(Jury Award) (Tree) Rings of Fire

(Tree) Rings of Fire

Joel Abraham (graduate student), Carla Staver (faculty)

Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Much like the trees in North America, some tree species in African savannas create annual growth rings that extend all the way down to their roots. But African savannas are fire-prone systems, and the trees in African savannas burn down and regrow from their roots repeatedly. By comparing the number of growth rings in their stems with their roots, it is possible to figure out when a tree last burned. In this way, the trees in African savannas keep a record of the history of local fires.

Spectroscopic View of the Ring Nebula

Spectroscopic View of the Ring Nebula

Robert Vanderbei (faculty)

Operations Research & Financial Engineering, Astrophysics, Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, Computer Science, Program in Applied & Computational Mathematics

The Ring Nebula is a planetary nebula in the northern constellation of Lyra. It is light emitted from hot, ionized hydrogen and oxygen gas that has been expelled from an old dying star located at the center of the ring. The picture was taken with a telescope and a diffraction grating inserted in the optical path. Each star appears both as a star and as a colored spectral strip off to the right of the star. A bit to the left of the center of the image is the Ring Nebula itself. The hydrogen atoms are emitting red light and the oxygen atoms are emitting blue/green light. Hence, the spectral part of the Ring Nebula is not a multicolored smear but just has two colors, the red from the hydrogen emissions and the teal from the oxygen emissions.

Super Flower Blood Moon

Super Flower Blood Moon

Rishabh Jain ’26

Electrical Computer Engineering

A collage of the Super Flower Blood Moon Lunar Eclipse of May 2022. A lunar eclipse¬† occurs when the Earth is between the sun and the moon, which casts a shadow on the lunar surface. During a lunar eclipse, the Earth blocks the light from the sun, causing the moon to appear reddish in color, a phenomenon known as a “blood moon.”