Exoplanets and Stellar Astrophysics Laboratory (667) Local News Archive

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Poster Blowout 2018

02/05/2018
Note from the Director:
I would like to thank the Director’s Science Committee for putting on an amazingly successful event where scientists and engineers across Goddard shared their work and made new contacts. The interdisciplinary interactions were especially exciting and crossed all four science disciplines.
Best,
Colleen


Click the title of this news item or the image below for more images from the poster party. scientists standing in front of a poster

Congratulations to Charles Bennett, Gary Hinshaw, Norman Jarosik, Lyman Page Jr., David Spergel and the WMAP Science Team for winning the 2018 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics

12/03/2017
Congratulations to Charles Bennett, Gary Hinshaw, Norman Jarosik, Lyman Page Jr., David Spergel and the WMAP Science Team for winning the 2018 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics on Dec. 3! The citation reads: “For detailed maps of the early universe that greatly improved our knowledge of the evolution of the cosmos and the fluctuations that seeded the formation of galaxies.” The Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics was founded in 2012 by Yuri Milner to recognize those individuals who have made profound contributions to human knowledge. The team also includes:

Chris Barnes, Olivier Doré, Joanna Dunkley, Ben Gold, Michael Greason, Mark Halpern, Robert Hill, Al Kogut, Eiichiro Komatsu, David Larson, Michele Limon, Stephan Meyer, Michael Nolta, Nils Odegard, Hiranya Peiris, Kendrick Smith, Greg Tucker, Licia Verde, Janet Weiland, Ed Wollack, and Ned Wright

Congratulations to the many ASD members who were involved in the exciting gravitational wave and electromagnetic counterpart discovery of merging neutron stars, and the subsequent media activity around the discovery!

10/23/2017
Scientists:

Scott Barthelmy - Gamma-ray Coordinates Network system
Eric Burns - Fermi gamma ray burst study
Jordan Camp – GSFC LIGO Scientific Collaboration (LSC) PI
Brad Cenko - Swift PI
Tito Dal Canton - Gravitational wave localization maps; Virgo, joint LIGO/Virgo-Fermi-GBM study
Amy Lien - Swift follow up study
Julie McEnery - Fermi Project Scientist
Frank Marshall - Swift follow up study
Judy Racusin - Fermi gamma ray burst study, Swift follow-up study
Leo Singer - Gravitational wave localization maps, GROWTH follow-up study, joint LIGO/Virgo-Fermi-GBM study
Eleonora Troja - Chandra & HST follow-up, Swift follow-up study

Communications Team:

Elizabeth Ferrara - Fermi social media
Barb Mattson - Traditional & social media coordination
Sara Mitchell - Social media coordination & content creation
Brian Monroe - Animator
Frank Reddy - Cross-organizational coordination & writer for nasa.gov press release
Claire Saravia - Live shots
Amber Straughn - ASD Associate Director
Dewayne Washington - HQ/GSFC coordination
Scott Wiessinger - Video & multimedia
Amber Straughn

Congratulations to the Astrophysics Science Division scientists who are PIs and Co-Is on the recently announced Astrophysics Missions of Opportunity and Medium-Class Explorer missions!

08/09/2017
  • ISS-TAO (Transient Astrophysics Observer on the ISS), a Mission of Opportunity proposal submitted to the 2016 Explorer opportunity, was selected for a Phase A study. ISS-TAO team members include PI Jordan Camp (663), Scott Barthelmy (661), Rob Petre (662), Judy Racusin (661), Brad Cenko (661), Frank Marshall (661), Jeremy Schnittman (663), Andy Ptak (662), and Amy Lien (661), Leo Singer (661), and Tod Strohmeyer (662). ISS-TAO is a wide-field X-ray transient detector aboard the International Space Station that would observe numerous events per year of X-ray transients related to compact objects. The mission’s primary goal is the detection of X-ray counterparts to gravitational waves produced by neutron stars merging with black holes and other neutron stars. Other targets would be supernova shocks, neutron star bursts, and high redshift gamma-ray bursts.
  • Rob Petre (662), Andy Ptak (662), Alan Smale (660), and Lynne Valencic (662) are co-Is on Arcus (PI Randall Smith, SAO), selected as a concept study for a Medium-Class Explorer mission. Arcus would study stars, galaxies and clusters of galaxies using high-resolution X-ray spectroscopy to characterize the interactions between these objects and the diffuse million-degrees gas that surrounds and permeates them.
  • Alan Smale (660) and Terri Brandt (661) are collaborators on COSI-X (PI Steve Boggs/UCB), selected as a concept study for an Explorer Mission of Opportunity. COSI-X is a balloon-borne, wide-field-of-view telescope designed to survey the gamma-ray sky at 0.2-5 MeV, performing high-resolution spectroscopy, wide-field imaging, and polarization measurements. COSI-X would map gamma-rays from antimatter around the Milky Way's center, as well as from newly-formed radioactive elements in the debris of stellar explosions.
The NASA press release announcing the selections is here: https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-selects-proposals-to-study-galaxies-stars-planets

Goddard Center Director Remarks on Passing of Neil Gehrels

02/11/2017
"Our center has lost a dear friend and astronomy pioneer, and his spirit will always live on in our work, said Goddard Center Director Chris Scolese. "Those of us who were fortunate to work with Neil know of his unwavering enthusiasm for science and unselfish generosity in mentoring others."

Neil Gehrels Awarded $1M 2017 Dan David Prize

02/10/2017
Neil Gehrels was posthumously awarded the $1 million 2017 Dan David Prize for "being the principal investigator of NASA's Swift Gamma Ray Burst Mission, which has transformed our view of the transient and variable sky in gamma-rays and in X-rays." Neil is one of three laureates announced this year in the field of astronomy. The Dan David Prize is headquartered at Tel Aviv University.

2017 Rossi Prize: Gabriela González and LIGO Scientific Collaboration

01/25/2017
The 2017 Rossi Prize has been awarded to Gabriela González at Louisiana State University and the LIGO Scientific Collaboration for "the first direct detections of gravitational waves, for the discovery of merging black hole binaries, and beginning the new era of gravitational-wave astronomy." The collaboration includes more than 1,000 scientists from more than 90 institutions around the world. ASD members are:

Scott Barthlemy
Jordan Camp
John Cannizzo
Tito Dal Canton
Neil Gehrels
Leo Singer

Science Jamboree event photos

08/04/2016
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

03/29/2016
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.

Mark Clampin Named Director of the Astrophysics Science Division

11/06/2015
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.

TESS passes PDR!

09/18/2014
The TESS (Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite) recently passed their PDR, and confirmation (KDP-C) of the mission is scheduled for Oct 31.

Cutting Edge

07/23/2014
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.

Senior Review Results

05/21/2014
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.

Bruce Woodgate Passes

04/28/2014
Dr. Bruce Woodgate passed away April 28, 2014 after suffering several strokes. Bruce had 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.

2013 Robert H. Goddard Awards for ASD

02/06/2014
Science (Individual and Team Recognition) Elizabeth Hays (661), Aki Roberge (667), Charles Bowers (667)
Diversity and Equal Employment Opportunity (Individual and Team Recognition John Baker (663), Jane Rigby (665)
Mentoring (Individual and Team Recognition) The Balloon Experimental Twin Telescope for Infrared Interferometry (BETTII) Team - Stephen Rinehart (665)
Outreach (Individual and Team Recognition) Amber Straughn (665)
Robert H. Goddard Award of Merit (Individual Only) Alice Harding (663)

Congratulations to Mark Clampin

01/24/2014
Congratulations to Dr Mark Clampin who has been elected a 2014 Fellow of the SPIE. This is for his achievements in astronomical optics.

Aki Roberge - Looking for Life In All the Right Places

10/29/2013
A Q&A with Aki Roberg, Research Astrophysicist in 667, the Exoplanets and Stellar Astrophysics Laboratory is hosted on the NASA portal. Find out more about Aki...

Cutting Edge

07/31/2013
Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) is featured in Volume 9, Issue 4 (Summer 2013) of the Cutting Edge.

Congratulations to NASA honor awardees!

06/14/2013
Distinguished Service Medal
Jean Swank (662)
Bruce Woodgate (667)

Exceptional Achievement Medal
Mark Clampin (667)
Michael Ressler (665)

Exceptional Public Achievement Medal
Dale Fixsen (665)

Group Achievement Award
CSBF Antarctic Scientific Balloon Team (661)
SuperTIGER Balloon Team/John Mitchell (661)

Congratulations to Mike McElwain!

05/29/2013
Please congratulate Mike McElwain on being selected as the winner of this year's Nancy Grace Roman Technology Fellowship!

Mike was first selected last year, along with 2 other scientists, to complete a phase-A study for his proposed instrument development. NASA HQ evaluated the proposals this Spring, and has selected Mike to receive funding for the next 4 years to build PISCES, an integral field spectrograph (IFS) to be deployed at the High Contrast Imaging Testbed (HCIT) at JPL. This will lay the ground-work for an eventual IFS in space to characterize exoplanetary atmospheres.

Exoplanet Science Definition Teams

04/30/2013
NASA HQ has announced the selections for membership on the two Exoplanet Science Definition Teams, to study Probe scale (<1B$) missions for consideration by the Astrophysics mid-Decadal survey. Five folks from Goddard were selected!

The selections are:
    Coronagraph SDT:
    Karl Stapelfeldt (667 - chair)
    Mike McElwain (667)
    Occulter SDT:
    Shawn Domegal-Goldman (690)
    Marc Kuchner (667)
    Aki Roberge (667)

Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS)

04/11/2013
The TESS video of mission operations is now posted on YouTube.

Congratulations to the NICER and TESS teams!

04/05/2013
HQ has just announced the selections of the next two Explorer missions. Congratulations go to Dr Keith Gendreau (X-ray Astrophysics Lab) and his team for the selected NICER mission! This is an X-ray telescope dedicated to observe timing of neutron stars. NICER will be placed on the  ISS to observe pulsars to both determine the structure of neutron stars and to demonstrate their use as deep space navigation beacons. The TESS mission is led by George Ricker at MIT and managed by GSFC. TESS will make a survey of nearby stars to search for Exo-planets and will provide targets for JWST to observe and characterize their atmospheres, potentially finding nearby habitable planets in nearby solar systems.

2012 Robert H. Goddard Awards for ASD

02/06/2013
Robert H. Goddard Award of Merit (Goddard's highest award): Bruce Woodgate (667)
Citation:  For exceptional career achievements in science and service to Goddard and NASA
Science: Timothy Kallman (662) - Citation: For his outstanding performance as GEMS Project Scientist
Eliahu Dwek (665) - Citation: For developing new, detailed, and observationally confirmed models of the formation, evolution, and destruction of cosmic dust grains, from supernovae to shock waves and star-forming regions.
Jane Rigby (665) - Citation: For using gravitational lensing to map a distant galaxy in unprecedented detail.
HEASARC Team (660.1) - [Team list: Alan Smale, Tom McGlynn, Bill Pence, Frank Marshall, Lorella Angelini, Dave Chuss, Phil Newman, Keith Arnaud, Mike Corcoran, Steve Drake, Steve Sturner, Laura McDonald, Ed Sabol, Craig Gordon, Bryan Irby, Pan Chai, Urmila Prasad, Michael Greason] Citation: For enabling new science results from NASA missions by providing high quality software for data search, retrieval and analysis through the HEASARC data archive research center
Safety: Curtis Odell (660) - Citation: For thorough and detailed investigation into the root cause of the laboratory fire in Building 34, Room C259, and his efforts to define and implement a recovery plan.
Mentoring: Joan Centrella (660) - Citation: For her demonstrated commitment to mentoring women scientists at all stages of their careers, which has resulted in a positive and supportive professional environment for all.
Outreach: Frank Reddy (660) - Citation: For outstanding dedication to public outreach through the media, including exceptional scientific writing and coordination with NASA video producers, resulting in high-impact Astrophysics press releases and features.

Congratulations to RIck Lyon!

11/08/2012
Please congratulate Rick Lyon (667) for receiving the James Kerley Award, along with other members of the wavefront sensing group in the Optics Branch.

This award is presented annually by Goddard's Innovative Partnerships Office.  Rick is being honored "for his enthusiasm and technical leadership in technology development and his support in outreaching to industry for commercial and other Government Agency applications of the Wavefront Sensing suite of technologies". 
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