Tuesday, August 9, 2011

UIS astronomer wins grant to study giant stars

University of Illinois Springfield astronomer John Martin has been awarded a $62,096 grant from the National Science Foundation to study the end stages of massive, exploding stars known as supernovae.

Most of the research will take place at UIS’s Henry R. Barber Research Observatory west of Springfield “under much darker skies than our observatory on campus,” Martin said, and will involve undergraduate students. The Barber Observatory has both 16-inch and 20-inch telescopes.

Martin, an assistant professor of astronomy and physics, will collaborate with researchers at the University of Minnesota to observe the stages of some of the most massive stars in the universe.

“We’ll be looking at what happens to massive stars and the end of their lifetimes,” Martin said. “We don’t know a lot about the evolution of the star.”

Martin's research was featured in an August 9, 2011, article in The State Journal-Register.

Read the story online