Breaking the Bubble

She Discovered a Galaxy

Twenty-eight year old Karen Lee-Waddell’s future is looking bright — she says this is just the first of many galaxies she will discover.
(Source: Lee-Waddell) 

The saying ‘reach for the stars’ has a non-cliché meaning for student Karen Lee-Waddell, because her thesis has led to actually reaching a new galaxy. The Queen’s astronomy and physics PhD student recently discovered a new rare type of galaxy and has received national media coverage because of it.

Lee-Waddell and her team discovered what they believe to be a new tidal dwarf galaxy. These galaxies are rare because they form from two larger “parent” galaxies.

“Normally when galaxies form they collapse from giant gas clouds, and for a long time this is the way people thought all galaxies were formed,” Lee-Waddell said. “We’re used to studying galaxies that merge and get bigger and now we’re seeing smaller ones.”

The theory is that the smaller tidal dwarf galaxies, such as the one that Lee-Waddell discovered, are created when material branches out of two proximate galaxies and …

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Revolutionary Research

Queen’s is one of Canada’s leading institutions for completing important scientific findings — when research is funded, at least. In early June it was announced that four Queen’s professors stood out above the rest and have been selected to receive significant funding for their research. If you are a student interested in high-risk research, these may be your new idols.

Collectively, the four professors will receive almost half a million dollars over the next three years. The funding comes from the National Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) through the Discovery Accelerator Supplements Program.

NSERC regularly grants research funds, however the Discovery Accelerator Supplements Program  specifically targets research that NSERC considers high-risk or potentially groundbreaking. Essentially, these grants are larger …

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