Fund for Astrophysical Research - The New York Community Trust
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The Fund for Astrophysical Research (FAR) makes small grants to support research in astronomy and astrophysics. Founded in 1936 by Charles G. Thompson and Alice Bemis Thompson, the Fund has supported astronomical and astrophysical projects in the United States, Australia, and New Zealand through loans and gifts of funds and optical equipment.

FAR grants are named in memory of Theodore Dunham, Jr., the Scientific Director of the Fund for Astrophysical Research from its founding in 1936 until his death in 1984. Grants are awarded for the acquisition of astronomical equipment, computer time, and computer hardware or software that will be used in research.

Founded in 1936 by Charles G. Thompson and Alice Bemis Thompson, the Fund for Astrophysical Research has supported astronomical and astrophysical projects in the United States, Australia, and New Zealand through loans and gifts of funds and optical equipment. Theodore Dunham, Jr. served as its scientific director from its founding until his death in 1984.

For its first 50 years, the Fund was an operating foundation, purchasing and figuring mirrors, gratings and other equipment which it made available to astronomical projects at the Mount Wilson Observatory in California and the Mount Stromlo Observatory in Australia, with particular emphasis on spectroscopy. The Fund also studied the use of obsidian for mirrors under a contract with the U.S. Office of Naval Research. Plans were made for Project Canopus, an observatory to be established at the University of Tasmania. Finally, Dr. Dunham designed a 0.3 meter telescope with an unconventional computer-driven alt-alt mounting that was installed in October 1985 on the campus of the University of Chicago. After Dr. Dunham’s death, the Fund for Astrophysical Research augmented its endowment by selling its scientific equipment and began a program of making small grants.

On November 17, 2018, the Attorney General of the State of New York approved the Plan of Dissolution and Distribution of Assets of the Fund for Astrophysical Research, Incorporated. On December 12, 2018, the assets of the Fund for Astrophysical Research, Incorporated were transferred to Community Funds, Inc. to constitute a new fund known as the “Fund for Astrophysical Research”.

The Trust continues to honor the legacy of the founders and Dr. Dunham by making annual grants for the acquisition of astronomical equipment, computer time, and computer hardware or software for use in research. The Fund does not make grants for equipment intended only for teaching, publication costs, or travel costs to attend meetings. No salaries, administrative costs, or overhead costs will be funded.

  • Kenneth A. Janes, Ph.D., Boston University
  • Richard G. Kron, Ph.D., Yerkes Observatory, University of Chicago
  • Stella Kafka, Ph.D., American Meteorological Society
  • Allyson Sheffield, PhD, Department of Natural Sciences at LaGuardia Community College (CUNY)
Theodore Dunham, Jr.

Theodore Dunham, Jr.
Physicist, Astronomer, and Physician
December 17, 1897 – April 3, 1984

Theodore Dunham, Jr. was scientific director of the Fund for Astrophysical Research from its founding in 1936 until his death in 1984.

In 1932, while on the staff of the Mount Wilson Observatory, Pasadena, California, Dr. Dunham discovered that the atmosphere of Venus is principally composed of carbon dioxide. At that time, astronomers tended to believe that Earth and Venus had similar atmospheres, but Dr. Dunham (with Walter S. Adams) found some unusual features in the spectrum of radiation from Venus. Dr. Dunham demonstrated that if light were sent through a long pipe containing compressed carbon dioxide, the same spectrum could be reproduced on Earth, indicating that carbon dioxide, under higher pressure than the Earth’s atmosphere, had been observed in the atmosphere of Venus. This conclusion was dramatically confirmed 35 years later in measurements transmitted from U. S. and Soviet spacecraft.

Dr. Dunham’s principal research activities included development of Coude spectrographs at Mount Wilson Observatory and at Mount Stromlo Observatory in Australia, introduction of the Schmidt camera in spectroscopy, studies of stellar atmospheres and interstellar material, studies of planetary atmospheres, development of photoelectric detectors for spectroscopy, and application of physical methods for research in medicine and surgery.

Dr. Dunham’s interest in astronomy began early, and by the age of 17 he had built an observatory on the grounds of his family’s cottage in Northeast Harbor, where his father practiced medicine in the summers.

He was born December 17, 1897, in New York City, the son of Theodore Dunham and Josephine Balestier Dunham. He prepared at St. Bernard’s School and the Browning School, New York City, and received an A.B. summa cum laude in 1921 from Harvard concentrating in chemistry.

Throughout his career, he followed interests in medicine, physics and astronomy. He received an M.D. from Cornell University in 1925 and an A.M. and Ph.D. in physics in 1926 and 1927 from Princeton University.

For his Harvard College Fiftieth Reunion in 1971, he wrote: “I have gained much by stimulating contacts with many leaders in research, who combined extraordinary insight with unusual human qualities. I am thinking in particular of Theodore W. Richards in Chemistry, James Ewing in Pathology, and George Ellery Hale in Astronomy.”

Dr. Dunham was a staff member of Mount Wilson Observatory from 1928 to 1947. During World War II from 1942 to 1946, he was Chief of the Optical Instrument Section (16.1) of the Office of Scientific Research and Development under George Harrison and Vannevar Bush. He then spent several years applying physical methods to medical research, first from 1946 to 1948 as a Warren Fellow in Surgery at Harvard Medical School, and then from 1948 to 1957 at the School of Medicine and Dentistry and the Institute of Optics at the University of Rochester, where he developed instrumentation for spectrophotometric analysis of small regions of biological cells.

In 1957, he joined the faculty of the Australian National University in Canberra, where he designed and installed a spectrograph at the Mount Stromlo Observatory for use with its 74-inch telescope in studying the composition of the stars of the Southern Hemisphere. From 1965 to 1970 he was a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Tasmania, Australia.

After returning to the United States in 1970, he resumed his earlier association with the Harvard College Observatory.

Dr. Dunham was Scientific Director of the Fund for Astrophysical Research from its founding in 1936. At the time of his death, he had just completed designing and supervising the construction of a computer-guided telescope of a new alt-alt design. It was installed and dedicated at the new Science Center of the University of Chicago in 1985.

Dr. Dunham was the author of over 50 scientific articles and a member of many scientific organizations, including the American Physical Society, the Royal Astronomical Society, the American Astronomical Society, the American Association of Variable Star Observers, the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, the American Optical Society, the New York Academy of Sciences, and the International Astronomical Union (in which he was a member of Commissions on Instruments, Stellar Spectra and Interstellar Material).

On June 21, 1926, he married Miriam Phillips Thompson, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William G. Thompson of Boston and South Tamworth, New Hampshire, a granddaughter of the Rev. Dr. William Reed Huntington. He was survived by his wife and their children, Theodore Dunham, III, and Mary Huntington Dunham.

Applying for Funding

Each year we will issue a Request for Proposals in the late summer/early fall. Please view our Requests for Proposals and Letters of Interest page for more information. You can direct any correspondence or questions to Melanie DeLorenzo at (212) 686-0010 x525 or mdl@nyct-cfi.org.

Past Grant Recipients
2021
2021

Carnegie Institution of Washington | $ 3,130 

To purchase computers for interns to conduct research at the Institute’s Earth and Planets Laboratory.

Regents of the University of Minnesota | $ 2,820 

To purchase computers to enable real-time image reduction and analysis of star explosions visible through the University’s upgraded 60-inch telescope on Mt. Lemmon, Arizona.

Truman State University Foundation | $ 1,500

To purchase three specialized photometers to allow student researchers to simultaneously monitor sky brightness across the entire sky at different locations.

2020
2020

Lehigh University | $2,500

Principal Investigator: Joshua Pepper, Ph.D.

To purchase computer hardware to analyze slowly rotating asteroids.

The Catholic University of America | $1,500

Principal Investigator: Christopher Russell, Ph.D.

To purchase a specialized virtual reality headset to enhance immersive astrophysical simulations, in particular benefitting people with disabilities.

University of Massachusetts-Lowell | $3,000

Principal Investigator: Silas Laycock, Ph.D.

For software and hardware upgrades to transition to remote and autonomous observation for variable star astronomy to accommodate COVID-19 restrictions.

Valley of the Moon Observatory Association | $3,000

Principal Investigator: Gordon Spear, Ph.D.

To upgrade to a full robotic telescope for remote research observation and expanded citizen science projects

2019
2019

Brigham Young University | $2,900

Principal Investigator: Dr. Denise C. Stephen

To purchase a control computer and data storage to operate the University’s new 24-inch telescope and dome, allowing for observations of NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) and data collection on variable stars discovered by the Asteroid Terrestrial-Impact Last Alert Survey (ATLAS)

Nantucket Maria Mitchell Association | $3,000

Principal Investigator: Dr. Regina A. Jorgenso

To purchase an Autoguider to improve pointing and tracking capabilities of the Association’s 24-inch telescope allowing it to join NASA’s to Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) follow up observation program

Wellesley College | $1,320

Principal Investigator: Dr. Kim McLeod

To support Dr. Kim McLeod’s proposal to purchase a Windows 10 computer and external hard drives to reduce and analyze observations that are part of NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) mission.

2010 - 2018
2010 - 2018

2018

Monterey Institute for Research in Astronomy | $5,913

Principal Investigator: William Bruce Weaver

Purchase of OriginPro 201813 Single Seat Node-locked License (with maintenance) and Thinkmate VSX Workstation with 64 Gbyte memory

Purdue University | $2,975

Principal Investigator: Maxim Lyutikov and Mathew Route

Purchase of Dell Precision 3530 Desk Department of Physics and Astronomy Station and WD 20 TB Raid External Hard Drive.

2017

Concordia University | $3,000

Principal Investigator: J.W. Kenney, III

To help defray the costs of the precision optical, mechanical and computer components needed to set up the PlaneWave CDK 700 telescope at the Great Basin Observatory to do spectroscopic measurements on short-period variable star systems.

University of Louisville | $3,000

Principal Investigator: B.W. Holwerda

grant to fund the housing and camera for a new telescope at the Moore Observatory in Louisville as a public access telescope.

University of North Florida | $3,049

Principal Investigator: John Hewitt

To support construction of a prototype Air Cherenkov Telescope at the University of North Florida to be used for research projects by UNF physics and astronomy students and faculty as well as for research and development in support of an array of Air Cherenkov Telescopes as part of a planned expansion to the IceCube South Pole Neutrino Observatory.

Villanova University | $3,900

Principal Investigator: Kelly Hambleton

To support project “Heartbeat Stars: The Key to Unlocking The Circularization mechanism for Binary Stars and Planets” in the purchase of a network attached storage enclosure and 40 TB of disks.

2016

Community Funds, Inc. | $10,000

Grant to Community Funds, Inc. for its “Fund for Astrophysical Research” to be distributed in future years.

Morehead State University | $1,340

Principal Investigator: Jennifer Birriel

To purchase four Unihedron Sky Quality Meters and a set of color filters for a portable field-station to conduct spectrophotometric measurements of night sky brightness. Night sky spectrophotometric data will be added to the global astronomical data-base of light pollution.

Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute | $3,590

Principal Investigator: Michael Castelaz

For the installation of solar filters on small optical telescopes that ride piggyback on the radio telescopes used for pointing. On August 21, 2017 the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute is in the path of totality of the solar eclipse. This is a singular opportunity to use all three telescopes simultaneously to measure radio emission of the corona as a function of distance from the surface of the sun. These funds allow for simultaneous radio and optical observations and noting exactly the eclipse phase that radio data was taken. It is also expected to attract new radio astronomy monitoring and survey programs from the astronomical community.

University of Iowa | $3,227

Principal Investigator: William S. Kurth

For the purchase of 6 x 10TB hard disks to store observations by powerful Earth-based decametric radio telescopes in support of the Juno mission at Jupiter. These data will help to understand the context of the Juno observations through cross-correlation analysis of simultaneously observed auroral radio emissions from the first latitudinally wide-view from the polar orbit Juno and the ground-based low-frequency radio observatories.

2015

American Association of Variable Star Observers | $6,500

Principal Investigator: Styliani Kafka

To update two servers that are key to core services: software development (VPhot) for data reduction, and control of the data quality control process.

Maria Mitchell Association | $5,000

Principal Investigator: Regina Jorgenson

For a dedicated student workstation to be used by the NSF-REU students in the performance of data reduction and analysis of Keck 10-meter telescope spectral imaging data of normal galaxies in the early Universe. These data encompass the first ever look at kinematics, metallicity gradients and star formation maps of what are believed to be progenitor Milky Way-type galaxies in the early Universe. The workstation will also be used to compare observational data with the output of super-computer simulations of galaxy formation.

University of North Dakota | $1,582

Principal Investigator: Wayne Barkhouse

To replace seven hard drives with 6 TB hard drives used by students and faculty members involved in research ranging from analysis of imaging data from the Dark Energy Survey to an imaging survey of galaxy clusters using H-alpha and r-band observations obtained at the Kitt Peak National Observatory.

Yale University | $4,700

Principal Investigator: Tyler McCracken

To aide in developing a fiber characterization station enabling investigation and characterization of fiber optic cable assemblies. This station will be used for testing fibers and fiber assemblies delivering light to an NSF funded planet-hunting spectrograph currently being designed and built at Yale for the Discovery Channel Telescope.

2014

Appalachian State University | $3,500

Principal Investigator: Courtney McGahee

To acquire final components for the Kelly Anne Kluttz (KAKE) spectrograph to complete the conversion to a bench mount and to anodize the optical components of the spectrograph.

Lehigh University | $1,749

Principal Investigator: Knicole D. Colón

To support the Kilodegree Exoplanet Little Telescope (KELT) survey in the purchase of computing equipment to analyze photometric data from a network of small robotic telescopes, which will help confirm the planetary nature of KELT candidates, and to analyze spectroscopic and photometric data from larger telescopes to characterize the atmospheres of confirmed KELT planets.

Observatories of the Carnegie Institution | $2,311

Principal Investigator: Victoria Scowcroft

To contribute 50% for the cost of a shared MATLAB license to be used by astronomers at the Observatory for software to produce interactive, 3-dimensional visualizations of Cepheid and RR Lyrae observations in the Milky Way and its nearest neighbors.

University of Michigan | $3,000

Principal Investigator: Kayhan Gultekin

To purchase a workstation to carry out data reduction, spectral fitting, and statistical analysis of joint Chandra X-ray and VLA radio data sets approved to be observed from June 2014 to September 2015. Observations will allow discrimination between competing models of the “fundamental plane” of black hole accretion.

University of Minnesota | $3,000

Principal Investigator: Marc S. Seigar

To acquire a high-powered computer for the astrophysics group in the investigation of the evolution of spiral galaxies with high spatial and time resolution simulations.

Villanova University | $4,000

Principal Investigator: Andrej Prša

To acquire a 64-core compute node dedicated to the project “Unprecedented accuracy in stellar masses and radii from triple and multiple stars observed by the Kepler satellite.”

2013

French Camp Academy in partnership with Mississippi State University | $2,870

Principal Investigator: Donna M. Pierce and Angelle Maria Tanner

To conduct a comprehensive study using the Sangre Telescope.

Georgia Institute of Technology | $850

Principal Investigator: James R. Sowell

To upgrade an old Linux computer to a new Lenovo PC.

Middle Tennessee State University | $3,100

Principal Investigator: Charles A. Higgins

For the purchase of one Linux workstation and one 12-terabyte storage disk to aide in the analysis of high resolution Jupiter radio emission data obtained with the Long Wavelength Array (LWA) radio telescope.

University of Michigan-Dearborn | $2,899

Principal Investigator: William Ian Clarkson

For the purchase of a workstation and external disk drive to be used by Astronomy researchers to analyze data from a major multi-year photometric survey of the Southern Galactic Bulge.

University of the Pacific | $1,825

Principal Investigator: Hélène M.L.G. Flohic

For the acquisition of two IDL licenses and a MacBook Pro to reduce and analyze observational data obtained in order to study the details of accretion physics onto supermassive black holes.

Wellesley College | $2,132

Principal Investigator: Kim Katris McLeod

For the purchase of a set of four Sloan Digital Sky Survey filters for the Sawyer 24″ Telescope at Whitin Observatory.

2012

Mississippi State University | $2,116

Principal Investigator: Donna M. Pierce

Purchase an iMac computer with AppleCare protection plan and IDL software package with license to conduct a comprehensive study of the comae of comets that have been observed spectroscopically with an integral-field spectrograph.

Pomona College | $4,960

Principal Investigator: Alma C. Zook

To purchase two custom MgF2 Wollaston prisms and collimating optics for each prism to upgrade the existing polarimeter, to increase the efficiency of the telescope and to allow the camera and filters to be used with the AO system under construction.

University of North Dakota | $3,160

Principal Investigator: Wayne Barkhouse

Purchase a set of CCD filters (UBVRI, H alpha, OIII, and SII), a carousel holder, and a CCD guiding camera for a 20-inch PlaneWave telescope to conduct important astronomical research in areas such as extrasolar planet detection and monitoring, supernovae observations, variable star measurements, and AGN variability studies.

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee | $2,975

Principal Investigator: Steve Croft

To purchase a Mac Pro 3.2 GHz quad-core computer with 16 GB of memory and a mini display port to dual-link DVI adapter to enable analysis of data from the VLA archive and other telescopes.

2011

American Association of Variable Star Observers | $2,820

Principal Investigator: Arne A. Henden

To fund a back-end server and storage system to create a system for use by a membership of 122 amateur astronomers, plus numerous professional astronomers and science educators.

Bradley Observatory Agnes Scott College | $2,390

Principal Investigator: Chris De Pree

To obtain a new Windows-7 PC and two software packages (MAXIM-DL and MIRA Pro) to carry out observations with SARA-N and SARA-S and to reduce the data.

Drake University | $2,536

Principal Investigator: Timothy Urness

For computer hardware to support an interdisciplinary collaboration between the Department of Physics and Astronomy and the Department of Computer Science at Drake University. The Research objective is to utilize and develop scientific visualization techniques to explore the galaxy-black hole connection and its role in the formation and subsequent evolution of galaxies.

Johns Hopkins University | $2,920

Principal Investigator: Guangtun Zhu and Guilin Liu

To obtain a high-performance workstation for the analysis of large datasets produced by the Sloan digital Sky Survey (SDSS) I-III and observations with the Gemini telescope.

2010

Appalachian State University | $3,610

Principal Investigator: Richard Gray

To obtain a large format CCD camera and filters to use with a recently acquired wide-field astrograph to supplement spectroscopic observations with precise photometric observations for the purpose of obtaining a more complete picture of the magnetic activity of the sun.

Bud Cramer Research Hall | $2,696

Principal Investigator: Nazirah N. Jetha

To obtain a computer to act as a database server and data-processing machine for 2 astronomers and 4-5 graduate and undergraduate students, who are working on a multi-wavelength survey on the link between central galactic black hole growth and galaxy mergers.

Dudley Observatory | $2,980

Principal Investigator: Janie Schwab

To obtain telescope time and software for an asteroid light curve project. This project will be carried out by amateur teen and adult astronomers and supervised by professional astronomers in a program called Dudley Astrophotography Research (K)nights, or DARK.

Morehead State University | $1,600

Principal Investigator: Jennifer Birriel

To obtain two LINUX dedicated PC notebooks for the reduction and analysis of extragalactic SNRs as part of a multi-wavelength astrophysical research program at Morehead State University.

San Francisco State University | $2,928

Principal Investigator: Adrienne Cool

To obtain a high-performance computer for current and future observational research on globular clusters.

University of Texas at Arlington | $1,807

Principal Investigator: Manfred Cuntz

To obtain an iMac computer and IDL software which will be used to analyze previously obtained data from the McDonald Observatory concerning planet-induced emission enhancements of the chromosphere (and possibly photosphere) in various target stars with close in giant planets.

2000 - 2009
2000 - 2009

2009

Brigham Young University | $1,549

Principal Investigator: Eric G. Hintz

To purchase one MacBook computer and two external hard drives to aide in the monitoring of High Maxx X-ray Binary (HMXB) systems for optical variability with five telescopes.

Fordham University | $2,000

Principal Investigator: Jon M. Friedrich

For the acquisition of an interactive computer workstation display to assist in the digital isolation and measurement of chondrules from x-ray microtomographic datasets of primitive meteorites (chondrites). The resulting data will be used in astrophysical models of our early solar system to constrain the processes which were prevalent within the protoplanetary disk about 4.5 billion years ago to answer fundamental questions relating to the origins of our solar system.

University of Toledo | $2,925

Principal Investigator: Nancy D. Morrison

For the purchase of a water cooler for the camera used in spectroscopic monitoring of variable stars at Ritter Observatory.

2008

American Association of Variable Star Observers | $1,600

Principal Investigator: Arne A. Henden

To purchase a JHKL set for the multichannel development effort led by Vincent Dovydatis, and to purchase one set of J&H filters for each of the two NIR imaging cameras that will be installed on the AAVSO 24-inch telescopes. The F.A.R. gratefully acknowledges the donation by the Institute for Space Observations of the funds for this grant.

Carthage College | $2,035

Principal Investigator: Douglas N. Arion

To upgrade camera electronics which will allow students to engage in a wider range of observational activities, including multiband photometric observations, spectral classification of cluster members, and further mapping of planetary nebula structure in multiple elements.

University of Alabama in Huntsville | $3,000

Principal Investigator: Lior M. Burko

To purchase a high-end multi-core computer which would make possible the simulation of extreme mass-ratio binaries and the computation of the emitted gravitational waveform.

Vanderbilt University | $3,400

Principal Investigator: Kelly Holley-Bockelmann

To purchase a workstation that will be used for analyzing very large data sets obtained from high resolution numerical simulations aimed at resolving outstanding issues with black hole growth and survival in the Universe.

West Chester University | $3,550

Principal Investigator: Karen Vanlandingham

To purchase an IDL Mini-Lab license (10 seats) from ITT Visual Information Solutions and an additional one-year maintenance agreement that will provide software maintenance, including upgrades, and technical support for two years following the purchase of the license.

2007

Custer Institute and Observatory | $2,888

Principal Investigator: Jeffrey Owen Katz

For the purchase of CCD imaging equipment to support projects, including the search for extrasolar planets, supernova searches, and photometry of sun-like stars.

Furman University, Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute | $1,149

Principal Investigator: David Moffett

For acquisition of a Pulsar Data Acquisition System. The F.A.R. gratefully acknowledges the donation by the Institute for Space Observations of the funds for this grant.

Monterey Institute for Research in Astronomy | $4,850

Principal Investigator: W. Bruce Weaver

For a partial funding for an upgrade to a CCD camera used in the photometric and spectroscopic search for T Tauri stars.

Morehead State University | $1,697

Principal Investigator: Jennifer J. Birriel

To purchase equipment to develop a system capable of photometric and spectroscopic monitoring of a variety of variable stars.

University of Denver | $3,000

Principal Investigator: Jennifer L. Hoffman

To transport the HPOL spectropolarimeter to a new observatory and install it there as part of a larger project to revive this instrument and allow all U.S. astronomers access to the data it collects.

University of Massachusetts Dartmouth | $3,000

Principal Investigator: Gaurav Khanna

Purchase a high-end multicore computer workstation which will be used to simulate the evolution of an astrophysical event that commonly occurs in the nuclei of most galaxies, i.e. the capture of a small star (or black hole) by a super massive black hole. These simulations will generate “waveforms” of gravitational wave patterns that will be of immediate use to the various gravitational wave observatories that are being built all over the world (LIGO, GEO, VIRGO, TAMA, etc.) to be used by several researchers at University of Alabama, MIT and University of Massachusetts, that are part of this collaborative project.

2006

Monterey Institute for Research in Astronomy | $2,975

Principal Investigator: Wm. Bruce Weaver

To acquire a vacuum pump, a portable computer, and a customized script for creating FITS images in support of research using two MIRA CCD to be used for direct imaging and spectroscopy of gravitational lenses, diffuse interstellar bands, T Tauri, stars, Be lines, and comets, among others. The F.A.R. gratefully acknowledges the donation by the Institute for Space Observations of the funds for this grant.

University of Central Florida | $2,998

Principal Investigator: Daniel Britt

To purchase a 20″ Ritchie Chreiten that will be mounted on a Mathis-instrument MI-750 Equatorial Mount to allow external guiding.

University of Hawaii-Manoa | $3,000

Principal Investigator: Nader Haghighipour

For the purchase of two or three 4-CPU dual-node Intel Xeon workstations. The PI will use these computers to build a cluster that will be used for computational studies of planetary dynamics. This facility will be available to approximately 30 scientists, including faculty, postdocs, and graduate and undergraduate students.

University of Tasmania

In addition, in October 2006, the Fund for Astrophysical Research donated a mirror blank to the University of Tasmania, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia. The mirror blank had been donated to the F.A.R. many years ago, when the F.A.R. was an operating foundation. It had been carried on our books at zero book value and had been reported on our 990-PF for 2005 with an estimated fair market value of $20,000. There is no active market in mirror blanks of this kind. The University of Tasmania advised the F.A.R. that it was selling the mirror blank for US$30,000 to the developer of an observatory in Australia and would apply the cash proceeds toward the completion of the Dunham-Waterworth Spectrograph at the University

University of Washington | $3,000

Principal Investigator: Fabio Governato

To assemble a Linux workstation able to visualize in 3D the output of cosmological simulations of galaxy formation to enable students and researchers to easily observe numerical simulations of astrophysical processes.

2005

American Association of Variable Star Observers | $2,971

Principal Investigator: Arne A. Henden

To purchase CCD imagers and filters for distribution to AAVSO observers living in regions of the world with few active CCD observers of variable stars.

Astronomical Research Institute | $3,000

Principal Investigator: Robert E. Holmes, Jr.

For the purchase of an SBIG STL-1001E Research Grade CCD Camera to improve data provided to the Minor Planet Center.

Haverford College | $2,000

Principal Investigator: Fronefield Crawford, III

For the purchase of a single, portable laptop computer to be used as part of a distributed processing cluster which is under development at Haverford College for pulsar research.

Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute | $2,000

Principal Investigator: Ronald Melvin Blake

For purchase of a time/frequency standard and a data reduction computer to conduct various projects at PARI. The F.A.R. gratefully acknowledges the donation by the Institute for Space Observations of the funds for this grant.

2004

College of the Holy Cross | $2,450

Principal Investigator: Tomohiko Narita

To purchase a Linux-based computer system and interactive data language software package to aid in running interactive simulations of their detector and to compare and analyze hardware calibration and simulation results.

Fisk University | $3,000

Principal Investigator: Michael Watson

To purchase computer visualization and data analysis software to allow the analysis of accretion disk dynamics data from a parallel electromagnetic PIC code.

Monterey Institute for Research in Astronomy | $2,979

Principal Investigator: Wm. Bruce Weaver

To purchase a narrowband H-alpha filter and a dual-band continuum filter to be used on the MIRA 0.9m telescope in conjunction with the existing filter wheel and CCD direct-imaging camera to identify and monitor emission stars in star formation regions. The F.A.R. gratefully acknowledges the donation by the Institute for Space Observations of the funds for this grant.

University of Massachusetts | $3,000

Principal Investigator: Houjun Mo

To purchase a 2 processor Opteron PC station to support the data analysis related to the University of Massachusetts research program.

2003

Brigham Young University | $2,500

Principal Investigator: Eric G. Hintz

Towards half the cost of upgrading one of two Apogee Ap8p CCD cameras at Brigham’s campus observatory, to provide a lower operating temperature and better temperature stability. The F.A.R. gratefully acknowledges the donation by the Institute for Space Observations of the funds for this grant.

Carthage College | $3,000

Principal Investigator: Douglas N. Arion

Toward the upgrade of the Santa Barbara Instruments Group ST-7E CCD Camera to ST-8EX capability for the purpose of development and implementation of a research program at the College.

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University | $2,954

Principal Investigator: Nick Devereux

Towards the purchase of a high speed photometer for the new research astronomical observatory.

Herzberg Institute for Astrophysics | $3,000

Principal Investigator: Steven Bickerton

Towards the purchase of two CCD detectors and associated electronics and optics for construction of two high-speed imaging cameras which will be installed on the 48 inch and 72 inch telescopes at the Dominion Astrophysical Observatories in Victoria, British Columbia.

Nantucket Maria Mitchell Association | $3,000

Principal Investigator: Vladimir Streinitski

Towards the purchase of a modern Sun workstation for astronomical research at Maria Mitchell Observatory.

2002

Appalachian State University | $1,720

Principal Investigator: Daniel B. Caton

To purchase Berg parts to replace gear reducers with zero-backlash belts, Ash Dome encoder mount DD100A, encoder, cables and connectors, and spare Galil motor driver chips to allow more reliable telescope operation and automatic dome rotation.

Appalachian State University | $2,025

Principal Investigator: Richard O. Gray and Kelly Kluttz

To purchase a grism to act as a cross-disperser, to be useful in the analysis and diagnosis of shell spectra. The F.A.R. gratefully acknowledges the donation by the Institute for Space Observations of the funds for this grant.

Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute | $2,510

Principal Investigator: Michael Castelaz

To purchase a directional coupler, a noise generator, a programmable attenuator, six temperature probes and a LabJack digital controller to make co-temporal radio optical observations in order to measure phase differences in the optical and radio flare periodicity.

Talladega College | $2,432

Principal Investigator: Eric Richards

To purchase a LINUX workstation to perform a multi-wavelength study of radio-selected sources.

University of Florida | $1,134

Principal Investigator: John P. Oliver and Richard A. Kowalski

To purchase one Home-Dome Robo-focuser and hand paddle, MaxIm DL/CCD camera, filter wheel, and focus control software, and wireless bridges and antennas to link networking between the two domes to improve the ability to gather data and make existing telescope a valuable tool for NEO astrometry and photometry as well as four-color variable star photometry.

University of Texas at Austin | $1,990

Principal Investigator: Rica Sirbaugh French

Toward purchase of a Sun workstation with necessary peripherals and upgrades for the project entitled “Investigating the Width of the Main Sequence in Open Clusters”.

2001

Appalachian State University | $2,056

Principal Investigator: Daniel B. Caton

To upgrade an existing 18-inch telescope at the Dark Sky Observatory to allow more reliable tracking and guiding. This upgrade will allow current CCD photometry programs to reach fainter targets and improve observing efficiency with the spectrograph.

Brigham Young University | $1,909

Principal Investigator: Eric G. Hintz

To purchase a Finger Lakes CFW-1 filter wheel and two 50 mm diameter Johnson filters. The filter wheel will improve automation of the campus observatory by moving control of filter changes out of the dome and into the warm room.

College of Charleston | $3,000

Principal Investigator: James E. Neff

To purchase a filter wheel and filters for the 16″ DFM telescope. The filter wheel will maximize the scientific productivity of this instrument and allow it as a node in coordinated, multi-site observing programs.

Johns Hopkins University | $2,133

Principal Investigator: Edward Colbert

To purchase a 40/80 GB DLT1 tape backup unit for existing computers to backup archival data that come from the Chandra X-ray telescope.

Morehead State University | $1,983

Principal Investigator: Jennifer Birriel

To purchase a computer which will be loaded with LINUX and IRAF for LINUX, enabling the development of a multi-wave length observational research program.

San Francisco State University | $2,798

Principal Investigator: Adrienne M. Cool

To purchase a new computer and disk drive to be used for observational research into the dynamics of globular clusters, including the study of binary stars and internal motions of stars within clusters with the goal to constrain theoretical models of cluster dynamics. The F.A.R. gratefully acknowledges the donation by the Institute for Space Observations of the funds for this grant.

University of Toledo | $2,160

Principal Investigator: Nancy D. Morrison

To support spectroscopic monitoring of selected luminous blue variable stars at Ritter Observatory through the purchase of a 12 months’ supply of liquid nitrogen to cool the CCD detector of the low-dispersion spectrograph.

2000

American Association of Variable Star Observers | $2,500

Principal Investigator: Janet A. Mattei

To publish all of the AAVSO variable star finder charts on a compact disk (CD). This CD will act as a second version of AAVSO charts available on CD and will extend the publication to include new and revised charts, as well as additional special AAVSO observing program charts not included in the first version. Charts represented on the updated CD will enable variable star observers, comprised of both amateur and professional astronomers, worldwide to obtain immediate access to all AAVSO charts.

Appalachian State University | $3,275

Principal Investigator: Daniel B. Caton

To purchase a 24-inch Beyers precision worm/wheel gear and bearing assembly for an 18-inch telescope at Dark Sky Observatory. These monies will complement and support funds provided by the Appalachian State University, the National Science Foundation and the American Astronomical Society in upgrading the telescope to allow more reliable tracking and guiding.

Big Bear Solar Observatory, New Jersey Institute of Technology | $2,457

Principal Investigator: John R. Varsik

To purchase external discs for the Internet server which will provide data storage space for daily data and images, space weather forecasts and solar activity warnings. These daily data are available to all Internet visitors and support NASA space missions as well as remote astronomers.

Monterey Institute for Research in Astronomy | $2,983

Principal Investigator: Wm. Bruce Weaver

To purchase site licenses for five copies of MIRA Pro software to assist in the reduction of data obtained with new instrumentation of the 36-inch telescope at the Oliver Observing Station. Initial research to be supported includes monitoring of light variations in a number of gravitational lenses, photometry and spectrophotometry of pre-main-sequence stars in the Sigma Orionis cluster discovered at MIRA, and the application of artificial neural networks to the automatic classification of binary stars.

Planetary Science Institute | $1,960

Principal Investigator: Carol L. Nessee

To upgrade a semi-automated telescope and CCD system telescope system for use in a comet discovery program. The upgrade will include a small weatherproof enclosure, electric focuser, zip drive for data transfer, new telescope automation software, a filter wheel and filters for detection of cometary emission . Initially, this upgrade will support a search for Kreutz sungrazer comets before they reach perihelion.

Rochester Institute of Technology | $2,502

Principal Investigator: Elliott Horch

To purchase a Linux computer and three matched DVD-RAM drives to serve as a new data archiving and reduction system for speckle observations of binary stars at the Wisconsin-Indiana-Yale-NOAO (WIYN) 3.5-m Telescope at Kitt Peak, Arizona. The F.A.R. gratefully acknowledges the donation by the Institute for Space Observations of the funds for this grant.

White Dwarf Research Corporation | $2,812

Principal Investigator: Donald E. Winget

To purchase four 600 MHz Pentium III computers. This hardware will provide a 40 percent increase in speed, thereby supporting the computer time needed for computation of genetic algorithms, as well as allow for future additions and upgrades.

 

1990 - 1999
1990 - 1999

1999

Columbia University | $2,600

Principal Investigator: Arlin P.S. Crotts

To purchase 100 Gb of disk to enable the efficient processing of data for the Columbia/VATT survey.

Georgia Tech Research Corporation | $1,900

Principal Investigator: James R. Sowell

To update from a Sun Sparc 5 computer to a Sun Ultra 5

Northern Arizona University | $3,000

Principal Investigator: Kathleen DeGioia Eastwood

Toward the purchase of an amplifier and camera, two components of an autoguider, which would maximize the potential of the telescope-instrument combination of a 31-inch telescope at Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Southwest Research Institute | $1,600

Principal Investigator: Daniel D. Durda

For the purchase of a combined GPS receiver and video titler unit in order to add a crucial post-mission data analysis capability to their SwRI- and NASA-funded Airborne Occultation Demonstration Project.

Stephen F. Austin State University | $2,439

Principal Investigator: Dan Bruton

To purchase a MIRA AP 5.0 Academic Site License, a MaxIm DL/CCD Image Processing Software and Research Grade UBVRI Filters for Photometry to achieve the goals of acquiring CCD images using standard ultraviolet, blue, visual, red and infrared filters, improving the accuracy of our position and brightness determinations of minor planets, and performing efficient analysis of hundreds of images obtained and analysis of images to come.

University of California, Irvine | $2,052

Principal Investigator: Tammy A. Smecker-Hane

To upgrade three DEC Alphastations to yield one with 512 Mb RAM and two with 256 ram to facilitate data analysis. The F.A.R. gratefully acknowledges the donation by the Institute for Space Observations of the funds for this grant.

University of Nebraska at Kearney | $1,363

Principal Investigator: Jos

For the purchase of a copy of the full version of the Interactive Data Language (IDL), a CD re-writeable drive and a copy of TeX/LaTeX to support research to study the Wilson-Bappu effect for the Mg II k line with archival ultraviolet spectra from the Hubble Space Telescope.

1998

American Association of Variable Star Observers | $2,500

Principal Investigator: Janet A. Mattei

For the purchase of a computer dedicated to running a WWW and FTP server, as well as host the AAVSO web and FTP sites in a manner to allow more efficient and faster distribution of astronomical and educational variable star data to the scientific community.

Appalachian State University | $2,445

Principal Investigator: Richard O. Gray

for the purchase of three Strömgren CCD uvby filters to be used to discover and analyze faint stars of astrophysical interest — per-main-sequence A-type stars, supergiant A, F and G-type stars, and subdwarf O and B-type stars.

Florida Institute of Technology | $1,171

Principal Investigator: Frederick A. Ringwald

For the purchase of an HP LaserJet 6MP printer and three toner cartridges. This printer will assist all in the research department in the support of a project carrying out an observational search of a new fundamental class of astronomical objects, Thorne-Zytkow object. The F.A.R. gratefully acknowledges the donation by the Institute for Space Observations of the funds for this grant.

Florida International University | $2,240

Principal Investigator: Walter V. Van Hamme

for the purchase of a set of three Strömgren filters to be used with the CCD camera at the Southeastern Association for Research in Astronomy (SARA) for the purpose of expanding SARA’s photometric capabilities. The filter set will be permanently available to all SARA users.

Long Island University, Brooklyn Campus | $2,490

Principal Investigator: M. Chantale Damas

For the purchase of a complete computer system, including Linux, for the purpose of performing research involving spatial distributions of supernovae in galaxies.

The Citadel | $2,000

Principal Investigator: Saul J. Adelman

for the purchase of Strömgren filters with the Vatican Observatory Group in order to place observations from both observatories on the Strömvil system to characterize the properties of cluster stars — temperature, gravity, metal-richness and whether they are single or binary. For educational purposes, the best of the cluster images will be combined into true color images and a WWW page in English and Spanish will be created.

University of Victoria, Canada | $2,500

Principal Investigator: Geraint F. Lewis

For the purchase of a computer workstation on which high resolution simulations of the destruction of the Sagittarius Dwarf Galaxy will be undertaken and from which information will be obtained on the powerful constaints on the dark matter content and distribution within the Sagittarius Dwarf.

1997

Appalachian State University | $1,639

Principal Investigator: Daniel B. Canton

To purchase electromechanical components for the enhancement of the filter system on the CCD used on the 32-inch telescope at the Dark Sky Observatory. This equipment will allow for new photometric programs, more efficient use of the telescope and greater observer safety.

McMaster University | $2,000

Principal Investigator: J. J. Kavelaars

For the purchase of a 21″ display terminal to be used in program searching for objects in the Kuiper belt. The goal of the proposed investigation is to better constrain the size distribution of material in the Kuiper belt and thus constrain theories of planet and solar system formation.

Observatories of the Carnegie Institution of Washington | $1,600

Principal Investigator: Randy L. Phelps

For the purchase of IDL (Interactive Data Language) software from Research Systems Incorporated. The software is an essential component in the analyzation of data obtained as part of a research project undertaken in collaboration with the University of Florida and the University of Massachusetts to address several fundamental questions regarding star formation in clusters. The F.A.R. gratefully acknowledges the donation by the Institute for Space Observations of the funds for this grant.

Rochester Institute of Technology | $2,500

Principal Investigator: Noran Zinkov

For the purchase of a dedicated, Pentium-based PC to serve as the data acquisition computer for speckle interferometry observations of binary stars from the Wisconsin-Indiana-Yale-NOAO (WIYN) 3.5-m telescope at Kitt Peak, Arizona. High-precision position angle and separation measures derive from these data would then be used in precise orbit determinations of binaries.

University of Colorado, Boulder | $2,400

Principal Investigator: David Devine

For the purchase of memory upgrades for a MacIntosh Quandra 849AV and 7500/100 computers to process images obtained at the Kitt Peak National Observatory using the new MOSAID detector, for analysis and publication. These upgrades will provide data necessary for detailed modeling of the outflows driven by young stars in nearby star forming regions and their impact on the surrounding medium.

University of Toledo | $2,004

Principal Investigator: Nancy D. Morrison

For the purchase of a removable-cartridge hard drive for a data-acquisition computer and a dedicated hard drive for a data-reduction computer. This equipment will support spectroscopic monitoring of variable stars at Ritter Observatory, including the University’s program on Ha in Herbig Ae/Be stars. The study of variability in the spectroscopic signatures of winds and of accreting gas will attempt to lead to better understanding of circumstellar disks in pre-main-sequence stars.

University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire | $2,300

Principal Investigator: Lyle Ford

For the purchase of photometric filters and IDL Software (Interactive Data Language) from Research Systems, Inc. to be used in a study to enhance understanding of the Koronis family of asteroids and the entire asteroid belt. The software and equipment will aid students in analyzation of acquired data and provide valuable experience with IDL software.

Western Kentucky University | $2,500

Principal Investigator: Phillip E. Meyers

To purchase a Pentium PC to be converted to a Linux Box to run IRAF for the purpose of enhancing existing computing facilities used in the study of variability of Blazers. In addition, this equipment will allow the University to expand research efforts and provide additional astronomers access to the data and reduction software.

1996

J. Dyer Observatory at Vanderbilt University | $2,500

Principal Investigator: Douglas S. Hall

Toward the purchase of a low-end SUN workstation to be used for the management and operation of a 16-inch automated photoelectric telescope (APT). The SUN workstation will ultimately facilitate analysis of real-time and post-processing data sets for the development of a 30-inch APT for use by various teams of research-active astronomers.

Agnes Scott College | $2,410

Principal Investigator: Christopher G. De Pree

For the purchase of a 220 MHz class Pentium computer that will be used to increase the computing resources for the observation, recordation and analysis of a large number of sources and/or a single source of various Galactic star forming regions in order to locate objects at different evolutionary stages which need to be linked into an evolutionary model.

Carnegie Observatories | $1,200

Principal Investigator: Carme Gallart

For the purchase of a 4 Gb external hard drive to be used for the study of the stellar populations in the four dwarf elliptical Andromeda Galaxy companions, with the aim of solving a long-lasting question about the distribution of stellar ages in these galaxies. The study will, in addition, provide definitive constraints on the age of the Andromeda Galaxy stars and will clarify the nature of the luminous asymptotic giant branch stars.

McLennan Labs of the University of Toronto | $2,250

Principal Investigator: Chigurupati Murali

For the purchase of a tape drive for online and archival storage of data from a study of satellite remnants in order to establish a theoretical basis for interpreting observations of a substructure in the Galactic halo. The proposed investigation will involve numerical calculations and will benefit from the acquisition of additional digital storage media.

San Diego State University | $1,925

Principal Investigator: Grant J. Miller

For the purchase of a large capacity (9 Gb) external hard drive for use in connection with a Sun Sparc20 image processing system for the support of a comprehensive survey of ring nebulae around Galactic Wolf-Rayet stars. Images will be obtained of all Galactic Wolf-Rayet stars visible from the Mount Laguna Observatory 1-meter reflector. Observations of standard stars will be included for the purpose of flux calibration.

University of Central Florida | $2,500

Principal Investigator: Nadine G. Barlow

Toward the purchase of a 1534 X 1020 pixel array charge coupled device (CCD) camera to be used in conjunction with an 0.66-meter (26 inch) Schmidt-Cassegrain reflecting telescope for long-term ongoing research programs for both planetary and stellar observations. The Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope will, in addition, be available to astronomers at the University of Arizona for the study of asteroid and planetary occultations.

University of Washington | $2,500

Principal Investigator: Vikram V. Dwarkadas

For the purchase of a 9 Gb disk drive to store the voluminous output that is generated by high-resolution hydrodymanic numerical simulations, as well as the myriad observations with which they will be compared. The high-resolution simulations will also aid in the study and observation of planetary nebulae which have revealed previously unresolved intricate small-scale structures.

1995

Appalachian State University | $820

Principal Investigator: Daniel B. Caton

For the acquisition of filters for an optical filter system that will permit an existing CCD camera to be used for astronomical photometry of eclipsing binaries and quasars. The CCD/filter system will allow high-quality standard differential photometry to faint limits, unobtainable with photo multiplier tube photometry, especially on nights of less than ideal transparency. The project is intended to extent the abilities of the most advanced telescope in the southeast U.S. and will support the type of monitoring programs that can operate most efficiently at university observatories.

Braeside Observatory | $1,000

Principal Investigator: Robert E. Fried

For the purchase of CCD image reduction software to be used in conjunction with its ongoing program, supported by a National Science Foundation grant, to study the relationship between mass transfer, binary evolution and the structure of accretion disks in cataclysmic variable stars.

Columbia University | $2,450

Principal Investigator: Carole A. Haswell

For the purchase of a CCD camera for the 45 cm cassegrain reflector at the Isle of Thorns, to extend the capabilities of the Center for Basement Astrophysics Network in multi-longitude studies of variable stars. The five-hour time difference between Britain and Maryland will improve the sampling of light curves and hence the accuracy with which periods may be determined.

Planetary Science Institute | $1,293

Principal Investigator: Frederick A. Ringwald

For the purchase of a Digital Audio Tape reader to be used in the programs of the Planetary Science Institute.

Sweetbriar College | $2,500

Principal Investigator: Scott D. Hyman

For the upgrade of RAM and hard disk space on a DEC Alpha Station 200 used in a research program for high-resolution radio continuum mappage of three nearby spiral galaxies at 6 cm and 20 cm wavelengths, identify and analyze HII regions, super novae and super nova remnants within these galaxies, analyze the nuclei and large-scale properties of these galaxies, and use these results to improve understanding of the evolution of stars and galaxies.

University of Chicago | $2,500

Principal Investigator: Walter J. Wild

For the purchase of a CCD camera to be used with the Wave Front Control Experiment adaptive optics system at the Yerkes Observatory 41-inch telescope for ongoing research in adaptive optics performance and selected astronomical observations amenable to using the WCE. Knowledge gathered from use of the WCE is expected to be used in developing better wave front reconstructors intended to benefit the entire adaptive optics community and hence high-resolution astronomical imaging in general.

University of Georgia Research Foundation, Inc. | $2,400

Principal Investigator: J. Scott Shaw

To automate the dome of the Observatory at Kitt Peak, Arizona of the Southeast Association for Research in Astronomy, a consortium of five universities, thus completing the entire automation of the Observatory and increasing telescope availability to the astronomers and graduate students of the SARA institutions.

Yerkes Observatory of the University of Chicago | $2,127

Principal Investigator: Stephen R. Platt

For the purchase of a Macintosh computer that will be used for the front end of a control system for the control of a new 2 m telescope at the South Pole, to be operated by the COBRA group, part of the Center for Astrophysical Research in Antarctica, to map degree-scale anisotropies in the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation, extending their studies to smaller, angular scales and providing a year-round platform for other millimeter and sub-millimeter projects that take advantage of the unique Polar observing conditions.

1994

Ball State University | $1,575

Principal Investigator: Thomas H. Robertson

For the purchase of three two-inch square intermediate-band interference filters for use in the establishment of the limitations of using Charge-Coupled Device (CCD) photometry to distinguish between red giant and dwarf stars and to establish the luminosity classes of such stars detected on objective-prism surveys. The information gathered during this process will be used to design large-scale semiautomated photometric CCD surveys for red dwarf stars in the vicinity of the sun in the Milky Way Galaxy. These stars may contribute a substantial fraction of the dark matter which has been found to exist in many galaxies.

Braeside Observatory | $2,500

Principal Investigator: Robert E. Fried

For the funding of computer time expenses in conjunction with a current National Science Foundation grant (AST-9218002) awarded to Dr. Fried and two professional astronomers as Co-PI’s, for the study of selected cataclysmic variable stars. The scientific goals of this National Science Foundation grant are to study the relationship between mass transfer, binary evolution and the structure of accretion disks.

David B. Shaffer | $303

For the purchase of an Almagest computer software program. This software reads the Space Telescope Digitized Sky Survey CD ROMs. It will be used in the preparation of finding charts for optical observing programs and in the identification of radio sources. An observing program to monitor variability of the brightest optical quasars will benefit from CD ROM finding charts. These observations will help elucidate the power source in quasars. Radio source identification should add to the number of known superluminal objects which are studied for their cosmological implications.

Swarthmore College | $2,500

Principal Investigator: John E. Gaustad

For the purchase of an automated filter wheel to be used in the conduction wide-angle CCD imaging studies of the sky, especially at 656 nm wavelengths. Wide-angle images to faint intensity levels will provide detailed information on the structure of the ionized components of the interstellar medium. This information is necessary for understanding the dynamics of the interstellar gas. In addition, more accurate measurement of the emission at optical wavelengths will allow better modeling of the Galactic emission at microwave lengths.

University of Montreal | $1,200

Principal Investigator: Grant M. Hill

For the purchase of two narrow-band Hß filters for use in the Observatoire du Mont Mégantic polarimeter. This will allow the polarimeter to conduct a survey, searching for magnetic fields in O-type stars, to study how magnetic fields alter and control the winds and circumstellar environments of Bp stars, and to study how the magnetic fields of Ap stars affect the surface distribution of elements.

University of Southern Maine | $1,800

Principal Investigator: Gerald J. LaSala, Jr.

For the purchase of a hard disk and software for a computer workstation. This equipment will be used to advance research programs in the analysis of ultraviolet images of stars and galaxies and in automated classification of stellar spectra. These lines of research contribute to the understanding of unusual astronomical objects and to our ability to handle and analyze data from modern detectors.

University of Victoria | $1,000

Principal Investigator: Jeremy B. Tatum

For the purchase of film to be used in conjunction with a 10-inch photographic Schmidt telescope for the establishment of photographic archives for “precovery” (i.e., when a new object is discovered, the preliminary orbit can be calculated backwards in time and the archives can be searched for previously-unrecognized images of the new object). The resulting exposures will be in the ecliptic and would contain asteroid images (down to magnitude 16) and will result in the production of approximately 2,000 published asteroidal positions of permanent and archival value.

University of Wisconsin Oshkosh | $2,499

Principal Investigator: Michael M. Briley

For the purchase of a magneto-optical disk drive for use as a mass storage device during the image-reduction stages of research. The space required to store modern astronomical images has far outstripped conventional media solutions, especially when multiple data sets are required to be simultaneously at hand. With a magneto-optical device, it will be possible to switch projects with only a momentary interruption. The long delays for tape archiving and retrieval, as well as the need for future expansion of hard disk space, will be eliminated.

1993

Los Angeles Harbor College | $105

Principal Investigator: Steven L. Morris

For the purchase of a Fortran compiler for a Macintosh Classic computer. The compiler will be used to create a version of the Wilson-Devinney computer program. The Wilson-Devinney program is used extensively to model the light curves of eclipsing binary stars. The compiled version will be made available to other binary star researchers and will be used for research on the RZ Tauri and V1073 Cygni stars.

Rochester Institute of Technology | $1,761

Principal Investigator: Zoran Ninkov

For the purchase of a set of five one inch diameter glass filters in order to facilitate the use of the Bessell formulation and correspond approximately to the original U, B, V, R and I Johnson defined filters. These filters would be used in a program of multi-color photometry of the cores of OB associations in order to determine the low end (special types later than B) mass function in these regions.

Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory | $2,200

Principal Investigator: Robert W. Noyes

For the construction of a Direct Fiber Feed (DFF) to bring light from the focal plane of the 60-inch telescope at the Center’s Mt. Hopkins Whipple Observatory to the Center’s Advanced Fiber Optic Echelle. This will substantially increase the efficiency of the instrument for high velocity precision research projects such as detection of low mass stellar companions and extra-solar planetary systems.

Stanford University | $2,000

Principal Investigator: Jane Luu

For the purchase of a 2-Gbyte hard disk memory to improve the efficiency of a computer used to reduce data from the observation of trans-Neptunian objects near the detection limit of conventional telescopes (22-24 mag). The reduction and search for these trans-Neptunian objects is essential in identifying new objects for subsequent physical studies of our outer solar system.

Stephen F. Austin State University | $2,000

Principal Investigator: Randy L. Schutt

For the purchase of a 486 class microcomputer to be used for reducing and analyzing CCD data. Research would include observation of d Scuti stars in clusters of various ages to study possible aging effects in the observed pulsation to determine the possibility that evolutionary changes in d Scuti stars may be measured through changes in their pulsations. The microcomputer will also be used to build a database from which possible astero seismological studies could be done.

Union College | $2,500

Principal Investigator: Andrew D. Vanture

For the purchase of an exabyte tapedrive for a Sparc 1+ workstation used by faculty and students to conduct research. The research focuses on understanding the abundance patterns of elements heavier than iron. An analysis of these abundance patterns is useful in the study of the chemical evolution of our galaxy.

University of Kansas Center for Research, Inc. | $1,500

Principal Investigator: Keith M. Ashman

For the purchase of an X-term graphics terminal for data reduction and analysis. The data will constitute the observational side of a project to determine the understanding of galaxy formation and the origin of the differences between spiral and elliptical galaxies. Specifically, the Center will test the hypothesis that ellipticals are formed by the merger of spirals. This possibility has been debated for decades, but until recently no definitive tests of the hypothesis were possible.

University of Nevada, Las Vegas | $1,225

Principal Investigator: Donna E. Weistrop

For the purchase of a 1.2 gigabyte hard disk to supplement storage capacity on two Sun workstations. This storage will be used to support an ongoing program to investigate the nature of galaxies in the Bootes void. Early results have demonstrated that the galaxies observed in the void do not have the characteristics predicted for galaxies in low density environments.

Yale University | $2,500

Principal Investigator: Christopher N. Sabbey

For the purchase of an IDL software package (Interactive Data Analysis Language). Research will include a program for the interferometric measurement of binary stars to improve our knowledge of the mass-luminosity relationship, a study of systematic errors involved in measuring radial and pulsational velocities of Cepheid variable stars with the aim of improving the calibration of the Cepheid period-luminosity relation and a study of high-resolution infrared spectra for a set of standard stars to provide the means for determining accurate absolute effective temperatures.

1992

American Association of Variable Star Observers | $2,400

Principal Investigator: Janet A. Mattei

For purchase of a 1.2-Gigabyte SCSI hard disk and interface controller card(s) for the AAVSO computer system, in order to expand the data management and data storage and merge the 2 million variable star observations from 1911 to 1961 with the existing computer-readable database of 4.5 million observations from 1961 to date. The AAVSO will then be able to provide the astronomical community with the largest and the longest-in-duration database of variable stars in the world.

Lowell Observatory | $889

Principal Investigator: Nathaniel M. White

For the purchase of optical ray-tracing software for general use in support of the Lowell Observatory’s instrumental development and maintenance program. Ray-tracing software will provide fast, accurate solutions to problems they now address with approximate hand calculations. This software enables the user to experiment with ideas that would be too time consuming to investigate with a hand calculator and approximate formulae.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Physics Department | $2,200

Principal Investigator: Paul L. Schechter

For the purchase of a pair of stepper motors for use in the Wisconsin Echelle Spectrograph which is soon to be shipped to Arizona for use on the Hiltner 2.4-meter telescope of the Michigan-Dartmouth-MIT Observatory. The equipment will modernize the existing hand-operated cranks for positioning the echelle and cross disperser gratings and will allow these gratings to be moved without having to physically handle the spectrograph as required under the present configuration.

Monterey Institute for Research in Astronomy | $2,500

Principal Investigator: Ana V. Torres Dodgen

For the purchase of an 80486-based computer to replace their more than ten-year-old IBM PC XT. Research consists first of developing a near-infrared classification system for O-M stars of all luminosity classes (Torres-Dodgen and Weaver, 1992, publication submitted to the Astronomical Journal). They hope this system will contribute to improve the determination of the luminosity function, as more spectral types will be available for faint cool stars and for heavily reddened OB stars. Also, the ratio of blue to red supergiants will be better known.

Swarthmore College, Department of Physics and Astronomy | $2,500

Principal Investigator: John E. Gaustad

For the purchase of narrow-band interference filters to be used in conducting a CCD imaging survey of the sky at 656 nm wavelength, the Ha emission line of hydrogen. An Ha survey will provide detailed information on the structure of the diffuse, warm, ionized component of the interstellar medium, information necessary for understanding the dynamics of the interstellar gas. In addition, more accurate measurement of the emission at optical wavelengths will allow better modeling of the Galactic emission at measurements made by the COBE satellite to obtain the true cosmic background.

Union College, Department of Physics | $1,074

Principal Investigator: Kathryn N. Mead

For the purchase of memory for a computer used to reduce data from a CO survey of the outer Galaxy. This is the most sensitive, highest spatial resolution, best coverage survey to date, and thus will include the smallest, coolest clouds ever studied in this context. Populations of clouds in arm and interarm regions will be identified and analyzed, as will the associated star formation activity.

University of North Carolina – Charlotte | $1,600

Principal Investigator: Thomas M. Corwin

For a set of filters and a dome flat projection system for use with the 32-inch telescope of the Three College Observatory (TCO) located near Burlington, North Carolina. In a collaborative effort involving the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and Pembroke State University, the equipment is to be used in photometric studies of variable stars in globular and open clusters. CCD images will be obtained and reduced to determine light curves and colors.

University of Wyoming | $1,735

Principal Investigator: Harley A. Thronson, Jr.

For purchase of a laser printer for their Sun workstation dedicated to reduction and analysis of images of galaxies. The printer will be used to produce publication quality graphs, plots and gray-scale pictures of the studied galaxies. The laser printer is an essential tool in the process of sharing astronomical observations with the public and the scientific community. The workstation and laser printer support the research of several graduate and undergraduate astronomy students as well as two faculty members. The images are obtained at wavelengths throughout the visual, infrared, and x-ray regions and are reduced using the Image Reduction and Analysis Facility (IRAF) and SAOimage.

1991

Braeside Observatory | $1,229

Principal Investigator: Robert E. Fried

To purchase a Local Area Network (LAN), Ethernet cards and related software for the Braeside Observatory, since current high-speed use and anticipated CCD usage cannot adequately be handled by their existing serial lines. For more than a decade, Braeside has provided tens of thousands of photometric data points to dozens of astronomers, resulting in more than thirty co-authored papers. Installation of this equipment and software will substantially add to Braeside’s capabilities in these collaborative programs.

Rochester Institute of Technology, Center for Imaging Science | $2,400

Principal Investigator: Zoran Ninkov

To purchase a commercial field acquisition/guide CCD camera for the guide telescope of the Mees Observatory that will be used by astronomers at the Rochester Institute of Technology, SUNY Geneseo and the University of Rochester to study OB Star Multiple Systems.

Stephen F. Austin State University, Department of Physics and Astronomy | $2,258

Principal Investigator: Randy L. Schutt

To purchase three sets of Stromgren Filters, for use in a three-channel photometer, which will be used with the SFA Observatory’s 1.0 meter telescope. Current research projects, which will utilize the photometer and filters, include photometry of close binaries and cataclysmic variables, and lunar occultations. The Observatory also intends to initiate a long-term observing project of d Scuti stars, a class of rapid pulsational variables.

University of New Mexico, Department of Physics and Astronomy | $2,145

Principal Investigator: Michael Zeilik

To upgrade the current complement of computers by the purchase of a CD-ROM drive and a large-capacity hard disk, which will allow faculty members and graduate and undergraduate students access to large astronomical databases.

Wyoming Infrared Observatory | $2,060

Principal Investigator: Ron Canterna

To purchase a Digital Audio Tape (DAT) drive (which will be installed in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Wyoming), to transport and reduce data from the optical CCD camera system in operation at the Wyoming Infrared Observatory. Several research projects are supported by this camera system, and the addition of the DAT drive will enhance its use by research scientists and graduate students working independently and in collaboration with Michigan State University, whose scientists built the camera.

1990

NF/Observatory | $600

Principal Investigator: A.W. Neely

To purchase a standard BVRI filter set for the new CCD camera, using a Ford-JPL 1024×1024 chip, to be installed on the NF/Observatory’s 45 cm telescope. The filter set is needed to obtain photometric data on extragalactic supernova to supplement studies at Kitt Peak where telescope time for detailed supernova light curves has been limited. The telescope’s automated operation would allow data collection for a number of projects. Photometric data will also be obtained on clusters.

University of Michigan | $1,900

Principal Investigator: James Schombert

To acquire a special set of Johnson BVRI filters for Michigan-Dartmouth-M.I.T. (MDM) Observatory to study interacting and binary galaxies. MDM Observatory is a consortium of three universities that operate a 1.3 meter (McGraw-Hill) telescope and a 2.4 meter (Hiltner) telescope at Kitt Peak Mountain near Tucson, Arizona. This faculty supports over 60 astronomers and graduate students in optical studies ranging from planetary science to observational cosmology.

University of Minnesota | $2,200

Principal Investigator: Charles E. Woodward

To purchase a high quality grating, interference filters, and a f/7 dewar lens/window for a facility near-IR cooled grating spectrometer being implemented as part of an effort to substantially enhance the spectroscopic capabilities of the Wyoming Infrared Observatory (WIRO), the Mt. Lemmon (MTL), and the O’Brien (UMO) Observatories. The instrument was to be utilized as part of a plan to survey/monitor old and recent nova shells for the presence and evolution of “coronal line emission.” These infrared spectroscopic observations were expected to provide fundamental new information on the formation and development of dust in the novae ejecta. Furthermore, abundance information provided by the infrared coronal emissions may provide evidence that some novae are capable of condensing grains containing chemical abundance anomalies similar to those found in solar system meteorite inclusions.

University of Missouri-Columbia | $2,688

Principal Investigator: Charles J. Peterson and Henry W. White

To support the implementation of a dedicated, astronomical image-processing workstation that will complement a recently acquired research grade CCD camera to be mounted on a 0.4 meter instrument at Baker Observatory in southern Missouri. The workstation will be used to host the Image Reduction and Analysis Facility (IRAF) software package for the purpose of data reduction in connection with photometric studies of nearby bright galaxies and open star clusters.

University of Montana | $1,845

Principal Investigator: David B. Friend

To purchase a photoelectric photometer for the University of Montana’s Blue Mountain Observatory. The Observatory’s old photometer is obsolete, and the purchase of a new photometer is a first step in a plan to turn the facility into a research-class observatory to be used by astronomers and students throughout the state of Montana.

University of Texas | $2,000

Principal Investigator: R.E. Nather

To purchase two specially designed intermediate-band filters for use in broad-band CCD photometry to conduct a magnitude-limited survey for cool white dwarf stars for the purpose of materially improving the definition of the white dwarf luminosity function–the number of white dwarfs found at differing surface temperatures–which is a record of past star formation in our galaxy and provides a means of independently determining our galaxy’s age. The goal is the discovery of many more cool white dwarfs, whose distribution will provide crucial information about the age of the galactic disk and ultimately the galactic halo. A self-consistent measure of the disk and halo ages of our galaxy will provide strict constraints on theories of galaxy formation and evolution.

 

1986 - 1989
1986 - 1989

1989

Corralitos Observatory | $2,190

Principal Investigator: Elaine M. Halbedel

For the purchase of a solid-state photometer and computer interface for its 0.4-meter telescope. This telescope was being put into operation and was to join the 0.6-meter telescope of the Observatory in long-term monitoring projects primarily connected with emission B and other peculiar stars, both by resident and visiting observers. The monitoring of Be stars is particularly of interest due to the complexity of light variations that these stars undergo as well as the multiplicity of explanations suggested by such behavior.

Observatories of the Carnegie Institution of Washington | $1,950

Principal Investigator: Mario Mateo

To purchase a disk drive for use in reducing data from a large-scale CCD imaging program to search for eclipsing variable stars in globular clusters. A firm knowledge of the binary frequency in these stellar systems is important in understanding their dynamical and chemical evolution in detail, as well as to constrain models explaining the existence of a variety of unusual stars – in particular, blue stragglers – that are found in a number of clusters.

University of Wyoming | $2,200

Principal Investigator: G.R. Ayers

For the construction of a small support structure to mount a state of the art, near-infrared (1-2.5µm) two-dimensional array detector at the Cassegrain focus of the Wyoming Infrared Observatory’s 2.3 meter infrared telescope. Such an arrangement would allow powerful speckle interferometric imaging techniques to systematically produce high spatial resolution (< 100 milli-arcseconds per pixel), two dimensional images. Additionally, the system is to be used in a unique experiment, simultaneously imaging with high spatial resolution at both optical (using the speckle camera of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics) and near-infrared wavelengths.

1988

Braeside Observatory | $1,300

Principal Investigator: Robert E. Fried

To purchase an XT 10 MHz microcomputer and related equipment, to be used exclusively for programming current and ongoing research. Via its 0.4 meter Cegrain telescope, Braeside Observatory provides photometric data to professional astronomers, unable to obtain time at major observatories and/or unable to observe objects requiring long-term or continuous monitoring. Following the Cassegrain’s conversion to microcomputer control in 1985, Braeside’s programming requirements increased, due to more sophisticated instrument control and observing techniques, and their decision to provide more detailed data reduction. Dedicating the XT 10 MHz computer to programming allows use of Braeside’s recently purchased IBM-AT solely as a software development computer.

Mississippi State University, Department of Physics and Astronomy | $1,345

Principal Investigator: John P. Lestrade

To purchase equipment (modem, hard drive, Lotus 1-2-3 and related analysis software) to support research in gamma-ray astronomy, specifically, the ongoing investigation and analysis of the response of Burst And Transient Source Experiment (“BATSE”) modules to non-axial gamma-ray sources. Preliminary test data indicate a radial dependence to the light collection efficiency of a detector applicant worked on at Marshall Space Flight Center this past summer. The detector was intended to fly on a Gamma-Ray Observatory (“GRO”) to be put into Earth orbit in March 1990. The BATSE, which was also developed at Marshall, is one of four GRO experiments to observe the gamma-ray universe.

SUNY Geneseo, Department of Physics and Astronomy | $1,985

Principal Investigator: David D. Meisel

To purchase a germanium photodiode and matched preamplifier, for installation into the Fabry-Perot interferometer system, which would be attached to the 0.6 meter telescope at the Mees Observatory, University of Rochester. Dr. Meisel proposed (i) to reopen his study of helium 10830 line in early type stars; (ii) initiate observation on previously unstudied northern hemisphere stars, including more BE Stars and beta Cephei stars, and G & K late stars; (iii) search for helium 10830 in several HII regions, including M8 and M17. In the case of early type stars, the requested equipment provides superior S/N characteristics, allowing line profiles to be obtained more efficiently and at the Nyquist spacing. For late-type stars, very high S/N profiles can be obtained for bright stars for comparison with models and the CII 1334 UV chromosphere line.

University of Northern Iowa, Department of Earth Science | $1,395

Principal Investigator: P. Steven Leiker

To purchase an Apple IIe microcomputer, and related equipment, to support ongoing photoelectric photometry of variable and suspected variable stars, using a Starlight-1 photon-counting stellar photometer on a Cassegrain telescope. The photometer would be interfaced with the Apple IIe to provide data acquisition, reduction and storage. The requested equipment was to be installed in a permanent annex/warm room constructed during the summer of 1988 by the College of Natural Science.

University of Victoria, Department of Physics and Astronomy | $300

Principal Investigator: Jeremy B. Tatum

To purchase from the Minor Planet Center a year’s subscription of the Minor Planet Circulars on diskette and the Center’s forthcoming tape of all asteroid observations. Because of its ability to use all existing observations for differential correction of orbits with nine-planet perturbations, the Department is able to respond to requests from radio, submillimeter and CCD observers for very precise ephemerides of specific objects. Data used in these calculations were previously manually input into computer files. Purchase of diskettes and tape was intended not only to eliminate the need for manual input and increase the Department’s observing and measuring time, but also to allow it to take on some of this same work currently being done at the Minor Planet Center.

1987

American Association of Variable Star Observers | $2,500

Principal Investigator: Janet A. Mattei

To purchase a computer and printer to be used in the statistical analysis of the optical behavior of 20 well-observed eruptive variable stars, the analysis of their total energy output during eruptions, including determination of whether such energy is constant or varying, and investigation of the relationships between their light curve and certain of their physical properties, including orbital periods and masses of the individual components of close binary compact systems.

Monterey Institute for Research in Astronomy | $2,000

Principal Investigator: William Bruce Weaver

To purchase a video processing board to process data obtained from the TI 800 x 800 CCD (thinned, back-illuminated chip) awarded by the National Science Foundation. The Institute planned to use the CCD with (1) the Cassegrain spectrograph for studies of the Orion population, (2) the MIRA echelle spectrograph for studies of bright Be stars and N-type carbon stars and (3) direct imaging of planetary nebulae via interference filters and monitoring of Herbig-Haro objects.

Nancy Lavender Astronomical Observatory | $634

Principal Investigator: James T. Bryan, Jr.

To purchase a Light Table and Luxo Lamp with Base to be used in the preparation of specialized Supernova (star) Charts, to aid astronomers in their visual search for, and observation of, Supernovae throughout the many hundreds of galaxies.

Vassar College, Department of Physics and Astronomy | $1,000

Principal Investigator: Henry Albers

Toward the purchase of a computer, to be used with a microdensitometer being donated by IBM, in various ongoing research projects on galaxies, including spiral structure and star formation in the Milky Way and external galaxies, galaxies, star counts in the Small and Large Magellanic Clouds.

1986

Fairborn Observatory | $2,000

Principal Investigator: Russell M. Genet

To aid in the development and application of automatic photoelectric telescopes (APT’s) through the purchase and installation of rings, bearings and holder.

Gettysburg College | $600

Principal Investigator: Laurence A. Marschall

To aid in the study of radial velocities of stars in the Trapezium Cluster through the purchase of filters for the TV guider of the Multiple Mirror Telescope.

Maria Mitchell Observatory | $1,080

Principal Investigator: Emilia P. Belserene

To aid the study of nine low amplitude pulsating Cepheid variables. The money was to be used to purchase VAX computer time and supplies and 440 sets of APTS observations.

University of Chicago | $2,000

Principal Investigator: Richard G. Kron

To aid in the NSF cosponsored galaxy velocity dispersion project at Yerkes and complete survey of K stars to V=9. These funds helped to upgrade the interface computer that links the CCD detector to the computer used for analysis with the existing Theodore Dunham, Jr. Telescope.