Last week, astronomers detected a Type Ia Supernova in the nearby galaxy M82. Such supernovae allow us to accurately measure the distances to nearby galaxies. The above image was taken with the 16″ telescope at Stickney Observatory on the night of Wednesday, January 22. The supernova is clearly visible just off center from the galaxy.
What were 11 students and 2 science professors doing on the caribbean island of Grand Cayman this past January? SCUBA diving, snorkeling, and studying the biology and chemistry of the coral reef environment. Students did research on fish diversity and temperature and pH of the ocean and tide pools. The data they gathered will be submitted to REEF.org (an international clearinghouse for reef fish diversity used by scientists, governments, and NGOs around the world). Coral reefs are among the most diverse, unique and beautiful of ecosystems on the planet. Their very existence is threatened, however, due to numerous and rapid environmental perturbations generated by humans.
The students will report the results of their research in a poster session in March during the visit of world renowned marine biologists Dr. Jeremy Jackson and Dr. Nancy Knowlton.