Letter From the Director

Prof. Mario Jurić

Welcome to the first edition of DiRAC’s newsletter in 2024! As we kick off the Spring quarter, we’re excited to share updates highlighting the achievements and outreach efforts of our outstanding team members. These include an announcement of discoveries of numerous active asteroids by thousands of citizen scientists led by Colin Chandler (LINCC postdoctoral scientist at DiRAC), a new paper by J-F Crenshaw (graduate student at DiRAC) describing how AI can be used to control the shape of telescope mirrors and increase its effective resolution, and a recognition with the Buchalter Prize of a novel space-measurement technique devised by Kyle Boone (fmr. DiRAC Fellow) and Matt McQuinn (UW Astronomy Professor).

Your support is what makes work like this, and the education that precedes it, possible at DiRAC. In just a few days, on April 4th, we invite you to support DiRAC’s student-focused research program on Husky Giving Day. Additionally, mark your calendar for June 12th, when you’ll have another chance to engage with UW astronomers at the DiRAC Planetarium Experience. Our researchers will share some of the recent discoveries, and update us on the first images we expect from the Rubin Observatory later in the summer. Then join us for a behind-the-scenes tour of the labs, usually hidden from the public eye, where we explore the mysteries of comet dust.

This season, we’ve had no shortage of discoveries and awards – delve into the articles here for more details. We hope you enjoy reading about them and feel inspired to join us in person at the next DiRAC event.

Thank you,

Mario Juric
Director, DiRAC Institute
Professor, Department of Astronomy