Letter From The Director

December 2018 Newsletter

Andrew Connolly
Professor, Department of Astronomy
DIRAC Institute, Director
University of Washington

It is a great pleasure to welcome you to the first DIRAC Institute newsletter. It is hard to believe that the institute is only a year old and how much has happened over the last 12 months.

In January a team of DIRAC scientists made use of the University of Washington’s 3.5m telescope in New Mexico to measure the shape of the interstellar asteroid 1I/‘Oumuamua (the first asteroid or comet we have discovered that originated from another solar system). In May, 450 people packed Kane Hall to hear our inaugural DIRAC Public Lecture by Nobel Laureate Saul Perlmutter, who described how surveys such as the Zwicky Transient Facility and the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope can revolutionize our understanding of the universe. And in just the last few weeks we streamed the detection of over one million new, variable, or moving objects detected by the Zwicky Transient Factory telescope in a single night.

You can read more about these discoveries in the articles below.  I hope you will be able to join us for some of the lectures and events that we will be hosting at the DIRAC Institute in 2019.

As we wrap up this year I did want to ask one thing of you. We are starting a new initiative at DIRAC to bring in students from under-represented universities and colleges around the country to spend the summer working with our researchers.  In Seattle, and at the University, we are fortunate to live in a dynamic and entrepreneurial community with access to many skilled and talented researchers. We want to share that knowledge with students who do not have access to these resources.

As you consider your charitable donations this year please consider supporting DIRAC by sponsoring one of the our 2019 Summer Fellows

Donate and sponsor our 2019 Summer Fellows

If you have already made your gift, thank you for your generosity.