You are here

Recent News

Debby Tran, Eric Agol, and Mario Juric speaking to students at the UW Astronomy table at the AAS conference.
March 15, 2023
The 241st meeting of the American Astronomical Society was a stellar success for UW Astronomy! More than 100 UW-affiliated registrants made an impressive showing on our home turf with press releases, undergraduate iPosters, and sessions packed with UW research. As the AAS and astronomy community at large return to masked, in-person events, new forms of communication and collaboration emerged as key themes of the conference. Read on for a handful of ways that UW Astronomy shone at this winter’s... Read more
A color rendition of NGC 6302, the Butterfly Nebula, created from black-and-white exposures taken by the Hubble Space Telescope in 2019 and 2020.
February 14, 2023
Check out this article written by Jame Urton about the Butterfly Nebula. This article dives into new research showing that something is amiss in the Butterfly Nebula! The research is led by Dr. Bruce Balick. Link to full article here. 
Headshots from Left to right of: Renee Ludlam, Shouleh Nikzad, Linda Shore, Henny J.G.L.M. Lamers, and Emily M. Levesque.
February 2, 2023
The American Astronomical Society (AAS), a major international organization of professional astronomers, announced the recipients of some of its 2023 prizes for outstanding achievements in research and education. Congratulations to Dr. Emily Levesque and Dr. Henny J.G.L.M. Lamers for their writing award! Check out the article at
The star Gaia17bpp, circled in red, as shown by the Pan-STARRS1 and DSS missions.
January 10, 2023
During the 241st AAS, graduate student Anastasios Tzanidakis announced the results from investigating Gaia17bpp — a star that had gradually brightened for 2.5 years. He believes the star is part of an exceptionally rate type of binary star system.Featured on CNN 
Composite HST image of Triangulum galaxy compared to distributions of old and young stars.
January 10, 2023
The Panchromatic Hubble Andromeda Treasury Triangulum Extended Region — or PHATTER — survey has given astrophysicists an in-depth look at the Triangulum galaxy in different wavelength filters. Dr. Adam Smercina reveals the surprising discovery that the old and young stars trace form structures within the galaxyFeatured on UW News 
An artistic rending of the star Gaia17bpp being partially eclipsed by the dust cloud surrounding a smaller companion star.
January 9, 2023
Graduate student Anastasios Tzanidakis and Research professor James Davenport have discovered a rare type of binary star system, which exhibits eclipses lasting nearly 7 years. Featured on UW News 
JWST images comparing the distribution of hot gas and molecular outflows from the central stars in ehe Southern Ring Nebula
December 8, 2022
In a study to be published in Nature Astronomy, an international research team, which includes UW Astronomy's Professor Bruce Balick, analyzed 10 highly detailed exposures taken by the JWST of the Southern Ring Nebula. Their calculations show the central star that ejected the expanding nebula gas was originally three times the mass of the sun, and that unseen companions shaped the nebula’s intricate features. This analysis utilizes some of the first data... Read more
James Davenport (standing), associate director of the DiRAC Institute, meeting with the 2022 DiRAC Summer Research Prize recipients.
December 1, 2022
Astronomers at the UW’s Astronomy Department and DiRAC Institute have been preparing for a flood of data from the upcoming Rubin Observatory. Thanks to support from our community, undergrads have joined the effort in a new Summer Research Prize program. Read the full article in the UW Arts and Sciences Perspectives Newsletter.