A new study of a black-hole enhancement of dark matter annihilation has been made by Brian Fields, Stuart Shapiro and Jessie Shelton from the Department of Physics and the Department of Astronomy at Illinois. These scientists show for the first time that the predicted strength of a dark matter gamma-ray signal from a canonical black hole spike of Sag A* actually far exceeds what has been observed through the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope.
Brian Fields, Professor of Astronomy and Department Chair, is one of six Urbana campus faculty members who have been named University Scholars. The program recognizes excellence in teaching, scholarship and service.
Abigail Holmes, Senior Astronomy major, received the Akuna Capital LLC Award, Honorable Mention, for her research presented at the 2014 Undergraduate Research Symposium. Her poster presentation was entitled “The Search for Surviving Companions of Type Ia Supernova Progenitors in the Large Magellanic Cloud: SNR 0509-67.5”. The judges of the symposium stated "[t]his award reflects the high quality of your research as well as your effective presentation." Congratulations, Abigail!
Summer 2014 Excellent Astronomy Teacher
The Astronomy Department is pleased to announce that one of its members, Rukmani Vijayaraghavan,
was named to the "List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent" for the Summer 2014 semester. Congratulations Rukmani!
The Dark Energy Survey began its second year on August 15, after a successful first year. The hundreds of thousands of individual images of the sky taken during the first season are being analyzed by thousands of computers at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The processed data will also be released in coming months.