UNCG Campus Weekly

Campus Weekly is published each Wednesday when classes are in session. In the summer, it is published biweekly.

Astrophysics research at UNCG presented at conference

Photo of researchersNorth Carolina Astronomers Meeting (NCAM) is an annual gathering of the state teachers, researchers, and students. It takes place on the first Saturday of October at the Jamestown campus of GTCC and is organized by the GTCC astronomers. It usually precedes by a public lecture from a well-known astronomer in the evening one day earlier. The distinguished guest gives a professional talk at the meeting’s opening. The NCAM 2014 was opened by Professor Jocelyn Bell Burnell from Oxford University in the UK, a discoverer of pulsars, rapidly rotating neutron stars which are remnants of a supernova explosion.

Until this year the UNCG was represented at NCAM by Professors Stephen Danford and Anatoly Miroshnichenko of the Department of Physics and Astronomy. The UNCG delegation at NCAM 2014 also included Seth Askew and Jason Smith, physics major juniors, Larkin Folsom, a 2014 UNCG graduate, and Dr. Fakhranda Alimardanova, a Fulbright research scholar in astrophysics from Azerbaijan. The team presented three posters and one oral talk. Two posters reported recent results obtained with a spectrograph that works at the Three College Observatory (TCO, http://physics.uncg/edu/tco) since 2011. The observations were taken by the professors and analyzed by the students. One of the posters was also presented by Larkin Folsom at an international conference on hot emission-line stars in Canada in August 2014. The third poster reported first results of a joint study of a star with a controversial evolutionary status by Dr. Alimardanova and Prof. Miroshnichenko. The talk was presented by Miroshnichenko in which he reported a discovery of a massive star in the Milky Way that undergoes a rare stage of evolution.

The astrophysics research program at UNCG has resulted in publication of over 20 papers in leading astronomical journals and over 30 presentations at various international and regional conferences in the last 10 years. It became even more active since the installation of the spectrograph at TCO and opened more research opportunities for interested students. The UNCG astronomers are currently carrying out several research projects on stars at various evolutionary stages and collaborating with colleagues from ten foreign countries.