Jan 27, 2014
Natalie Gosnell and Claire Murray, UW Madison
"2013/14 Stebbins and Jansky Awards Lunch"
We are pleased to announce the awards ceremony for the 2013/2014 Jansky and Stebbins awards. The winners are Natalie Gosnell and Claire Murray. They will present a brief overview of their work. Lunch will be catered
2013/14 Jansky Award:
The Jansky Award recognizes a body of outstanding accomplishments in research as a graduate student. In addition, the Jansky Award recognizes scientific independence, leadership and creativity; external recognition in papers and talks; and ability to communicate research to a scientific audience. The Jansky is awarded to an astronomy graduate student every other year.
Natalie’s graduate work has revealed the formation mechanism of a group of peculiar stars called blue stragglers. Using Hubble Space Telescope observations, she has detected white dwarf companions to blue stragglers in open cluster NGC 188 that prove that these systems formed through mass transfer. This is the first-ever determination of the formation mechanism for a specific population of blue straggler stars. This work will have important and broad implications for our understanding of mass transfer-formed systems. Natalie also works on intriguing X-ray binaries in open clusters and is the PI of a Chandra proposal to follow up on a potential qLMXB candidate in NGC 6819.
2013/14 Stebbins Award:
The Stebbins Award honors a significant research achievement made during the previous year. In addition, the Stebbins Award recognizes scientific independence, leadership and creativity; external recognition in papers and talks; and ability to communicate research to a scientific audience.
This year, Claire submitted a paper measuring the temperature of an important but elusive phase of the interstellar medium (ISM), the warm neutral medium (WNM). Direct detection of the WNM via neutral hydrogen (HI) absorption is difficult due to its extremely low optical depth, and Claire presented observational and data reduction strategies to push the VLA to its sensitivity limits online in the NRAO Memo Series. Her WNM temperature estimate constrains the dominant excitation mechanisms in diffuse HI, which can aid in interpreting HI signals locally and at high redshift. In addition, the stacking analysis method she helped to develop is new to Galactic HI studies and has great potential for future ISM work.