The Submillimeter Array


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July 27, 2018 Science Update: Galaxies in the Early Universe CfA astronomer Glen Petitpas was a member of a large team of astronomers who used the SCUBA-2 (Submillimeter Common User Bolometer Array) instrument to confirm 188 of the reddest of these sources as indeed being distant, dusty star formation galaxies, typically so far away that their light has been traveling towards us for over eleven billion years, and so bright that they must be making stars at a rate many thousands of times faster than does the Milky Way.

February 28, 2018 Press Release: High Pressure Star Formation in the Galactic Center Some galaxies in the universe are as much as a thousand times more luminous than our Milky Way galaxy, with most of their light being emitted in the infrared. Astronomers attribute that ultra-intense luminosity to warm dust heated by massive bursts of star formation that are often concentrated in the galaxy's center, near the supermassive black hole. The Milky Way also has a supermassive black hole, and its inner region (called the Central Molecular Zone, CMZ) has plenty of the gas needed to form new stars. But the star formation rate there is not only not intense, it is less than average given the amount of mass present. There are several notable exceptions, like the dramatic Arches Cluster, but these serve to highlight the strange inactivity everywhere else.

December 8, 2017 Press Release: Dusty protoplanetary disks "Planetary systems form out of disks of gas and dust around young stars. How the formation proceeds, however, is complex and poorly understood. Many physical processes are involved including accretion onto the star, photoevaporation of material of the disk, interactions of the disk with planetary embryos, growth of the dust grains, settling of the dust to the midplane of the disk, and more. To unravel these various factors, observations of protoplanetary disks at multiple wavelengths are used; the submillimeter wavelength range in particular offers a way to peer through most of the disk to estimate dust masses directly."
Article courtesy of PHYS.ORG

November 27, 2017 Press Release: Why is massive star formation quenched in galaxy centers? "A study led by a researcher at the IAC and published today in Nature Astronomy points to the role of the magnetic field as responsible for decelerating the formation of massive stars in the center of galaxies. Without this process the Big Bang would be questioned."
Article courtesy of Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias -IAC

November 21, 2016 Press Release: A Stellar Circle of Life A snapshot of the stellar life cycle has been captured in a new portrait from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and the Smithsonian's Submillimeter Array (SMA). A cloud that is giving birth to stars has been observed to reflect X-rays from Cygnus X-3, a source of X-rays produced by a system where a massive star is slowly being eaten by its companion black hole or neutron star. This discovery provides a new way to study how stars form.
Photo: Cyg X-3's Little Friend
Movie: Cygnus X-3s's Little Friend
Viewed via space.com

April 21, 2016 Paul Yamaguchi receives Smithsonian Unsung Hero for 2016 SAO Event Paul is the Microwave Electronics Technician at the Maunakea Summit. He installs and maintains the fiber optics transmission and IF/LO systems. We congratulate Paul for his tireless efforts to make the SMA successful!

January 12, 2016 "A Microwave-operated Bolometric Detector for Terahertz Radiation," IEEE Transactions on Applied Superconductivity, vol. 25, 2300604, June 2015. SAO Event Dr. Edward Tong is one of the recipients of the 2015 Secretary's Research Prizes which recognizes excellence in research conducted by employees of the Smithsonian Institution.

September 10, 2015 Comedy Central: Drunk History: New Jersey: Sound In Space Time: 5:20
Press Release This is a short comedy clip introducing Bob Wilson and Arno Penzias during the early days of discovering cosmic microwave background radiation in New Jersey. NOTE: This is Comedy Central .. viewer discretion advised.  
Video Clip ...