The Faculty of Sciences

Astronomical Sciences

Astronomical Sciences

From time immemorial, humanity has aspired to understand our at once amazing and perplexing universe and our place within it.

humanity has aspired to understand our at once amazing and perplexing universe and our place within it. - Dr. FRANK EDUGHOM EKPAR

Today, more than ever before, we have the tools to chip away at our ignorance and appreciate the immensity of the universe while gaining insights regarding our putative role in it. Ground and space based telescopes peer into the skies -- revealing the secrets of the cosmos.

For example, the Event Horizon Telescope [1] uses a collection of ground-based telescopes designed to function as a virtual Earth-sized telescope leveraged by an international collaboration to capture images of black holes. The Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration reported the First M87 Event Horizon Telescope Results (The Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration, 2019) [2] in March 2019.

The 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to Roger Penrose, Reinhard Genzel and Andrea Ghez for the discovery that black hole formation is a robust prediction of the general theory of relativity and for the discovery of the discovery of the supermassive compact objet at the center of our galaxy [3]. The Event Horizon Telescope captured the first image of the black hole believed to lurk at the center of our home Milky Way galaxy, Sagittarius A* [4], in May 2022.

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) was launched on December 25, 2021 and boasts vastly improved sensitivity compared to the earlier Hubble Space Telescope. Operating primarily in the infrared spectrum, JWST is expected to help us study the earliest and farthest galaxies to form in the universe as well as examine the atmospheres of exoplanets (with the possibility of discovering tell-tale signals that may indicate the presence of life) in addition to a wide array of other science goals.

The iconic Hubble Space Telescope, launched in 1990 by the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has deepened our understanding of the universe.

Data collected by the Hubble Space Telescope such as Version 1 of the Hubble Source Catalog (Whitmore et al., 2016) [3] is accessible to researchers around the world.

Other space agencies that may make data accessible and are open to collaboration include the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and the European Space Agency (ESA).

The data collected from space and ground based telescopes and other astronomical tools can be mined by researchers for scientific discoveries and to ascertain the probability and impact of collisions of objects in space with the Earth as well as detect other hazards such as Gamma Ray Bursts.

Other areas of interest in Astronomical Sciences include the quest for the colonization of mars and the outer solar system, the Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI) and long-term plans for interstellar travel including projects such as the United States Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and NASA’s 100 year Starship.

Lecturers and students at Scholars University can leverage the data collected from these instruments – as well as collaborations with researchers and space agencies – and the enormous computing power of modern computing, including cloud computing, to carry out research, make impactful scientific discoveries and create innovative solutions to many of humanity’s challenges.

Computational Sciences Longevity Studies

Reference

  1. Event Horizon Telescope: International collaboration capturing images of black holes using a virtual Earth-sized telescope. https://eventhorizontelescope.org/ Retrieved on July 12, 2020.

  2. The Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration, First M87 Event Horizon Telescope Results. I. The Shadow of the Supermassive Black Hole, The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 875:L1 (17pp), (2019).

  3. Nobel Prize in Physics 2020. https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/physics/2020/press-release/ . Retrieved on May 31, 2022.

  4. The Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration, First Sagittarius A* Event Horizon Telescope Results. I. The Shadow of the Supermassive Black Hole in the Center of the Milky Way, The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 930:L12 (21pp), (2022).

  5. Bradley C. Whitmore, Sahar S. Allam, Tamás Budavári, Stefano Casertano, Ronald A. Downes, Thomas Donaldson, S. Michael Fall, Stephen H. Lubow, Lee Quick, Louis-Gregory Strolger, Geoff Wallace, and Richard L. White Version 1 Of The Hubble Source Catalog The Astronomical Journal, 151:134 (23pp), 2016.