Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Saint Michael’s Astronomer John O’meara Identifies Gamma Ray Burst

20.08.2010
Saint Michael’s astronomer, assistant professor of physics, Dr. John O'Meara and two collaborators were the first to identify the distance to a gamma ray burst on the night of August 13, 2010, using a telescope in Chile.

Dr. O'Meara was at the Magellan telescope at Las Campanas Observatory when he was contacted by collaborators Hsiao-Wen Chen of the University of Chicago and J. Xavier Prochaska of the University of California, San Diego and informed that NASA's SWIFT satellite had identified a candidate gamma ray burst.

“These are exciting events,” said Dr. O'Meara. “When a candidate burst is detected by satellites, telescopes all over the world race to see who can identify if it is indeed a gamma ray burst, and to obtain information like its brightness and distance—this time, our team came out on top." Dr. O’Meara said.

Dr. O'Meara used a spectrograph on the telescope shortly after the gamma ray burst to determine that it occurred nearly 9.5 billion years ago.

“These are some of the most distant objects we can see. And also some of the most poorly understood,” the astronomer said. “It's great to be one of the lucky ones who happens to be on the telescope at just the right time!” he added.

Submitted findings to NASA’s Gamma Ray Burst Coordinates Network
Dr. O'Meara and collaborators submitted their findings to NASA’s Gamma Ray Burst Coordinates Network, and will continue to analyze their data in detail from Saint Michael’s College, the University of Chicago, and UC, San Diego, as they communicate electronically.

According to the Las Campanas Observatory website, “The twin 6.5-meter Magellan telescopes are widely considered to be the best natural imaging telescopes in the world. They were built and continue to be operated by a consortium consisting of the Carnegie institution of Washington, Harvard, MIT, and the Universities of Michigan and Arizona. The telescopes are located at Carnegie's Las Campanas Observatory, high in the southern reaches of Chile's Atacama Desert. First light for the Walter Baade telescope occurred on September 15, 2000. The Landon Clay telescope started science operations on September 7, 2002.”

Dr. O'Meara is a resident of Essex Junction, Vt. His overall research interests include, among other areas, “Big Bang nucleosynthesis and light element abundances, Lyman limit and damped Lyman alpha systems, astrophysical properties of quasar absorption line systems, and galaxy-intergalactic medium interactions.”

Learn What Matters at Saint Michael’s College, The Edmundite Catholic liberal arts college, www.smcvt.edu . Saint Michael’s provides education with a social conscience, producing graduates with the intellectual tools to lead successful, purposeful lives that will contribute to peace and justice in our world. Founded in 1904 by the Society of St. Edmund and headed by President John J. Neuhauser, Saint Michael’s College is located three miles from Burlington, Vermont, one of America’s top college towns. It is identified by the Princeton Review as one of the nations Best 371 Colleges, and is included in the 2011 Fiske Guide to Colleges. Saint Michael’s is one of only 280 colleges and universities nationwide, one of only 20 Catholic colleges, with a Phi Beta Kappa chapter. Saint Michael’s has 1,900 undergraduate students, some 500 graduate students and 100 international students. Saint Michael’s students and professors have received Rhodes, Woodrow Wilson, Pickering, Guggenheim, Fulbright, and other grants. The college is one of the nation’s Best Liberal Arts Colleges as listed in the 2009 U.S. News & World Report rankings.

Professor John O'Meara, Saint Michael's College, jomeara@smcvt.edu
phone: 802-654-2000
or PR office 802-654-2536

Buff Lindau | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.smcvt.edu

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht NASA's James Webb Space Telescope completes final cryogenic testing
21.11.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

nachricht Previous evidence of water on mars now identified as grainflows
21.11.2017 | US Geological Survey

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Previous evidence of water on mars now identified as grainflows

21.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

NASA's James Webb Space Telescope completes final cryogenic testing

21.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

New catalyst controls activation of a carbon-hydrogen bond

21.11.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>