 years, the possibility that it’s real got a big boost recently when researchers from Caltech inferred its existence based on orbital anomalies seen in objects in the Kuiper Belt, a disc-shaped region of comets and other larger bodies beyond Neptune.

    Kuiper Belt. Minor Planet Center
    Known objects in the Kuiper belt beyond the orbit of Neptune. (Scale in AU; epoch as of January 2015.)Minor Planet Center

    If the Caltech researchers are correct, Planet X is about 10 times the mass of Earth and could currently be up to 1,000 times more distant from the sun

    Whitmire and his colleague, John Matese, first published research on the connection between Planet X and mass extinctions in the journal Nature in 1985 while working as astrophysicists at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Their work was featured in a 1985 Time magazine cover story titled, “Did Comets Kill the Dinosaurs? A Bold New Theory About Mass Extinctions.”

    At the time there were three explanations proposed to explain the regular comet showers: Planet X, the existence of a sister star to the sun, and vertical oscillations of the sun as it orbits the galaxy. The last two ideas have subsequently been ruled out as inconsistent with the paleontological record. Only Planet X remained as a viable theory, and it is now gaining renewed attention.

    Whitemire and Matese’s theory is that as Planet X orbits the sun, its tilted orbit slowly rotates and Planet X passes through the Kuiper belt of comets every 27 million years, knocking comets into the inner solar system. The dislodged comets not only smash into the Earth, they also disintegrate in the inner solar system as they get nearer to the sun, reducing the amount of sunlight that reaches the Earth.

    In 1985, a look at the paleontological record supported the idea of regular comet showers dating back 250 million years. Newer research shows evidence of such events dating as far back as 500 million years.

    Whitmire and Matese published their own estimate on the size and orbit of Planet X in their original study. They believed it would be between one and five times the mass of Earth, and about 100 times more distant from the sun, much smaller numbers than Caltech’s estimates.

    Matese has since retired and no longer publishes. Whitmire retired from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in 2012 and began teaching at the University of Arkansas in 2013.

    Whitmire says what’s really exciting is the possibility that a distant planet may have had a significant influence on the evolution of life on Earth.

    “I’ve been part of this story for 30 years,” he said. “If there is ever a final answer I’d love to write a book about it.”

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition

    U Arkansas campus

    The University of Arkansas provides an internationally competitive education for undergraduate and graduate students in more than 200 academic programs. The university contributes new knowledge, economic development, basic and applied research, and creative activity while also providing service to academic and professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the University of Arkansas among only 2 percent of universities in America that have the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Arkansas among its top American public research universities. Founded in 1871, the University of Arkansas comprises 10 colleges and schools and maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio that promotes personal attention and close mentoring.

     
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