This week we are joined by Dr. Jane Huang and Dr. Jonathan Willams from the Center for Astrophysics, Harvard & Smithsonian (CfA). Dr. Huang, Dr. Williams, and their team recently discovered some surprising information about the size and shape of some protoplanetary disks. In their peer-reviewed paper published in The Astrophysical Journal, it was announced that the protoplanetary disk surrounding the star RU Lup (in the constellation of Lupus) is not only surprisingly large, but also has a very distinct spiral shape that extends nearly 1000 AU beyond Ru Lup.
You can read more about this exciting discovery here.
Additionally, the team’s peer-reviewed paper is available for download here.
Dr. Jane Huang
Dr. Jane Huang is a Sagan Fellow at the University of Michigan. She received her PhD in Astronomy & Astrophysics at Harvard University. Her research uses powerful radio telescopes to study the structure and chemistry of planet-forming environments in order to understand the diverse origins of planets.
You can learn more about Jane and her research by visiting her website.
Dr. Jonathan Williams
Like many academics, Jonathan Williams was a nomad. He grew up in the UK and obtained a B.A. at Cambridge University in 1988. He then moved to the US where he obtained a Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley. After postdoctoral and teaching positions around the US, he became a professor at the Institute for Astronomy at the University of Hawaii in 2002. There he balances research, teaching, and administration with a patient wife and two sons. To slow down, he escapes in a small sailboat on the calm waters of Kaneohe Bay.
To learn more about Jonathan and his research by visiting his website.
This Week’s Journalists and Their Stories
- Beth Johnson: Pluto’s Ice Caps Made of Methane, Turns Earth’s Process Upside Down;
- Dr. Brian Koberlein: Black Holes Make Complex Gravitational Chirps as They Merge;
- Moiya McTier: These Alien Planets May Be More Habitable for Life Than Our Own Earth.
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