Astrophysics Science Division (660) Local News Archive

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Congratulations to the HIRMES Team

Congratulations to the High Resolution Mid-InfrarEd Spectrometer (HIRMES) team on the selection of their instrument for SOFIA.

Rich Kelley wins John C. Lindsay Memorial Award for Space Science

Rich led the development of the Hitomi Soft X-ray Spectrometer (SXS), a technological marvel consisting of an X-ray calorimeter at the focus of a foil mirror. The SXS produced the first direct measurements of gas turbulence and bulk motions in the Perseus Cluster. The entire SXS team had contributions that far exceeded the sum of their individual efforts, producing transformational scientific results from exceptional technical achievements. The fall colloquium series will include the Lindsay Award Winner lecture, where you may hear more from Rich about this fascinating work. Congratulations to the SXS Team and hearty congratulations to Rich!

Intern poster session Science award winners

Congratulations to the 2016 Science award winners from the intern poster session: Lucas Tax (660), Austin Kim (662), Evan Frangipane (674), Anna Voelker (674), Michael Greklek-McKeon (674), and Robert Spencer (613). Colleen Hartman, Director of the Sciences & Exploration Directorate, presented the awards on Thursday August 4.

Science Jamboree event photos

The 2016 Science Jamboree was a great success! A collection of 50 photos from the event are available now.

NASA Selects Instrument Team to Build Next-Gen Planet Hunter

Congratulations to GSFC team members Mike McElwain, Qian Gong, and Ravi Kopparapu. NASA has selected a team to build a new, cutting-edge instrument that will detect planets outside our solar system, known as exoplanets, by measuring the miniscule “wobbling” of stars. The instrument will be the centerpiece of a new partnership with the National Science Foundation (NSF) called the NASA-NSF Exoplanet Observational Research program, or NN-EXPLORE.

Neil Gehrels Elected to an Honorary Fellowship in the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS)

Neil Gehrels has been elected to an Honorary Fellowship in the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS). Neil has enjoyed a long association with Astronomers in the United Kingdom who are partners in the Swift mission. In his role as the PI of Swift, Neil created these very successful partnerships.

Mark Clampin Named Director of the Astrophysics Science Division

Please welcome Mark Clampin into the key leadership position of Director of the Astrophysics Science Division. Mark came to Goddard in 2003 from the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI). Mark has been serving as the James Webb Space Telescope Observatory (JWST) Project Scientist at Goddard since 2003, providing science oversight of the Observatory's design through the initial phases of integration. From 2012 to 2014 he also served as the Chief Technologist of the Cosmic Origins and Physics of the Cosmos Program Offices. During the last year, he participated in the development of the Advanced Large Aperture Space Telescope (ATLAST) concept as a Senior Scientist. Mark assumes this position with a broad range of experience covering the scientific, technical and programmatic breadth of the division’s responsibilities. We are delighted he is accepting this new challenge and we look forward to working with him as he leads the outstanding team here in the Astrophysics Science Division.

Sylvain Guiriec wins the 2015 IUPAP Young Scientist Prize in Astrophysics

The 2015 IUPAP Young Scientist Prize in Astrophysics was awarded to Sylvain Guiriec for his “insightful and innovative contributions towards understanding the nature of Gamma Ray Burst (GRB) prompt emission, in particular the establishment of multi-component spectra, and the discovery of a new Peak Energy – Luminosity relation showing that GRBs can be used as standard candles and thereby as unique cosmological probes.”

Steven Snowden wins John C. Lindsay Award

Congratulations to Steven Snowden who has been selected this year's John C. Lindsay Award winner. The citation will read “For developing the first physically coherent picture of the Local Hot Bubble." This is an incredibly important discovery, solving the origin of the cosmic soft x-ray background after many years of observations and modeling. Steve’s search for answers has relied on multi-wavelength studies spanning the spectrum from the radio to the X-ray as well as on interdisciplinary studies combining astrophysics, heliophysics, and planetary science. He even included results from the Voyager spacecraft as it left the solar system. A recent breakthrough, based on additional information from a sounding rocket experiment, allowed the final pieces of this puzzle to be convincingly put together. The award ceremony and lecture are schedule for Wednesday October 7th as part of the Scientific Colloquium.

Klumpke-Roberts Award Winners

The Klumpke-Roberts Award of the ASP is awarded annually to an individual or individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the public understanding and appreciation of astronomy. Jerry Bonnell (661) and Bob Nemiroff (Michigan Tech) were selected for their work on Astronomy Picture of the Day.

Liz Hays Elected as a New Fellow of the American Physical Society

Please congratulate Liz Hays for being elected as a new Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS). This is quite an honor -- only 0.5% of APS members are elected to be Fellows each year.


The NICER team has passed their Critical Design Review. Great job!

TESS passes PDR!

The TESS (Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite) recently passed their PDR, and confirmation (KDP-C) of the mission is scheduled for Oct 31.

Goddard View

Read about making room for Webb's mirrors and decoding the rhythm of an unusual black hole with RXTE in Volume 10, issue 11 of the Goddard View.

Goddard View

Read about revolutionary microshutter technology originally created for JWST, measuring gravitational waves with ELISA, and learning to fly with Dr. Amber Straughn, in Volume 10, Issue 10 of the Goddard View.

Cutting Edge

Volume 10, Issue 4 (Summer 2014) of the Cutting Edge includes a tribute to one of the center's most prolific principal investigators, Bruce Woodgate, as well as features on the James Webb Space Telescope and Hubble.

2014 Agency Honor Award Recipients

Please congratulate the 2014 Agency Honor Award recipients.

Outstanding Leadership Medal
Julie McEnery/661
Citation: For outstanding leadership of NASA’s Fermi Gamma Ray Observatory

Exceptional Achievement Medal
Matthew Greenhouse/665
Citation: For excellence achieved as Project Scientist to advance science technology and development for the James Webb Space Telescope instrument team.

Exceptional Technology Achievement Medal
Simon Bandler/662
Citation: For exceptional technology contribution in the development of X-ray quantum calorimeters with unprecedented energy resolution for future space astrophysics.

Group Achievement Awards

The Astro-H Soft X-Ray Telescope Team/Peter Serlemitsos/662 (POC)
ASD Team Members: Takashi Okajima (662), Lawrence G. Olsen (660.3)
Citation: For the development and timely delivery of the Astro-H Soft X-ray Telescopes, with performance exceeding mission goals.

Astro-H Soft X-Ray Spectrometer Instrument Team/Gary Sneiderman/592
ASD Team Members: Norman Dobson (660.3), Megan Eckart (662), Richard Kelley (662), Caroline Kilbourne (662), Frederick Scott Porter (662)
Citation: For the successful completion of the Astro-H Soft X-Ray Spectrometer Flight Hardware

Goddard View

The "heart" of the James Webb Space Telescope is ready to start a four-months long test to simulate the exceptionally cold temperatures in space. Read more in Volume 10, Issue 7 of the Goddard View.

Congratulations to Neil Gehrels, Al Kogut, and Ed Wollack!

Thompson Reuters just announced their 2014 list of most cited scientists, and Neil Gehrels, Al Kogut and Ed Wollack are in the list! In the "space science" category, they are the only scientists in all of NASA so awarded. You can browse the entire list at Search on NASA or other institutions to refine the list.

Goddard View

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope recently marked its 24th year in space and to celebrate its 25th year, NASA is taking a look at some of the amazing statistics generated by the world-famous telescope. Read more in Volume 10, Issue 6 of the Goddard View.

Senior Review Results

Congratulations to everyone who worked hard on the Senior Review proposals, and during the preceding 2 years to deliver great science results from our missions.

Goddard View

If all goes according to plan, a balloon the size of a football field will loft NASA's BETTII mission above 99.5 percent of the Earth's atmosphere next year to study star formation. Read more in Volume 10, Issue 5 of the Goddard View.

Bruce Woodgate Passes

Dr. Bruce Woodgate passed away April 28, 2014 after suffering several strokes. Bruce has a remarkable career, spanning nearly 40 years as a civil servant at Goddard. Bruce was also a mentor to legions of students and young scientists. He retired recently and was still working on UV detectors as an Emeritus scientist. He had very broad interests, in subjects ranging from earth science to stellar atmospheres to exoplanets to large scale structure in the universe. Bruce was probably best known as the PI for the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS) for the Hubble Space Telescope. In this capacity he led the design and development of the instrument, including preparation of flight-worthy large-format CCDs and Multi Anode Multi Array (MAMA) detectors that dramatically advanced the state of the art over the previous HST spectrographs.

Congratulations to Julie McEnery

Julie McEnery has been elected as vice-chair/chair of the Division of Astrophysics in the American Physical Society. This is a 4 year appointment where she starts as vice-chair now, and will become the chair in two years time.

Goddard View

The last piece of the James Webb Space Telescope's heart was installed inside the world's largest clean room. Read about it in the latest issue of the Goddard View. (Volume 10, Issue 14)
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