Nick Scoville, the Francis L. Moseley Professor of Astronomy, has been awarded the 2015 Karl G. Jansky Lectureship from the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) and the Associated Universities, Inc. The lectureship is named for Karl Jansky, a pioneer in the field of radio astronomy and the first to detect radio waves from a cosmic source.
Scoville's research currently focuses on the formation and evolution of galaxies and their central black holes, as studied using the Cosmic Evolution Survey (COSMOS). The survey maps galaxies as a function of cosmic time by observing the redshift in their light spectra. Redshift is the physical phenomenon in which the light spectrum emitted by an object will be shifted toward longer, redder wavelengths, due to the object's movement away from an observer. Scoville is interested in mapping large-scale structures of the universe at high redshift—such structures would include superclusters of galaxies that form the "cosmic web." He is currently using the new Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) to investigate the evolution of star formation in the early Universe and colliding starburst galaxies nearby.
Scoville arrived at Caltech as a professor in 1984. He has previously been the director of Caltech's Owens Valley Radio Observatory, and his previous awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the University of Arizona's Aaronson Lectureship, awarded for excellence in astronomical research. As Jansky Lecturer, Scoville will give public lectures at NRAO facilities in Charlottesville, Virginia; Green Bank, West Virginia; and Socorro, New Mexico.
Written by Lorinda Dajose