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Featured Research


Quincy Wofford

Undergrad Research Award

Department Major Receives Undergrad Research Award
Congratulations to undergrad Quincy Wofford for receiving one of 51 undergrad research awards for Spring 2015. Quincy, a junior from Lee's Summit, Missouri, is majoring in interdisciplinary computing-astronomy. His project, “The Lunar Energetic AstroParticle (LEAP) Experiment,” is being mentored Prof. Dave Besson. The complete press release can be accessed at this link.

West Virginia Public Radio

Undergrad Research Award

Noteworthy and Inspiring - A Pioneering Astrobiophysicist
Congratulations to Prof. Adrian Melott for his selection as an Inspiring West Virginian by West Virginia Public Radio. Inspiring West Virginians tells the stories of West Virginians who are exceptional leaders in science and business. The program visits them where they are, learns about what they do, hears stories of their childhood and the influence of a West Virginia upbringing. Added to that are the perspectives of friends, relatives and colleagues. The complete broadcast can be accessed at this link.

Central Standard


Associate Professor Greg Rudnick has closed out the semester in the news for two very different reasons. First, he appeared on the radio broadcast of CENTRAL STANDARD from KCUR in Kansas City to discuss the science and science fiction behind the recent film "Interstellar". The complete podcast can be accessed at this link, within the schedule for Dec. 16, 2014. Second, his collaborative research on gas flows in active galaxies demonstrates for the first time that "nuclear bursts of star formation are capable of ejecting large amounts of cold gas from the central regions of galaxies, thereby strongly affecting their evolution by truncating star formation and redistributing matter." The result was deemed significant enough to generate a News & Views commentary on the result.

starburst galaxies Better to Burn Out Than Fade Away
Like hedonistic rock stars that live by the "better to burn out than to fade away" credo, certain galaxies flame out in a blaze of glory. Astronomers have struggled to grasp why these young "starburst" galaxies — ones that are very rapidly forming new stars from cold molecular hydrogen gas up to 100 times faster than our own Milky Way — would shut down their prodigious star formation to join a category scientists call “red and dead.” Dr. Greg Rudnick and his collaborators have exposed the real cause of death for some starburst galaxies. To learn the secret, the complete press release can be accessed at this link.

AAS 2015 Postdoc Honored by the American Astronomical Society
Congratulations to postdoc Dr. Tyler Desjardins who received an honorable mention for the Doxsey Prize for his thesis research. The Rodger Doxsey Travel Prize provides graduate students or postdocs within one year of receiving or receipt of their PhD a monetary prize to enable the oral presentation of their dissertation research at a winter meeting of the American Astronomical Society. Honorable mention ensures that his meeting registration is waived for the meeting in Seattle January 4-8, 2015 where he will present his dissertation research. The complete news release can be found at this link.



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