UW Space Place
Jean Creighton, Director, Manfred Olson Planetarium, UW-Milwaukee, reflects on her selection by NASA to fly on the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA). Creighton was one of 24 teachers chosen to observe the earth’s atmosphere from 40,000 feet.
Richard Townsend, Assistant Professor, Department of Astronomy, UW-Madison, discusses the vast, ghostly glowing stars in the universe called magnetospheres and how using polarized starlight allows astronomers to study them.
Jennifer L. Hoffman, Associate Professor, Department of Physics & Astronomy, University of Denver, discusses the tools astronomers use to investigate the complex, changing shapes of supernovae. Studying these shapes can teach us about stellar life cycles.
Nick Hill, Graduate Student, Department of Astronomy, UW-Madison, discusses using video gaming technology to predict how complex star systems appear when viewed from Earth.
David Kaplan, Associate Professor, Department of Physics, UW-Milwaukee, explains how stars die, what they leave behind and discusses the intriguing property of a recently discovered white dwarf star.
Erin Boettcher, Graduate Student, Department of Astronomy, UW-Madison, discusses cosmic rays, their characteristic properties and how we can detect them from Earth. Cosmic rays can be used as probes to understand the physical conditions in other galaxies.
Karen Lewis, Assistant Professor, Department of Physics, College of Wooster OH, studies x-rays to find the presence of Active Galactic Nucleus (AGN)—a super-massive black hole at the center of a galaxy. Lewis explains how to pick out the AGN from the rest of the universe’s x-ray sources.
Aleks Diamond-Stanic, Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Astronomy, UW-Madison, discusses the importance of cosmic fuel, or the supply of gas within the galaxies, in the creation of star formation.
Eric Wilcots, Professor, Department of Astronomy, UW-Madison, discusses the collaborative effort, which includes University of Wisconsin astronomers, to build the world’s largest radio telescope. The telescope will have a collecting area equal to one square kilometer, making it the most sensitive radio detector in the world.
Simon Gilroy, Professor, Department of Botany, UW-Madison, explores whether plants and microbes could provide food during a long spaceflight or in a colony on Mars. Gilroy discusses how a lack of gravity affects plants and humans.