NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION
Mott Community College receives grant to increase minority participation in STEM fields
FLINT, MI -- Mott Community College will receive a $3 million National Science Foundation grant to help increase equity and minority participation in STEM-related fields. The college announced this week that it is joining the Michigan Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation group. It is a National Science Foundation program founded to support underrepresented students. Other members of the Michigan alliance include the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Wayne State University, Western Michigan University and Washtenaw Community College. The funds will be used to create and study research-driven models to increase participation and success for underrepresented students, according to a news release from the college.mlive.com
Mathematics Professor and University Researcher Indicted for Grant Fraud
WASHINGTON – Today, a federal grand jury in Carbondale, Ill. returned an indictment charging a mathematics professor and researcher at Southern Illinois University – Carbondale (SIUC) with two counts of wire fraud and one count of making a false statement. “University grant fraud allows China to co-opt U.S. research and development at a fraction of the cost. The indictment further alleges that in March 2019, while his NSF grant proposal was still pending, Xiao submitted another grant proposal to the Natural Science Foundation of China. According to the indictment, Xiao allegedly applied for the funds as an employee of Shenzhen University and did not disclose the new Chinese proposal to NSF. Xiao is charged with falsely certifying to SIUC that his NSF grant proposal was true, complete, and accurate.justice.gov
Arecibo Observatory telescope cleanup could cost up to $50 million, NSF reports
Cleaning up the collapsed radio telescope at the iconic Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico could cost between $30 million and $50 million, according to the National Science Foundation (NSF). The cost estimate, revealed Friday (March 5), is laid out in an NSF report required by Congress after the giant radio telescope's hanging science platform crashed down through the 1,000-foot (305 meters) dish on Dec. 1. Related: Arecibo Observatory has more science to do despite radio telescope's collapseThe biggest piece of news in the seven-page report is an initial estimate of the cost of cleaning up the radio telescope site, which NSF currently pegs at between $30 million and $50 million. The report emphasizes safety, as NSF has throughout the telescope's fall. The Arecibo Observatory: Puerto Rico's giant radio telescope in photosTo that aim, NSF reported that it is in conversations with a host of agencies about potential implications of the clean-up process, from U.S.space.com
Officials seeking answers to Puerto Rico telescope collapse
This photo provided by Aeromed shows the collapsed Radio Telescope in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020. The update is part of a report that the federal agency, which owns the telescope, had to submit to Congress as the investigation continues into the Arecibo telescope. It was until recently the world’s largest radio telescope and was used to study pulsars, detect gravitational waves, search for neutral hydrogen and detect habitable planets, among other things. The telescope is located in Puerto Rico’s karst region, which serves as an important water source and contains the island’s richest biodiversity. It was a crushing event for scientists around the world who had been using the telescope for nearly six decades.
Cleanup of Arecibo Observatory's collapsed radio telescope seen from space
The Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, which collapsed in December 2020, is seen from space in this satellite image captured Feb. 23, 2021. The sad work of dismantling the remains of the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico is underway. A closeup view of the satellite image shows cleanup crew working to dissemble the Arecibo Observatory. (Image credit: Satellite image ©2021 Maxar Technologies)The telescope's astronomical achievements are vast, but include scanning asteroids that came close to Earth, examining exoplanets and once sending a message to extraterrestrials in 1974. Arecibo's location in Puerto Rico brought tourism and scientific employment to the island associated with the telescope's work; how to secure that for the future is still being discussed.space.com
$476,000 grant for autonomous vehicle research coming to University of Michigan
ANN ARBOR, MI — The University of Michigan will receive $476,490 in National Science Foundation grant funding for autonomous vehicle research, U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell announced Tuesday. “Building a new era of mobility with autonomous vehicles requires a deep understanding of the potential threats and vulnerabilities that exist in the industry,” Dingell, D-Dearborn, said. The second layer aims to protect vehicles against firmware/software-level attacks, and the third level aims to protect autonomous vehicles at the sensing and operating level, NSF said. UM’s MCity Test Facility is the world’s first purpose-built proving ground for testing the performance and safety of connected and autonomous vehicles under controlled and realistic conditions, according to its website. READ MORE:Lung transplant recipient at University of Michigan gets COVID-19 from donor, dies two months later3 venomous spiders cause closure of University of Michigan libraryWhen a senior citizen’s wife died of COVID, University of Michigan students helped him grievemlive.com
Citizen scientists create 3D map of brown dwarfs in our sun's neighborhood
A citizen scientist group has created the most complete map to date of brown dwarfs neighboring our solar system. Members of a NASA-funded project called Backyard Worlds: Planet 9 — which includes both professional scientists and volunteer "citizen scientists" — created a 3-D map of hundreds of brown dwarfs discovered within 65 light-years of the sun. Related: Brown Dwarfs: Strange Failed Stars of the Universe Explained (Infographic)Citizen scientists and professional astronomers collaborated to create a 3D map of brown dwarfs in the neighborhood of our solar system. This image shows Earth surrounded by the nearest brown dwarfs, shown in red, with surrounding constellations labeled for reference. The new 3D map captures brown dwarf varieties ranging in temperature from thousands of degrees Fahrenheit to below-freezing.space.com
Astronomers are still reeling from the loss of iconic Arecibo radio telescope
An image of the Arecibo Observatory's iconic radio telescope as seen between two serious cable failures that preceded the facility's collapse. The collapse of the iconic radio telescope at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico last month has left astronomers with a host of questions about what went wrong and what comes next. "We at NSF are extremely grateful that the safety zones were adequate and that nobody was physically hurt," Ashley Zauderer, the program director for the Arecibo Observatory at the NSF, said during the presentation. That shift was never possible; the platform collapsed through the 1,000-foot-wide (305 meters) dish below it on Dec. 1, destroying the radio telescope. But Zauderer did note during the presentation that the collapse did not completely destroy the iconic dish of the radio telescope.space.com
Congress asks for report on Arecibo radio telescope collapse
The radio telescope at Arecibo Observatory's cable-suspended science platform, as seen before damage occurred in 2020. Congress wants a report investigating the December collapse of the iconic radio telescope at Arecibo Observatory by late February as the government evaluates what comes next for the facility, located in the mountains of Puerto Rico. In 2017, the National Science Foundation (NSF), which owns Arecibo, evaluated shutting down the radio telescope, then developed partnerships to cover Arecibo's operating costs instead. The petition asks Congress "to allocate funding to build a new Arecibo radio telescope with greater capabilities than the previous telescope." A drone view of damage to a cable at Arecibo Observatory's radio telescope in Puerto Rico captured after a second cable failed on Nov. 6, 2020.space.com
Arecibo telescope's fall is indicative of global divide around funding science infrastructure
While drone footage captured the moment in excruciating detail, in truth, the disintegration of the telescope in Arecibo, Puerto Rico began far before this cinematic end. As someone who studies technology and infrastructure development, I see what happened at Arecibo as a classic example of the tension between facility maintenance and scientific progress. This aerial view shows the damage at the Arecibo Observatory after one of the main cables holding the receiver broke in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, on December 1, 2020. The National Science Foundation, which supported Arecibo, implemented a 15% budget cut that year across its Division of Astronomical Sciences. #WhatAreciboMeansToMe pic.twitter.com/iiylRxLy8pDecember 1, 2020The Arecibo Observatory occupied a space of pride for Puerto Rican scientists and the local community.space.com
The largest solar telescope on Earth snaps the most detailed image of a sunspot we've ever seen
Scientists just released the most striking and detailed image of a sunspot humans have ever seen. The solar telescope is the largest dedicated to observing the sun. Related: World's largest solar telescope produces never-before-seen image of our starThe dark region shows a concentration of magnetic fields that block the heat within the sun from reaching the surface. The Inouye Solar Telescope captured this image of a sunspot before the facility was completed. Construction of the Inouye Solar Telescope is slated to finish in 2021.space.com
These photos of the Arecibo Observatory telescope collapse are just heartbreaking
This aerial view shows the damage at the Arecibo Observatory after one of the main cables holding the receiver broke in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, on December 1, 2020. The National Science Foundation's Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, known for its studies of asteroids and aliens and for its cameo in a James Bond film, collapsed this morning (Dec. 1). Related: The Arecibo Observatory radio telescope in Puerto Rico has collapsedImage 1 of 3 This aerial view shows the damage at the Arecibo Observatory after one of the main cables holding the receiver broke in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, on December 1, 2020. Related: Losing Arecibo Observatory creates a science hole that can't be filledÁngel Vázquez explains the collapse of the Arecibo Observatory @SaveTheAO. We will continue to work with the NSF and other stakeholders to find ways to support the science mission at Arecibo."space.com
Huge Puerto Rico radio telescope, already damaged, collapses
This satellite image provided by 2020 Maxar Technologies shows the damaged radio telescope at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, Thursday, Nov. 17, 2020. (Satellite image 2020 Maxar Technologies via AP)SAN JUAN – A huge, already damaged radio telescope in Puerto Rico that has played a key role in astronomical discoveries for more than half a century completely collapsed on Tuesday. The U.S. National Science Foundation had earlier announced that it would close the radio telescope. The collapse stunned many scientists who had relied on what was until recently the largest radio telescope in the world. “It's a huge loss,” said Carmen Pantoja, an astronomer and professor at the University of Puerto Rico who used the telescope for her doctorate.
Arecibo isn't the first radio telescope to unexpectedly fail. Here's what we can learn from Green Bank's collapse.
Seielstad was director at Green Bank Observatory in West Virginia when he got a very bad call on Nov. 15, 1988. Here, Green Bank had two key advocates: West Virginia's senators at the time, Robert Byrd and Jay Rockefeller. That telescope began observations in 2003 and continues to operate today; it had partnered with Arecibo Telescope on several projects. That challenge comes despite the fact that both the Green Bank and Arecibo observatories have played crucial roles in their neighborhoods. Related: The Arecibo Observatory: Puerto Rico's giant radio telescope in photosA drone view of damage to a cable at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico captured after a second cable failed on Nov. 6, 2020.space.com
Arecibo radio telescope, an icon of astronomy, is lost
"This decision has nothing to do with the scientific merits of Arecibo Observatory," Gaume said. "Some of the Arecibo science will transfer; some of it will not," Gaume said. A drone view of damage to a cable at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico captured after a second cable failed on Nov. 6, 2020. (Image credit: Courtesy of the NAIC - Arecibo Observatory, a facility of the NSF)Collapse threat a challenge for decommissioningBoth of the failed cables on Arecibo were connected to the same support tower. Editor's note: This story was updated to include NASA's statement about the fate of the Arecibo telescope.space.com
Huge Puerto Rico radio telescope to close in blow to science
FILE - In this Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020 file photo, provided by the Arecibo Observatory, shows the damage done by a broken cable that supported a metal platform, creating a 100-foot (30-meter) gash to the radio telescope's reflector dish in Arecibo, Puerto Rico. (Arecibo Observatory via AP)SAN JUAN – The National Science Foundation announced Thursday that it will close the huge telescope at the renowned Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico in a blow to scientists worldwide who depend on it to search for planets, asteroids and extraterrestrial life. The independent, federally funded agency said it’s too dangerous to keep operating the single dish radio telescope -- one of the world’s largest -- given the significant damage it recently sustained. An auxiliary cable broke in August and tore a 100-foot hole in the reflector dish and damaged the dome above it. Then on Nov. 6, one of the telescope’s main steel cables snapped, leading officials to warn that the entire structure could collapse.
Losing Arecibo Observatory would create a hole that can't be filled, scientists say
An airplane's view of Arecibo Observatory showing the massive dish and the heavy platform and dome suspended above. Scientists around the world are holding their breath, waiting to see whether the nearly 60-year-old Arecibo Observatory will survive. A view looking up at Arecibo Observatory's platform and dome. Related: The Arecibo Observatory: Puerto Rico's giant radio telescope in photosRadar images of a large near-Earth asteroid called Phaethon taken by Arecibo Observatory allow scientists to precisely calculate the space rock's path. A view underneath Arecibo Observatory's massive dish.space.com
Iconic Arecibo Observatory may be on the brink of collapse after cable failures
A drone view of damage to a cable at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico captured after a second cable failed on Nov. 6, 2020. Nestled into a natural basin in the middle of the Puerto Rican jungle, the Arecibo Observatory began science work in 1963 and is the world's second-largest radio dish. A view of damage to the Arecibo Observatory dish caused by a cable failure in August 2020. In the meantime, scientists connected to Arecibo Observatory are hoping for the best. An aerial view of Arecibo Observatory.space.com
Cable failures endanger renowned Puerto Rico radio telescope
FILE - In this Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020 file photo, provided by the Arecibo Observatory, shows the damage done by a broken cable that supported a metal platform, creating a 100-foot (30-meter) gash to the radio telescope's reflector dish in Arecibo, Puerto Rico. It’s a blow for the telescope that more than 250 scientists around the world were using. The telescope was built in the 1960s and financed by the Defense Department amid a push to develop anti-ballistic missile defenses. Repairs from Hurricane Maria, which devastated Puerto Rico in 2017, were still underway when the first cable snapped. The most recent damage was likely the result of the cable degrading over time and carrying extra weight after the auxiliary cable snapped, the university said.
MCCC awarded $100K in grant funding
National Science Foundation provided the grant for a three-year project in welding technology educationMonroe County Community College has secured its second six-figure science grant in less than three years. The demand for welding personnel has steadily increased, but welding graduates are on the decline, according to Coomar. As significant producers of welding personnel, he said Southeast Michigan colleges have challenging workforce development needs and diverse student populations. The following are specific project goals:• Document the educational, personal and professional experiences of welding technology students and how their experiences affect their career decisions. • Understand welding faculty and employers’ expectations of students and graduates.monroenews.com
Solar storms threat: Michigan researchers work to improve forecasts
ANN ARBOR, Mich. Faculty members at the University of Michigan are leading two $2.9 million projects to improve solar storm forecasting. The University of Michigan is involved in two projects:The NextGen Space Weather Modeling Framework project, funded by NSF, aims to accurately predict solar storms and coronal mass ejections a full day in advance. And Aether, funded by NASA, aims to improve models of Earths upper atmosphere. Other than a pandemic, a space weather-caused disruption is the only natural threat that would have nationwide impacts, said Gabor Toth, U-M research professor of climate and space sciences and engineering and principal investigator on the space weather modeling framework project. If we know what to expect and when, most consequences of space weather can be avoided.
Rep. Debbie Dingell: University of Michigan to receive more than $1M for rapid response coronavirus research
ANN ARBOR – Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (D-MI) announced Wednesday that the University of Michigan will receive more than $1 million in funding to advance research efforts on the novel coronavirus. The University of Michigan and Michigan State University have received several CARES Act-funded awards from the National Science Foundation as of May 10. “Science and research are incredibly important at this time and will empower us to defeat this virus,” Dingell said in a news release. “We must always support science and it is great to see the University of Michigan is being entrusted to help lead these efforts.”✉ Like what you’re reading? Related reading:More information on NSF-funded programs and awards in Michigan can be found on the NSF state fact sheets.
See the most detailed photos of the sun ever taken
A new telescope has captured some of the most detailed, close-up images of the sun ever taken, the National Science Foundation announced Wednesday. According to the NSF, the Inouye Solar Telescope will "enable a new era of solar science and a leap forward in understanding the sun and its impacts on our planet." The National Science Foundation said that activity on the sun, known as space weather, can affect systems on Earth. "This telescope will improve our understanding of what drives space weather and ultimately help forecasters better predict solar storms," Crdova said. What we need is to grasp the underlying physics behind space weather, and this starts at the sun, which is what the Inouye Solar Telescope will study over the next decades."monroenews.com
Zeus, most powerful laser in the US, to be built at University of Michigan in Ann Arbor
ANN ARBOR, Mich. - ZEUS, a new laser system that will be the most powerful laser in the United States, will be built at the University of Michigan. ZEUS will be a 3-petawatt laser system -- a single petawatt is equal to a quadrillion watts (think 1 followed by 15 zeros), and ZEUS will be three times as powerful. The new laser system, ZEUS, will be an upgrade from the HERCULES 300 TW laser. ZEUS will be taking over for the HERCULES 300 TW laser, a 0.5-petawatt laser system activated in 2007. The laser system will aid in expanding an understanding of particle acceleration and quantum electrodynamics.