Tuesday, July 7, 2009

And the Winning Thesis is . . . . .

I just learned that the Astronomical Society of the Pacific is presenting their 2009 Robert J. Trumpler Award to Kevin Bundy. The Robert J. Trumpler Award is given each year to a recent recipient of the PhD degree in North America whose research is considered unusually important to astronomy.

From the ASP:

In his Caltech thesis, Dr. Bundy used observations with the Wide Field Infrared Camera (WIRC) at Palomar Observatory to quantify the galactic process called "downsizing," in which the sites of active star formation shift from high-mass galaxies early in the history of the universe to lower mass galaxies as time goes on. His study indicated that there is a galaxy mass limit beyond which some mechanism inhibits star formation so that massive galaxies become quiescent. Bundy's analysis of the evolution of the star formation rates and of galaxy morphology has been widely cited and is considered an important constraint on theories of early galaxy formation.
Congratulations Dr. Bundy! He is currently continuing his research at UC Berkeley.

Here is an image on edge-on spiral galaxy NGC 891 that Kevin helped obtain a few years ago using the Hale Telescope's Wide-field Infrared Camera (WIRC). It is a composite image from Palomar (Bundy) and the 10-meter W.M. Keck Observatory (Patrick Shopbell and Judy Cohen). Yellow colors in this composite correspond to the near-infrared image which was obtained at Palomar. The blue colors correspond to the visible light image which was obtained at Keck.

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