Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics|
Publications and Public Affairs
SECOND ANNUAL AWARDS CEREMONY
HONORS CfA STAFF
Over eighty CfA staff members were honored for service and special achievements at the Second Annual CfA Awards ceremony held December 19 in the St. Peter's School Auditorium. The awards were presented by Irwin Shapiro, with assistance from Michelle Barnes and Van McGlasson, who served as a sartorially splendid MC. An informal reception preceded the ceremony.
Service award recipients were:
10 years (SAO): Joseph Caruso, Gary Clabaugh, Peter Daigneau, Laurence David, Barbara Elwell, Emilio Falco-Acosta, Thomas Gauron, Carolyn Grant, David Henson, David Johnson, Barbara Palmer, Janice Wilson.
15 years (HCO): Irwin Shapiro
20 years (SAO): Gerald Austin, Eva Cardarelli, Kelly Chance, Maureen Conroy, Richard Goddard, Joaquim Gomes, Mary Juliano, James Logan, Phillip McKinnon, Adrian Roy, Frederick Seward, Richard Taylor, Richard Vannelli, Jane Wamback, and Peter Warren.
20 years (HCO): William Press and James Esmond
30 years (SAO): Alexander Dalgarno, Anne Omundsen, Shoshana Rosenthal, Valerie Sorenson, and Trevor Weekes.
30 years (HCO): Alexander Dalgarno
40 years (SAO): Robert Davis
Special Recognition Awards were presented to:
Janis Panttila, Unsung Hero; Janet DePonte, Most Valuable Player; Kathleen Entler, Unsung Hero; Jean Collins, Most Caring and Helpful; and Ursula Marvin, Lifetime Achievement.
Certificates of Appreciation were awarded to:
Jack Barberis, Daniel Brocious, Kathy Campbell, Pamela Casey, Daniel Collins, Robert Cook, James Cornell, Irene Coyle, Joan Cusato, Stephanie Deeley, William Duggan, Charles Flynn, Art Gentile, Joaquim Gomes, Shadia Habbal, John Hamwey, Rick Harnden, Peggy Herlihy, Melissa Hilbert, Michael Honsa, Edward Imbier, Mary Juliano, Ed Lacy, Karen Lawley, Frank Licata, Christine McNeil, Dale Noll, Anne Omundsen, Carlos Ramos, Nayla Rathle, Matthew Schneps, Gerda Schrauwen, Irwin Shapiro, Margaret Simonini, Ellen Steeves, Harvey Tananbaum, James Taylor, Judy Terry, Donna Thompson, Megan Watzke, and Barbara Welther.
PUBLIC EVENTS, SPECIAL OCCASIONS
The 1998 Lowell Lectures on Astronomy, cosponsored by the CfA and the Hayden Planetarium at the Boston Museum of Science will celebrate the reissue of "The New Solar System," a classic book from the editors of Sky and Telescope magazine, by reviewing and updating research of the past decade, with a series entitled "The NEW New Solar System." The long-running annual series, offered free to students, teachers, and amateur astronomers of the Greater Boston area for more than two decades, will be given on consecutive Wednesday nights, in the planetarium, and will feature speakers from the CfA and other research institutions, beginning April 1, when John Wood of the CfA discusses "The Moon After Apollo." Other speakers, topics, and dates include: April 8, Jane Luu, CfA, "Comets, Asteroids, and Other Odd Bodies; " April 15, Shadia Habbal, CfA, "Solving Some Solar Enigmas;" April 22, Jim Bell, Cornell University, "Mars Exploration: Past, Present, and Future;" April 29, Robert Pappalardo, Brown University, "Galileo Images of Jupiter and Its Moons;" and, May 6, Chris Chyba, University of Arizona, "The Search for Water--and Life."
The illustrated talks are free, but tickets are required and may be obtained (for CfA staff and families) by calling the Public Affairs Office, ext. 5-7461.
The 1998 SOHO/GONG Workshop on "Structure and Dynamics of the Interior of the Sun and Sun-like Stars" will held June 1-4 at the Park Plaza Hotel in Boston. For more information, contact Sylvain Korzennik of the CfA's Solar and Stellar Physics Division, or check out the SOHO6 or GONG98 links at the CfA's homepage.
The "Solar Wind Nine Workshop" will be held at the White Elephant Resort on Nantucket Island from October 5 to 9. Contact Shadia Habbal or Ruth Esser for more information.
The Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory has hosted its 28th annual series of public lectures on astronomy and astrophysics for the Southern Arizona community. Given in Green Valley to record audiences this January and February, the series presented recent discoveries in astronomy, local research projects, and modern methods used to explore the universe. This year's topics and speakers included: "Is the Sun Weird?" Robert Donahue, CfA; "The Realm of the Galaxy," Nelson Caldwell, FLWO; "Big Things Happening On Mount Hopkins," Craig Foltz, MMTO; and, "This Violent Universe," Trevor Weekes, FLWO.
LET THERE BE LIGHT! ROTUNDA ANNIVERSARY NOTED
During the summer of 1847, stone masons assembled in the Rotunda at 60 Garden Street. They shaped and set into place dozens of granite blocks to fashion the pier for HCO's new telescope, dubbed "The Great Refractor." Similarly, this past summer, 150 years later, lighting experts gathered in HCO's Rotunda. Their mission was to install a dozen special overhead beacons. The result is that the Rotunda is now bathed in light beams that first rake down over the craggy stone pier and then softly scatter toward the curved walls.
By the end of September 1847, the Great Refractor had been installed, tested, and turned toward the heavens. Thrilled with the power of the new telescope, William Cranch Bond wrote to President Everett of Harvard: "You will rejoice with me that the great nebula in Orion has yielded to the powers of our incomparable telescope!" He continued, "The nebula in Orion yielded not to the unrivalled skill of both the Herschels, armed with their excellent reflectors. It even defied the powers of Lord Rosse's three-foot mirror." For a couple of decades, HCO had one of the two most powerful telescopes in the world. The other one, of course, was its twin in Pulkovo.
To date, the work to restore the Rotunda and Dome has been preliminary. With time and money, HCO's historic heart and hearth will be graced with exhibits that feature ongoing contemporary research as well as historic treasures. There are also plans for celebrating HCO's history and early instruments with symposia, colloquia, open nights, and other gatherings. Meanwhile, do enjoy basking in the newly illuminated Rotunda.
THE BOND STREET CONNECTION
The current edition of the CfA Telephone Book has a 19th Century image of the Harvard College Observatory, as seen from the corner of Bond Street. Of course, in the year of this lithograph, the street was not called "Bond." That came later, when the link between Concord and Garden (and the back entry to our sprawling complex) was renamed for William Cranch Bond, the first director of HCO.
Bond (1789-1859) was born in Portland, Maine. He was an apprentice to his father, a silversmith and clockmaker in Boston. He soon became an expert in chronometers and was fashioning superior ones for sailing ships. By 1812, he had developed a passion for astronomy. In 1815, on a trip to Europe, he visited and studied existing observatories to gather data preliminary to the building of an observatory in Cambridge.
It was not until 1839, however, that the observatory was finally founded and Bond could supervise construction on Observatory Hill. In 1847, a 15-inch "Great Refractor" telescope was installed, and, with Bond as director, it was used to study sunspots and the Orion Nebula. Together with his son (George Phillips Bond) he developed the chronograph for automatically recording the position of a star. He was a pioneer in the use of the chronometer and the telegraph for determining longitude. He and his son made the first practical use in America of Daguerre's photographic process as applied to astronomy.
George Phillips Bond (1825-1865) carried on his father's work and became the second director of the Harvard College Observatory. In 1848, George discovered Saturn's eighth satellite Hyperion, and would go on to become a pioneer in mapping the sky, determining stellar parallax, and measuring double stars.
--from the newsletter of the ATMs of Boston
How would the Smithsonian Institution's Castle look if it were subject to the same distorting influences of a "gravitational lens" that can warp, disrupt, and multiply the image of an object in space? Einstein's Theory of General Relativity, predicts that light rays emanating from a distant background object, say, a quasar, will be bent by the gravitational field of a foreground object, such as a massive black hole, to distort the appearance of the background object. Researchers from the CfA and University of Arizona are using the HST to study some two dozen examples of this phenomenon in a project dubbed "CASTLeS," or, the "CfA-Arizona Space Telescope Lens Survey." To illustrate gravitational lensing in a more familiar setting, the CfA's Brian McLeod showed how the Smithsonian's Castle might appear if a black hole with the mass of the planet Saturn lay between the viewer and the Castle. The lensing causes each point in the original image to appear twice in the distorted image: once in the outer part of the image; and, once again in the inner part, but now upside down and mirror-reversed. The members of the CASTLeS team include, in addition to McLeod, Emilio Falco (CfA), Christopher Impey (UA), Christopher Kochanek (CfA), Joseph Lehar (CfA), Hans-Walter Rix (UA), and Chien Peng (UA). [Image above is from the Web Page of ABC News.]