February 22, 2017
Sara Schultz, Planetarium Director, and Juan Cabanela, Physics/Astronomy Faculty, have been awarded an American Astronomical Society (AAS) grant to support 2017 Great North American Eclipse outreach. The grant will include partnerships with YES School, FM Boys & Girls Club, YMCA, CHARISM, and the public libraries of Fargo and West Fargo. It will support the purchase of solar scopes and eclipse model kits for each participating organization as well as a planetarium show on the physics behind and safe viewing techniques of a Solar Eclipse.
The Great American Solar Eclipse will happen on August 21, 2017. The entire U.S. will be able to see some degree of solar eclipse (where the Moon blocks out some or all of the Sun) while a narrow band stretching from Oregon to South Carolina will experience a TOTAL eclipse. For more information go here: https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/.
November 08, 2016
Juan Cabanela, Professor of Physics and Astronomy, was interviewed by Ashley Bishop of KVLY News for their main story on a fireball that was spotted over Western Minnesota by hundreds of their viewers Sunday Night. He clarified that a fireball like this is just a larger than normal meteor striking the atmosphere. Read the rest of this entry →
February 25, 2014
Physics and astronomy department captures day-old supernova
Jan. 22 was a stellar night for MSUM’s physics and astronomy department.
Professor Juan Cabanela, physics and astronomy, and physics majors Nathan Heidt, Laura Herzog, Michael Meraz, and Beau Scheving, made a trek to the Paul P. Feder Observatory in an attempt to capture images of a day-old supernova.
The supernova, located in the galaxy M82, was temporarily designated PSN J09554214+6940260. Now confirmed, the supernova has been renamed SN 2014j. The stellar explosion, marking the last moments of a star’s life, happened to be one of the closest, and therefore brightest, to occur near the Earth in the last 25 years. Read the rest of this entry →
January 14, 2013
MSUM’s University Physics Competition team earned MSUM a bronze medal, and was the top preforming team from the U.S. for the problem they selected, notably defeating NDSU, Georgia Institute of Technology, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Upperclassmen Meredith McLinn, Pragalav Karki and Shouvik Bhattacharya modeled the effect an Earth-like planet’s mass has on its volcanic activity. To learn more about the problems and rankings, visit http://www.uphysicsc.com/contestresults.html.
For more information on their participation, see previous article.
November 19, 2012
Physics upperclassmen Meredith Mc Linn (junior), Pragalv Karki (senior) and Shouvik Bhattacharya (senior) participated in the University Physics Competition 2012. They modeled how masses of the exoplanets affect volcanic activity over time. They used principles of Thermodynamics and Planetary Sciences to solve this problem. Dr. Juan Cabanela served as the adviser of the team. The team was sponsored by the Society of Physics Students (SPS) at the MSUM chapter. Read the rest of this entry →
August 08, 2012
By: Ryan Johnson, INFORUM
MOORHEAD – While it was built with valid scientific goals in mind, the premise of the six-wheeled, 2,000-pound Curiosity rover and the engineering feat that landed it on Mars early Monday could strike some as more science fiction than reality.
“We have landed a nuclear-powered truck on another world,” said Juan Cabanela, astronomy professor at Minnesota State University Moorhead. “We definitely live in the future.”
Scientists, space enthusiasts and Americans at large watched eagerly as the rover neared its final destination in the Gale Crater shortly after midnight local time Monday. Read the rest of this entry →
May 23, 2012
We had a very successful partial solar eclipse event with mostly clear skies and 100 enthusiastic people. Physics faculty, two physics students, two planetarium staff, and sixteen members of the Fargo-Moorhead Astronomy Club ran the 12 telescopes, attempted a webcast, demonstrated the use of eclipse glasses and gave a brief planetarium demo. The viewing continued until the Sun disappeared behind the trees on the far end of the parking lot, leaving a very satisfied audience.
The event was a collaboration between the Physics & Astronomy Department, the Planetarium and the Astronomy Club. We give a special thanks to Dr. Juan Cabanela for his work.
May 17, 2012
Minnesota State University Moorhead and the F-M Astronomy Club will host two sun-related events on MSUM’s campus May 20 and June 5. The events are free and open to the public.
Date: Sunday, May 20
Time: 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Location: MSUM Parking Lot V-5 Read the rest of this entry →
January 11, 2011
An article co-authored by Juan Cabanela, Physics and Astronomy, has been accepted for publication in The Astronomical Journal. As part of a four-year project, Cabanela and his collaborators obtained detailed spectra for over 4,000 stars, allowing them to measure their motions and chemical compositions. Analysis of the motions and positions of these stars has revealed that as the bar-shaped core of our galaxy rotates past the stars in the disk of the galaxy, it appears to be causing a gravitational wake behind the bar. This gravitational wake consists of a pile up of over a billion stars with a total mass of over 50 million times that of our Sun. The article, entitled “Mapping the Asymmetric Thick Disk. III. The Kinematics and Interaction with the Galactic Bar,” is available in preprint form at http://arxiv.org/abs/1012.1580v1.