Highlights for 1/14/10 (archived)


Timothy Lee (Division Office)

Cambridge Who’s Who among Executives, Professionals, and Entrepreneurs selected Dr. Nathalie Cabrol as an Honored Professional of the Year in her field.

Colin Goldblatt (Planetary Systems Branch)

Our proposal of the “Chotian” as a solar system wide eon, to encompass the time of solar system formation, has received some press attention: http://www.economist.com/world/international/displaystory.cfm?story_id=15207606
See also: http://www.solid-earth-discuss.net/1/47/2009/sed-1-47-2009-discussion.html

Lou Allamandola (Astrophysics Branch)

Lou Allamandola (SS) and Alain Leger (Prof. University of Paris) will be the center of attention at the international symposium “PAHs and the Universe” which will be held May 31st through June 4th, 2010 in Toulouse, France. Lou and Alain will be honored for their accomplishments in opening up and driving the interstellar Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon (PAH) field for many years. The meeting marks the 25th anniversary of the PAH Hypothesis and will bring together experts in the areas of astronomical observations, laboratory studies and astronomical modeling of interstellar PAHs and related carbon-rich nano-particles. Lou and his coauthors Xander Tielens and John Barker received the H. Julien Allen Award in 1985 for their paper which first suggested that ionized PAHs were responsible for the interstellar “Unidentified Infrared Bands” which were discovered in 1973 and are now known to be widespread throughout the Universe. Since 1990, about half of the work in the Ames Astrochemistry laboratory was devoted to testing the PAH hypothesis and providing laboratory data to analyze spectra measured on the Kuiper Airborne Observatory (KAO), The Infrared Space Observatory (ISO) and The Spitzer Space Telescope. These experiments and coordinated theoretical developments played a major role in acceptance of the PAH Hypothesis and brought the field to scientific maturity. Pioneering measurements made with SOFIA and Herschel (the recently launched far-infrared space observatory) will be the next observations that rely on the PAH spectra in the Ames PAH IR Spectral Database.

“PAHs in the Universe” symposium website is: http://pahconf.cesr.fr/index.php

David Koch (Astrophysics Branch)

There was a press conference in Washington, DC on January 4th for the American Astronomical.
At AAS the Kepler team gave 13 oral presentations and 11 Kepler posters by our team.
In total we have the following list of papers that have been submitted by the Kepler team:
Science =1 published (Borucki)
PASP=1 accepted (Gilliland)
ApJ=1 submitted (Jenkins)
ApJ Letters =26 submitted

Farid Salama (Astrophysics Branch)

Our report of of the spectra of a large (84 carbon atom!) fullerene molecule isolated in a cryogenic environment for comparison with interstellar spectra was accepted for publication in FNCN, an international journal on fullerene research and one of the highest ranked journals in Nanoscience & Nanotechnology, Physics, Chemistry and Molecular Sciences. The measurements are a first and were performed using SSA’s unique interstellar simulation lab facility.

C84: A Prototype of Large Fullerenes. Laboratory Spectroscopy and Astronomical Search R. Ruiterkamp, T. Halasinski, F. Salama, B.H. Foing, P. Ehrenfreund Fullerenes, Nanotubes and Carbon Nanostructures, in press (2010)

Our proposal for a Meeting-in-a-Meeting (MiM2010) entitled “Bridging Laboratory and Astrophysics: Frontiers in Plasma Astrophysics” at the 216th meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Miami, FL has been accepted by the Council of the AAS. This is the third successful MiM organized by our Working Group at the AAS (WGLA: http://members.aas.org/comms/wgla.cfm).

FNCN: Fullerenes, Nanotubes and Carbon Nanostructure
MiM: Meeting-in-a-Meeting
AAS: American Astronomical Society

Jack Lissauer (Planetary Systems Branch)

Jack Lissauer will be presenting the Keynote Address at the 14th Workshop on Gravitational Microlensing in Auckland, NZ, on January 19, 2010.