Natalie Gosnell Wins Jansky Award

Dec 12, 2013

The 2013 Jansky Award of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Astronomy Department goes to graduate student Natalie Gosnell.

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. 

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