Seth Redfield, assistant professor of astronomy, and Katy Wyman MA ’11, recently co-authored a paper that will appear in the Aug. 10 Astrophysical Journal, detailing several hundred spectral line measurements out to bright stars within 326 light years of our sun. Wyman is now employed at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.
The study also appeared in the July 28 edition of Forbes in an article titled “Looking In The Sun’s Rear-View Mirror: A New Map Of The Local Interstellar Medium.”
The first comprehensive map of the local interstellar medium — the gas drifting between the nearest stars — “will not only help theorists better understand the dynamics of our tiny swath of the galaxy, but represents the first crucial step in paving the way for interstellar travel,” the article reports.
Redfield, Wyman and their colleagues made their primary observations through the Hubble Space Telescope, the McDonald Observatory in Texas and the Australian Astronomical Observatory in New South Wales. Redfield says the plan is to publish a revised morphological model in the next six months.
Read the Forbes article online here.