JIm Kaler, Professor Emeritus, is the Person of the Week in the April 13, 2014 edition. Read about it here.
National Geographic has recently published an article about the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), in Chile’s Atacama Desert. Joaquin Vieira, Assistant Professor, has already used ALMA. He and fellow researchers found that galaxies started forming stars about a billion years earlier than previously thought.
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has weighed the largest known galaxy cluster in the distant universe and found it definitely lives up to its nickname, El Gordo (Spanish for "the fat one"). By measuring how much the cluster's gravity warps images of galaxies in the distant background, a team of astronomers, including Felipe Menanteau from Illinois, has calculated the mass of the cluster, which is 9.7 billion light-years away from Earth, to be as much as 3 million billion times the mass of our sun.
University of Illinois undergraduate Sean McLaughlin has been awarded a 2014 Goldwater Scholarship. Sean is an Engineering Physics major studying computational astrophysics and works with Prof. Robert Brunner in Astronomy on searches for strong gravitational lenses. The Scholarship Program honoring Senator Barry Goldwater was designed to foster and encourage outstanding students to pursue careers in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences, and engineering.
Ever wonder what happens when a Universe-shattering discovery is made? National Public Radio recently aired a story about what happened when one astronomer was about to publish calculations that the Universe was far younger than previously thought and the helpful advice he got from his friend and peer-reviewer, U of I Professor Icko Iben Jr..