Physics Faculty Receives $47,829 Grant from NASA

Dr. Ka-Wah Wong, Assistant Professor of Physics, was awarded a $47,829 grant from NASA for high energy astrophysics research.

Dr. Wong’s team will be studying the famous M87 galaxy using data taken from both the Chandra and NuSTAR X-ray Observatories. M87 is a “nearby” giant elliptical galaxy 50 million light years award. At its center sits a supermassive black hole 6 billion times more massive than our Sun. They will focus the active galactic nucleaus (AGN) of M87. AGNs are compact radiation regions at the centers of galaxies powered by accretion of gas onto supermassive black holes. X-ray emission has been detected from the M87 AGN, but the origin of the emission is still under debate.  

Dr. Wong’s team detected - for the first time- higher energy X-rays emitted from the M87 AGN with a previous NuSTAR observation. Their work has already provided important insights into the jet and accretions physics, but additional data from the joint Chandra and NuSTAR observations are needed to draw a better conclusion on the nature of X-rays from AGN. With the new observations, Dr. Wong’s team will continue their research and test new theoretical models.

Dr. Wong’s students at SUNY Brockport will be among the first to witness some of the most energetic phenomena in the universe. They will learn frontier science, while gaining skills in statistical data analysis and computer coding. The funding will also provide support for them to present their results at regional and national conferences.

The award will be administered by the Department of Scholarship, Research and Sponsored Programs.

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Posted: November 08, 2022