Publish Date

Prof John Martin Earns Grant From National Science Foundation

(July 2011)

On July 1 the National Science Foundation (NSF) announced that a collaboration including UIS Assistant Professor John Martin earned a three-year grant for their proposal entitiled “On the Road to the Supernova: LBVs, Hypergiants, and SN Impostors.” The project will continue and expand on Martin’s collarboration with Kris Davison and Roberta Humphreys (both at the University of Minnesota) to study the end stages and instabilities in the most massive stars in the universe.

The $62,000 grant includes money to upgrade the capabilities of the 16-inch telescope at Henry Barber Research Observatory to observe “supernova imposter.” A supernova imposter is an an eruption equal in magnitude to the visual brightness of a supernova that many of the most massiv stars have atleast once on their way to becoming a supernova. The great eruption of Eta Carinae in the 1850’s is the prototype for these types of events. More recently supernova searchs have been discovering similar events in other galaxies. The physics and exact nature of these violent events are not well understood.

Read more about the grant given to Professor Martin