Astronomy Professor Named 2018/2019 Vilas Associate

Feb 26, 2018

NOTE: Please Follow this link to learn about Professor Townsend's Article about the MESA code on virtual stars to learn how UW researchers are creating a way for researchers across the globe to experiment on stars without ever leaving their office.

UW Astronomy Associate Professor Elena D'Onghia received a prestigious Vilas Associate Award that will support her research over two years from 2018-2020. The Vilas Associates Competition recognizes new and on-going research of the highest quality and significance. Recipients are chosen competitively by the divisional Research Committees on the basis of a detailed proposal.

Her studies involve high-resolution numerical simulations of the structure and dynamical evolution of the stars in the Milky Way. Numerical modeling of our Milky Way and its satellite dwarf galaxies with computer simulations has allowed her to address a long-standing question in astronomy, namely, the origin of the spiral arms in galactic disks. In April 2018, the Gaia space mission will provide the community with the first five-dimensional map of a billion stars in the Milky Way—the largest such map in human history.  Her Vilas award will put Professor D'Onghia in position to exploit the immense information content of this massive database, which is expected to be transformative in our understanding of Galaxy dynamics.

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