An out-of-this world congrats to Dr. Maurizio Giannotti who was awarded a NASA grant to study the star Betelgeuse.
We are proud to announce that Dr. Maurizio Giannotti, a Professor of Physics at Barry University, has received a NASA-funded grant to analyze a star called Betelgeuse in the Orion Constellation in collaboration with MIT Assistant Professor Kerstin Perez and Caltech scientist Brian Grefenstette. The star is 600+ lightyears away, has a core temperature 10 times hotter than the sun, and is often the ninth-brightest in the night sky.
Dr. Giannotti works in dark matter, looking for hypothetical particles called axions that may represent the totality or a large portion of the dark matter component of the universe. This grant will offer him special access to data collected for the first time by the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR), and to analyze it before the information becomes public. The data could reveal unknown aspects of axion physics.
Dedicated to Barry’s first Core Commitment of knowledge and truth, Dr. Giannotti is looking for ways to better understand the physical world through this fundamental experiment. This exciting new information will further fuel interest of his students and members of the Astro Math and Physics (AMP) Club, which Dr. Giannotti co-advises with professor Sanja Zivanovic. He plans to offer talks on the subject in the near future in order to educate and engage the community at large.