Tod R. Lauer
|Born||1957 (age 65–66)[ citation needed ]|
|Alma mater|| Caltech |
UC Santa Cruz
|Awards||NASA Medal for Exceptional Scientific Achievement (1992)|
|Institutions|| NOAO |
|Thesis||High resolution surface photometry of elliptical galaxies (1983)|
|Doctoral advisor||Sandra M. Faber|
Tod R. Lauer (born 1957)[ citation needed ] is an American astronomer on the research staff of the National Optical Astronomy Observatory. He was a member of the Hubble Space Telescope Wide Field and Planetary Camera team, and is a founding member of the Nuker Team. His research interests includes observational searches for massive black holes in the centers of galaxies, the structure of elliptical galaxies, stellar populations, large-scale structure of the universe, and astronomical image processing. He was the Principal Investigator of the Destiny JDEM concept study, one of the precursors to the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope mission. Asteroid 3135 Lauer is named for him. He appears in an episode of the documentary series Naked Science . He joined the New Horizons Pluto team in order to apply his extensive experience with deep space imaging to the New Horizons data, yielding significantly clearer and mathematically accurate images of Pluto and Charon.
Lauer studied Astronomy at the California Institute of Technology and graduated with a BS degree in 1979. He received his PhD degree in Astronomy from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 1983 for High resolution surface photometry of elliptical galaxies.
An asteroid, (3135) Lauer, was named in his honor in 1981.In 1992, Lauer was awarded the NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal for his work with the Wide-Field and Planetary Camera aboard the Hubble Space Telescope. Lauer has been twice awarded the AURA Outstanding Achievement Award for Outstanding Science for 1993 and 2016 by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy. As a member of the New Horizons team, Lauer shared the 2017 NASA Group Achievement Award. As a member of the Event Horizon Telescope collaboration, Lauer shared the 2020 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics.
A galaxy is a system of stars, stellar remnants, interstellar gas, dust, dark matter, bound together by gravity. The word is derived from the Greek galaxias (γαλαξίας), literally 'milky', a reference to the Milky Way galaxy that contains the Solar System. Galaxies, averaging an estimated 100 million stars, range in size from dwarfs with less than a hundred million stars, to the largest galaxies known – supergiants with one hundred trillion stars, each orbiting its galaxy's center of mass. Most of the mass in a typical galaxy is in the form of dark matter, with only a few percent of that mass visible in the form of stars and nebulae. Supermassive black holes are a common feature at the centres of galaxies.
The Hubble Space Telescope is a space telescope that was launched into low Earth orbit in 1990 and remains in operation. It was not the first space telescope, but it is one of the largest and most versatile, renowned both as a vital research tool and as a public relations boon for astronomy. The Hubble telescope is named after astronomer Edwin Hubble and is one of NASA's Great Observatories. The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) selects Hubble's targets and processes the resulting data, while the Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) controls the spacecraft.
Pluto is a dwarf planet in the Kuiper belt, a ring of bodies beyond the orbit of Neptune. It is the ninth-largest and tenth-most-massive known object to directly orbit the Sun. It is the largest known trans-Neptunian object by volume, by a small margin, but is slightly less massive than Eris. Like other Kuiper belt objects, Pluto is made primarily of ice and rock and is much smaller than the inner planets. Pluto has only one sixth the mass of Earth's moon, and one third its volume.
Messier 87 is a supergiant elliptical galaxy in the constellation Virgo that contains several trillion stars. One of the largest and most massive galaxies in the local universe, it has a large population of globular clusters — about 15,000 compared with the 150–200 orbiting the Milky Way — and a jet of energetic plasma that originates at the core and extends at least 1,500 parsecs, traveling at a relativistic speed. It is one of the brightest radio sources in the sky and a popular target for both amateur and professional astronomers.
The Hubble Deep Field (HDF) is an image of a small region in the constellation Ursa Major, constructed from a series of observations by the Hubble Space Telescope. It covers an area about 2.6 arcminutes on a side, about one 24-millionth of the whole sky, which is equivalent in angular size to a tennis ball at a distance of 100 metres. The image was assembled from 342 separate exposures taken with the Space Telescope's Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 over ten consecutive days between December 18 and 28, 1995.
The Chandra X-ray Observatory (CXO), previously known as the Advanced X-ray Astrophysics Facility (AXAF), is a Flagship-class space telescope launched aboard the Space ShuttleColumbia during STS-93 by NASA on July 23, 1999. Chandra is sensitive to X-ray sources 100 times fainter than any previous X-ray telescope, enabled by the high angular resolution of its mirrors. Since the Earth's atmosphere absorbs the vast majority of X-rays, they are not detectable from Earth-based telescopes; therefore space-based telescopes are required to make these observations. Chandra is an Earth satellite in a 64-hour orbit, and its mission is ongoing as of 2023.
Centaurus A is a galaxy in the constellation of Centaurus. It was discovered in 1826 by Scottish astronomer James Dunlop from his home in Parramatta, in New South Wales, Australia. There is considerable debate in the literature regarding the galaxy's fundamental properties such as its Hubble type and distance. NGC 5128 is one of the closest radio galaxies to Earth, so its active galactic nucleus has been extensively studied by professional astronomers. The galaxy is also the fifth-brightest in the sky, making it an ideal amateur astronomy target. It is only visible from the southern hemisphere and low northern latitudes.
Nix is a natural satellite of Pluto, with a diameter of 49.8 km (30.9 mi) across its longest dimension. It was discovered along with Pluto's outermost moon Hydra on 15 May 2005 by astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope, and was named after Nyx, the Greek goddess of the night. Nix is the third moon of Pluto by distance, orbiting between the moons Styx and Kerberos.
NGC 1316 is a lenticular galaxy about 60 million light-years away in the constellation Fornax. It is a radio galaxy and at 1400 MHz is the fourth-brightest radio source in the sky.
Donald F. Figer is an American astronomer and a professor in the College of Science of the Rochester Institute of Technology. He is also the director of RIT's Future Photon Initiative, Center for Detectors, and Rochester Imaging Detector Laboratory. His research interests include massive stars, massive star clusters, red supergiants, the Galactic center, and the development of advanced technologies for astrophysics and a broad range of applications.
Alberto Conti, is an astrophysicist and the Vice President and General Manager of the Civil Space Strategic Business Unit (SBU) at Ball Aerospace. He is one of the creators of the GoogleSky concept, of the idea of astronomical outreach at South by SouthWest 2013 and of the James Webb Space Telescope iBook. He is also the Executive Producer of the Emmy Winning CNN Films The Hunt for Planet B.
The Nuker Team was formed to use the Hubble Space Telescope, with its high-resolution imaging and spectroscopy, to investigate the central structure and dynamics of galaxies. The team used the HST to examine supermassive black holes and determined the relationship between a galaxy's central black hole's mass and velocity dispersion. The team continues to conduct research and publish papers on the supermassive black holes of galaxies and clusters. The group was initially formed by Tod R. Lauer, then a first year postdoc. At the first meeting of the group held at Princeton University in June 1985, Sandra Faber was elected the group leader.
Marc Postman is an American astronomer at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Maryland, United States. His research interests include observational studies of the formation and evolution of galaxies and large scale structure in the universe. His work focuses on determining, observationally, the relationships between galaxy-scale phenomena and the surrounding large-scale environment and matter distribution. His recent research includes characterizing the properties of brightest cluster galaxies and placing new constraints on the cosmic optical background.
Charles Mattias ("Matt") Mountain is currently the President of the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) which designs, builds, and operates telescopes and observatories for the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). AURA's NASA center is the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI), responsible for the science mission for the Hubble Space Telescope, the science and operations for the James Webb Space Telescope, and the MAST data archive. AURA's NSF centers are Gemini Observatory, the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO), and the National Solar Observatory (NSO). Dr. Mountain and AURA are also responsible for the NSF construction projects: the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST) on Haleakalā, Hawaii and the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) on Cerro Pachón in Chile.
Laura Ferrarese is a researcher in space science at the National Research Council of Canada. Her primary work has been performed using data from the Hubble Space Telescope and the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope.
The Large Ultraviolet Optical Infrared Surveyor, commonly known as LUVOIR, is a multi-wavelength space telescope concept being developed by NASA under the leadership of a Science and Technology Definition Team. It is one of four large astrophysics space mission concepts studied in preparation for the National Academy of Sciences 2020 Astronomy and Astrophysics Decadal Survey.
NGC 4494 is an elliptical galaxy located in the constellation Coma Berenices. It is located at a distance of circa 45 million light years from Earth, which, given its apparent dimensions, means that NGC 4494 is about 60,000 light years across. It was discovered by William Herschel in 1785.
NGC 720 is an elliptical galaxy located in the constellation Cetus. It is located at a distance of circa 80 million light years from Earth, which, given its apparent dimensions, means that NGC 720 is about 110,000 light years across. It was discovered by William Herschel on October 3, 1785. The galaxy is included in the Herschel 400 Catalogue. It lies about three and a half degrees south and slightly east from zeta Ceti.
NGC 4278 is an elliptical galaxy located in the constellation Coma Berenices. It is located at a distance of circa 55 million light years from Earth, which, given its apparent dimensions, means that NGC 4278 is about 65,000 light years across. It was discovered by William Herschel on March 13, 1785. NGC 4278 is part of the Herschel 400 Catalogue and can be found about one and 3/4 of a degree northwest of Gamma Comae Berenices even with a small telescope.
NGC 545 is a lenticular galaxy located in the constellation Cetus. It is located at a distance of circa 250 million light years from Earth, which, given its apparent dimensions, means that NGC 545 is about 180,000 light years across. It was discovered by William Herschel on October 1, 1785. It is a member of the Abell 194 galaxy cluster and is included along with NGC 547 in the Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies.