The Center for Astrophysics and Space Science is a merger of the Center for Space Science and the Center for Astro, Particle and Planetary Physics. It is composed of a unique combination of theorists, observers, and instrument builders dedicated to understanding the nature of the cosmos. Our research spans an incredible vast range of temporal and spatial astronomical scales, from our own Sun and its planets to the whole Universe. CASS hopes to enhance facilitating and investigating for future progress in five core research areas.
These five interconnected and interdisciplinary research areas are naturally complementary, and are intrinsically inter-connected by the common goal of understanding the cosmos. They will try to answer similar questions from different perspectives, using complementary theoretical, computational, and observational approaches.
Large-scale solar magnetic fields play a significant role in influencing the dynamics of the solar atmosphere and are the sources of various space-weather phenomena. Solar wind is a continuous stream of energetic charged particles emitted from the Sun that interact with the Earth’s magnetosphere and cause geomagnetic storms that have the potential to severely damage electrical power grids. Coronal magnetic fields often restructure spontaneously, occasionally causing violent solar storms such as flares and coronal mass ejections (CMEs). Severe flares and CMEs, although relatively rare, can be catastrophic for modern infrastructure. An important scientific problem that bridges stars and planets (both interior dynamics and exterior atmospheres) is convection. Internal to the stars, convection could be both thermal and magnetic. It is thought that convection drives the magnetic field on the surface of the Sun, which results in the ejection of high energy magnetically charged particles and the magnetic fields that rise to the solar surface and form large-scale structures such as sunspots. Our recent work has generated a new perspective on convection and we will continue to develop a basic understanding of the phenomenon.
The study of planetary formation and evolution has undergone a revolution in the past few decades. More than 5,000 subsequent detections have allowed us to formulate and improve our theories of formation processes and permitted us to characterize a handful of these planets in great detail. Though already been ground-breaking, with the successful launch of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) we are entering an entirely new era that will rapidly push the field even further forward. JWST is already providing exquisite data above and beyond what was expected. Furthermore, for the first few observational cycles, up to 30 percent of the telescope time has been dedicated to planetary-related observations. These observations play a key role in the work proposed here, ranging from observations of solar system objects such as Jupiter, Neptune, and the Kuiper Belt, to extrasolar planets and protoplanetary disks. Coupled with JWST observations, there are also a host of solar system missions ongoing and planned in the near future.
Our galaxy is comprised of a large number of components. Stars and planets make up some of the normal matter, while diffuse components (gas, dust, magnetic fields, relativistic particles) fill its volume. We understand how most stars shine; the objects we do not fully understand are the more exotic ones. Neutron stars (NSs, especially rapidly spinning pulsars), massive stars, and supernova explosions (SNe) and their remnants, disks, winds, and jets all constitute some of the brightest, most powerful and yet least understood phenomenology in the galaxy. The evolution of stars and planets, the exotic galaxy components, and the galaxy as a whole, all depend on energy and particle transport in the galaxy.
We will study how massive stars impact their environment before they explode, the connection between these massive stars and the neutron stars they most often leave behind, the accretion of material onto these compact objects (this process, and not fusion, is the most efficient mechanism known for generating energy from matter), and the impact energy and matter released in these explosions and these compact objects (both accreting and non-accreting systems) have on their surroundings. This research will involve the analysis and interpretation of observations literally spanning the entire electromagnetic spectrum, will inform the physics used to model the formation and evolution of galaxies, and vital for understanding the origin of the highest-energy particles in our Milky Way.
Modeling galaxies and their formation in a cosmological context presents one of the greatest challenges in astrophysics today due to the vast range of scales and numerous physical processes involved. On the other hand, the past decade has seen remarkable progress in measuring the properties of galaxies across the electromagnetic spectrum and over the majority of cosmic history. Wide-field surveys have collected samples of millions of nearby galaxies, spanning roughly six orders of magnitude in galaxy mass and a rich range of galaxy types and environments, from isolated galaxies in voids to rich clusters. We now have access to detailed kinematic maps for thousands of galaxies (e.g., MaNGA) that enable for the first time a very thorough comparison between data and models for galaxy formation, and ultimately cosmological models. In this research area, we want to build on the results obtained by studying our own galaxy (Area 3) and other galaxies, to work towards a coherent picture of galaxy formation and evolution.
We will concentrate our attention on the processes that regulate star formation and quenching, tackling this problem both from an observational and theoretical point of view, using state-of-the-are numerical simulations, combined with detailed analysis of single galaxies, large galaxy surveys carried out both at redshift zero and at the so called cosmic dawn, thanks to JWST.
The Astroparticle Physics Lab at New York University Abu Dhabi is an experimental physics lab and a member of the Center for Astrophysics Space Science (CASS). It specializes in applying particle detection physics in instrument development, space science, and cultural heritage studies.
At the heart of the Astroparticle Physics Lab lies a dedicated team of scientists, researchers, and students focused on developing and conducting experiments aimed at studying Dark Matter, Cosmic Rays, and Terrestrial Gamma-Ray Flashes.
The lab also works to develop instruments that can be used for studying archeological and art samples. These tools and techniques enable the precise examination of the elemental composition for better understanding of historic artifacts' origins.
The laboratory has many notable collaborations with the XENON Dark Matter Experiment, the Gran Sasso National Laboratory, the Lourve Abu Dhabi, the UAE Space Agency, Muhammad bin Rashid Space Center, SESAME.. and much more.
CASS produced and launched Spaced Out, the University’s first-ever podcast dedicated to astronomy and space science. Aimed at promoting scientific ideas and igniting curiosity among the public about astronomy and space science, the podcast features NYUAD’s own experts in the field, as well as guest speakers from the space sector and other academic institutions. Listen below!
For general inquiries about the Center please email firstname.lastname@example.org.