Welcome to our new web site!

To give our readers a chance to experience all that our new website has to offer, we have made all content freely avaiable, through October 1, 2018.

During this time, print and digital subscribers will not need to log in to view our stories or e-editions.

Astronomy professor tapped for NASA fellowship


Assistant professor of astronomy Joe Burchett of New Mexico State University has been awarded a research fellowship with NASA and the National Science Foundation, the university recently announced.

Burchett is among 10 recipients sharing $2.7 million from the NSF’s Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research Track-4 awards, which support researchers from high education institutions with high enrollments among underrepresented populations in science, engineering and technological fields. The aim is to improve diversity in the field and build research capacity at home institutions like NMSU.

In a written statement, Burchett said, “It’s a way for us to reinforce research opportunities at our institutions by doing things like diversifying our portfolio of scientific methods and that's what I'm doing here.”

Burchett will spend about two months at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. in the spring.

Burchett will be partnering with the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, where he will spend about two months in the spring under the mentorship of the head of Goddard’s X-ray astrophysics science program, per NMSU.

For his project, Burchett and a graduate student from NMSU will use X-ray techniques to study the gas that appears as a halo around the Milky Way galaxy, explaining in a statement that X-ray telescopes are a superior technology for study of gas exceeding temperatures of a million degrees Kelvin and the interactions of gas between galaxies as well the galaxies themselves.

“The success of this year's joint NSF and NASA faculty fellowships highlights the remarkable dedication and ingenuity within the scientific community,” said Kathleen Loftin, project manager of NASA’s EPSCoR Program. “These fellowships are not just about funding,” EPSCoR project manager Kathleen Loftin said in a news release. “They are about fostering meaningful, transformative collaborations that enrich the landscape of STEM research.”