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  • University of Washington Astronomy Department
    UW NASA Selects Science Teams for Astrobiology Institute NASA has awarded five year grants totaling almost 40 million to five research teams including the University of Washington to study the origin evolution distribution and future of life in the universe Average funding to the teams is almost 8 million each The interdisciplinary teams will become members of the NASA Astrobiology Institute NAI headquartered at NASA s Ames Research Center in

    Original URL path: http://www.astro.washington.edu/ (2012-11-10)
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  • UW Department of Astronomy e-News - Autumn 2009
    Events The hunt for life Life and the Universe As part of the Astrobiology program and the International Year of Astronomy we are presenting a series of public talks that celebrate the lives of Galileo and Darwin Research today into the origin and evolution of life and the possibilities of extraterrestrial life has been made possible by these giants of science Our series of talks presented by international leaders in the field will discuss the impact of Darwin and Galileo addressing fundamental questions about the phenomenon of life in a cosmic context For more about the program or to request tickets read on From the Depths of Space Space Telescope A New Pair of Eyes for Hubble On May 14 2009 after wrestling with a stuck bolt the astronauts replaced a venerable camera WFPC2 on the Hubble Space telescope with a far more sensitive and versatile camera Wide Field Camera 3 WFC3 Professor Bruce Balick served on the scientific team that oversaw the design and testing of the new camera Eleven years and thirty flights to Baltimore had finally ended By July the critical calibrations were complete and by the first week of August Bruce was using the camera for science More Student News A comet hopefully passing by The Threat from Comets Comets and asteroids impacting the Earth and causing catastrophic changes in our atmosphere and oceans have often been put forth as candidates for major extinction events mass extinctions that we find in the fossil record The most famous of these was 65 million years ago when the dinosaurs and half of all other species were wiped out within a very short period in this case there is excellent evidence that a 10 km diameter asteroid was to blame Graduate student Nate Kaib has been working on calculating

    Original URL path: http://www.astro.washington.edu/newsletter/autumn09/ (2012-11-10)
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  • IYA -- University of Washington
    known as the father of modern observational astronomy was born in 1564 in Pisa Italy He was a physicist mathematician astronomer and philosopher and a major leader in the Scientific Revolution In 1608 Galileo made his first telescope based on only rough descriptions With this and similar telescopes Galileo discovered three of Jupiter s moons the rings of Saturn and lunar craters He also observed the changes in phases of Venus and the movement of sunspots across the Sun Observations such as these led to him advocating of heliocentrism His work along with that of Descartes and Kepler became the precursor to Newtonian classical mechanics An image of the Moon s craters by Galileo Galilei from the Sidereus Nuncius Upcoming Events Photo by Kathy Sauber University Week Do you have a passion for Pluto An urge to observe Perhaps you want to hear about Hubble If so you should look through our calendar of upcoming events because there will certainly be something there to suit your fancy This fall the UW Astrobiology department hosts a series of public lectures Then on November 17th take an evening to watch the Leonids Meteor Shower where ever skies are clear There are also

    Original URL path: http://www.astro.washington.edu/IYA/index.html (2012-11-10)
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  • Unrestricted Support
    occasional retreat to examine our goals and progress or to plan for our future An endowment or gifts of any size are most welcome Friends of Astronomy Discretionary Fund donate now contact us for more information Here are common examples of the needs for unrestricted discretionary funds deposited in our Friends of Astronomy account Special Research Initiatives small amounts of seed funding are often needed for bold and risky new projects New Cross Disciplinary Initiatives our faculty often develop new outreach opportunities beyond our standard and sustainable outreach efforts such as one time special visits astronomy as art or music or a short collaboration in the history of science Those special opportunities that extend our reach beyond of the Astronomy Department and into the broader campus or regional community deserve support Fundraising Functions small investments in time and money can be of incalculable value in fostering financial or other contributions The Chair often needs to act swiftly and decisively A fund of 10 000 is needed Faculty Recruitment travel and related costs of the interviews of 6 candidates are about 10 000 Faculty Student and Donor Recognition Prizewinners and key benefactors are honored at a dinner about 5 000 annually

    Original URL path: http://www.astro.washington.edu/discrete.html (2012-11-10)
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  • Department News - Astronomy e-News - Autumn 2008
    will improve both the research and education mission of the department These include plans for a major upgrade of the planetarium to provide a fully digital view of the sky a new automated telescope on the Physics and Astronomy Auditorium deck and some much needed new computers for the undergraduate lab We will keep you updated as these exciting new ventures develop over the coming months Visitors over the summer included Hakeem Oluseyi a faculty member at Florida Institute of Technology and Alabama A M and his students Keri and Julius Hakeem Keri and Julius were hosted by the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope LSST group at UW and collaborated with Prof Andy Becker on simulating transient sources that the LSST might observe for example distant supernovae or nearby variable stars We hope to use this work to understand how we can detect and classify these sources when the LSST telescope comes on line Hakeen Keri and Julius have now returned to Florida but their work will be presented as part of the LSST poster lineup at the January 2010 meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Washington DC Fall sees the start of a series of talks on Astrobiology a

    Original URL path: http://www.astro.washington.edu/newsletter/autumn09/subpages/dept.shtml (2012-11-10)
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  • Hubble - Astronomy e-News - Autumn 2008
    Camera 3 Professor Bruce Balick was part of the team responsible for the development of the Wide Field Camera 3 WFC3 This new camera will enable the Hubble to see images in wavelengths from the ultraviolet through to the infrared upto 16 times more efficiently than the camera it replaced Bruce will be using WFC3 to study the end stages of the life of stars such as Planetary Nebulae Planetary Nebulae PNs are so named because the astronomers who discovered them over a century ago saw that they are small look round and appear greenish in color and reminded them of Uranus Henize 3 1475 a dying star A strikingly structured nebula or cloud of glowing gas surrounds an old rapidly dying central star or nucleus These nuclei have all but run out of fuel to burn their brightness comes largely from residual heat left from earlier years Nuclei have already shed most of their outer layers by the time we see the nebula The star we see today is the remnant of the stellar core whose remaining mass is about 55 75 that of the Sun today Theories predict that the Sun is destined to become a PN in

    Original URL path: http://www.astro.washington.edu/newsletter/autumn09/subpages/hst.shtml (2012-11-10)
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  • Student News - Astronomy e-News - Autumn 2008
    of such objects avoid disastrous encounters with Jupiter and Saturn by moving rapidly from distances beyond Jupiter and Saturn to Earth crossing orbits which then inevitably leads to Earth comet collisions Orbits of inner Oort Cloud objects r A rare exception to this however occurs when a star passes within 5000 AU of the Sun During such an event the gravity of the passing star is powerful enough to cause rapid orbital changes in comets from any part of the Oort Cloud not just the outer part With a large potential contribution from inner Oort Cloud objects the number of Earth crossing comets and collisions could rise dramatically for 1 2 million years Such comet showers have been proposed to occur every 50 100 million years and as a possible cause of mass extinctions In an article in the 4th of September issue of Science magazine Nate and his collaborators described computer simulations showing that the inner Oort Cloud is in fact an important source of long period comets contrary to our previous understanding Based on the number of comets we observe each year he found that the inner Oort Cloud may have as many as one trillion comet sized

    Original URL path: http://www.astro.washington.edu/newsletter/autumn09/subpages/comets.shtml (2012-11-10)
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  • UW Astronomy Department Tools Page
    Day Hubble Chandra X rays Spitzer Infrared NRAO radio NOAO ESO Astronomical Videos Space News Missions NASA News Space com SpaceRef com Science Daily Hubble Space Telescope Rovers on Mars Cassini Mission What s up Heavens Above EarthSky Tonight StarDate The Sky This Month Constellation Planet Charts Sky Map Online Northern Lights Aurora Borealis For the Observant Live Sundial Cam at UW Lunar Phases Aurorae Meteors Solar Eclipses Lunar Eclipses

    Original URL path: http://www.astro.washington.edu/outreachtools.html (2012-11-10)
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