researchers

Discovering the Composition of Trans-Neptunian Objects

Observing the farthest reaches of our solar system takes some time — literally. It takes 4.6 hours for light to travel from this extreme range that houses some of the farthest and coldest places in our solar system. Dr. Noemi Pinilla-Alonso, planetary scientist at the Florida Space Institute at the University of Central Florida in …

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UCF Researchers to Conduct Research Using First James Webb Space Telescope Images

With the first images from the telescope released this morning, here is a round-up of the many research projects UCF is working on. By Zenaida Gonzalez Kotala | July 11, 2022 UCF physics graduate student Olga Harrington Pinto counted down the minutes until today. She is one of eight UCF researchers and one alumna who will be …

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Arecibo Observatory Scientists Help Unravel Surprise Asteroid Mystery 

A team from the observatory publish their findings ahead of Asteroid Day, a U.N. designation aimed at increasing awareness about the threats some asteroids pose. By Zenaida Gonzalez Kotala | June 23, 2022 When asteroid 2019 OK suddenly appeared barreling toward Earth on July 25, 2019, Luisa Fernanda Zambrano-Marin and the team at the Arecibo Observatory in …

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NASA Selects UCF for $35 Million Mission to the Moon’s Mysterious Gruithuisen Domes

The mission will explore a region of the moon never before visited and may identify minerals and chemical resources available for future exploration. By Zenaida Gonzalez Kotala | June 2, 2022 NASA today tapped UCF’s dynamic duo, planetary scientists Kerri Donaldson Hanna and Adrienne Dove, to lead a $35 million science mission that will land a spacecraft on …

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National Engineering Association Honors UCF’s Space Dirt Expert

The American Society of Civil Engineers recognized Pegasus Professor of Physics Dan Britt with the Aerospace Division’s Outstanding Technical Contribution Award, one of the organization’s top honors. By Zenaida Gonzalez Kotala | May 6, 2022 UCF Pegasus Professor of Physics Dan Britt became the second UCF space researcher in university history to earn one of the American …

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Florida Space Institute Scientist Recognized as 2022 Orange County Distinguished Resident

By Alexandra Angeloff | April 6, 2022 UCF planetary scientist Noemí Pinilla-Alonso was recognized as Orange County’s Distinguished Resident for 2022 during a surprise ceremony on March 28. The county says the award aims to spotlight individuals who “with their work or their actions, exemplify collaboration, innovation and inclusion.” Pinilla-Alonso became a resident of Orange County in …

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Self-Assembly Landing Pads for the Moon — FSI Researchers Are Working on It

UCF researchers are working with private companies to develop some intriguing ways to get astronauts to the moon safely. BY ZENAIDA GONZALEZ KOTALA | NOVEMBER 24, 2021 Imagine hitting a button and instantly creating a landing pad just moments before descending a rocket onto the moon or an asteroid. That’s the concept behind two research projects underway …

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The Success of FSI Researchers Featured In UCF’s Office of Research 2020-2021 Annual Report

According to the information written up by Zendaya Gonzalez Kotala, Assistant Vice President for Strategic Initiatives and Communications at UCF, “Florida Space Institute (FSI) had some big wins this past year, especially in the area of post-doctoral success. FSI generated more than $11.8 million in grants, up from $9.1 million in 2019. Several of those …

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FSI, UCF, and AO Researchers Honored With Asteroids Bearing Their Names

In a bulletin published on Friday, Working Group on Small Bodies (WGSM) of the IAU announced the researchers who had been honored with asteroids bearing their names, in recognition of their outstanding contribution to the field of Planetary Science. The following honorees includes 8 current and 2 former UCF/FSI researchers and 4 colleagues at Arecibo …

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