AstroJargon: “Cluster Shadows” by the S-Z Effect

Welcome back to the AstroJargon of the whatever-time-frame-I-feel-like series! Here I break down some commonly used terms in astronomy so that the language barrier between scientists and science lovers can be breached. Today I’d like to explain the S-Z Effect, SZE, or Sunyaev-Zel’dovich Effect. I’ve already touched upon this briefly over on Discovery. I wantedContinue reading “AstroJargon: “Cluster Shadows” by the S-Z Effect”

Conference Travel: URSI Day 3

I have written about some interesting highlights from the annual National Radio Sciences Meeting of URSI in Boulder, CO, and would like to finish that off with a topic near and dear to my brain: radio astronomy through the ionosphere. Low frequency radio astronomy has enjoyed a resurgence in the last few years, partly drivenContinue reading “Conference Travel: URSI Day 3”

So what's your sign, baby?

I got a question about this from one of my dearest friends, and so I’ll take a bit of time to answer it here. In the infamous words of Charlie Tolbert at UVa, “Astrology is bunk.” That’s it. That’s the bottom line. But we’re good skeptics so we’ll delve a little deeper. (First though, IContinue reading “So what's your sign, baby?”

Fluffy Galaxy with Surprise Center

The American Astronomical Society meeting in Seattle is in full swing, so the astronomy news is going to be flying this week! One of the first press releases is one I’ve been looking forward to for weeks. Several UVa and NRAO astronomers discovered a supermassive black hole in a dwarf galaxy! I actually heard aboutContinue reading “Fluffy Galaxy with Surprise Center”

Conference Travel: URSI Day 1

Warning, much radio astronomy geekery ahead! Wednesday was the first day of the National Radio Science Meeting in Boulder, CO. As I did two years ago, I spend most (if not all) of my time in Commission J: Radio Astronomy. This means fully geeking out in my favorite wavelength regime in astronomy. (Though, as JeffContinue reading “Conference Travel: URSI Day 1”

Help us help kids with just a few clicks!

If you know me in person, you’ve probably heard me talk on and on about Dark Skies, Bright Kids, aka DSBK. This is an astronomy club for elementary school kids in Albemarle County, run by volunteers from the Astronomy Department at the University of Virginia. We visit a different school every semester, meeting with theContinue reading “Help us help kids with just a few clicks!”

Teaching… about ALIENS!

Hello! Oh, wow. Hi. Back. Or something… Um, yeah! So my month of teaching MADNESS is done. And weddings and seeing family and Tim’s family and all that good stuff is behind me. And I’m trying to get my head all back into research and such, and lots going on, plus my inbox is stillContinue reading “Teaching… about ALIENS!”

Two Weeks in the Quiet Zone…

Hello to those of you who haven’t given up on me ever posting here again! 🙂 I’m slowly getting back to a normal schedule after spending two weeks in Green Bank, West Virginia, in the Radio Quiet Zone. What’s that, you ask? Well, I wrote a two–parter all about radio astronomy’s own version of “lightContinue reading “Two Weeks in the Quiet Zone…”

UVa’s McCormick Observatory Celebrates Quasquicentennial!

Okay, that word makes me giggle. Quasquicentennial. It means 125 years, and that’s how old the McCormick Observatory at the University of Virginia is on April 13 (tomorrow)! Many people know it on Grounds as that dome on O-Hill if they’ve hiked or run the trails back there. Other students have been there for aContinue reading “UVa’s McCormick Observatory Celebrates Quasquicentennial!”