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The latest astronomy and astrophysics news and headlines at UC San Diego.

Simons Funds

Simons Observatory Breaks Award Records at UC San Diego

Professor Brian Keating and Professor Kam Arnold received UCSD most highly funded project of the year with $62 million from the Simons Foundation to fund the construction of Simons Observatory in Chile’s Atacama Desert (at 17,200 feet in elevation), which is capable of studying the cosmic microwave background at unprecedented detail and sensitivity.

UCSD News - August 4, 2022

Shelley Wright Named 2022 Drake Award Recipient

UC San Diego Associate Professor of Physics Shelley Wright received the 2022 Drake Award from the SETI Institute in May 2022. Wright was recognized for her decades-long work in the field of searching for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) with innovative optical and infrared instruments. 

UCSD News - March 19, 2022

Frank Drake Award
Kielan Hoch

Graduate Student Kielan Hoch Awarded Giacconi Postdoctoral Fellowship

UC San Diego astrophysics graduate student Kielan Hoch has been awarded the prestigious Giacconi Postdoctoral Fellowship.  The award is named in honor of Nobel laureate Riccardo Giacconi, who was the founding director of the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, Maryland.  The award supports postdoctoral fellows for three years to conduct independent research at STScI.  Kielan’s thesis research at UCSD focuses on understanding the atmospheres of gas giant exoplanets. Her postdoctoral fellowship, which will commence after she receives her Ph.D. this summer, will be focused on analyzing observations of planets from the newly-launched James Webb Space Telescope.  Congratulations Kielan!

Giacconi Fellowship - February 20, 2022

UCSD Astronomers Help Identify Rare Brown Dwarf Pair

A team including UC San Diego Professor of Physics Adam Burgasser and Physics graduate students Christian Aganze and Dino Hsu have discovered an unusual pair of brown dwarfs.  Using the W.M. Keck Telescope, the team discovered the pair orbit each other while being separated by 12 billion miles, or three times the separation of Pluto from the Sun.  This makes it the widest pair of brown dwarfs ever discovered.  The target was first identified as a target of interest by the citizen science project Backyard Worlds: Planet 9.  

Keck News - February 17, 2022

Graduate Student Maren Cosens Awarded Brinson Carnegie Fellowship

UC San Diego astrophysics graduate student Maren Cosens has been awarded the prestigious Brinson Postdoctoral Fellowship.  The award is given by the Carnegie Observatories in Pasadena, California.  It supports postdoctoral fellows who demonstrate excellence in astronomical instrumentation, providing up to five years of funding for independent research at Carnegie.  Maren’s thesis research focuses on development of near-infrared instrumentation and observations of star formation in nearby and distant galaxies.  Her postdoctoral fellowship will focus on instrumentation development for Magellan Observatory.  Congratulations Maren!

Carnegie Fellowships - February 13, 2022

Professor Dusan Keres Recognized as Most Cited World-wide Researcher

Professor Keres is among the world’s most influential researchers in their fields according to the 2021 Clarivate listing of Most Highly Cited Researchers in the World. Clarivate’s 2021 list identifies some 6,600 researchers from across the globe who demonstrated significant influence in their chosen field or fields through the publication of multiple highly cited papers during the last decade. 

UCSD News - November 21, 2021

Graduate Student Eltha Teng Awarded Taiwanese Scholarship

Graduate student Yu-Hsuan “Eltha” Teng was awarded a prestigious scholarship from the government of Taiwan. Eltha was awarded the "Government Scholarship to Study Abroad" (GSSA) Scholarship, which is honored to only a small number of Taiwanese students pursuing a PhD degree outside of Taiwan. The scholarship comes from the Ministry of Education of Taiwan.

MOFA Taiwain Scholarship - November 3, 2021

NSF funds AI Data Institute

The NSF has funded $15 Million to advance A3D3 Institute. To take full advantage of fast AI, the A3D3 Institute will target fundamental problems in three fields of science: high energy physics, multi-messenger astrophysics and systems neuroscience. “The ability to identify and further distribute these events as astronomical alerts enables the entire transient astronomy community to cross-correlate observations and understand astrophysical phenomena” said Assistant Physics Professor Javier Duarte....

UCSD News - September 21, 2021

Graduate Student Jayke Nguyen Awarded the Sloan Fellowship

Sloan Scholar Fellow

UC San Diego now offers an Astronomy Ph.D. Program

July 1, 2021

The Physics Department now supports a M.S. and Ph.D. program in Astronomy. This new program will provide a competitive and cutting-edge educational and research environment for worldwide graduate students interested in studying astronomy & astrophysics. The new Astronomy Graduate Program is supported by 16 Physics Faculty.