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University Public Relations
1000 E University Ave
Dept. 3226, Bureau of Mines
Laramie, WY 82071
Phone: (307) 766-2379
Fax: (307) 766-6729
Email: uwmktg@uwyo.edu


UW Profiles

Hannah Jang-Condell


Hannah Jang-Condell, assistant professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy

Background: B.S. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); Ph.D. Harvard University; postdoctoral fellowships at Carnegie Institution for Science, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, the University of Maryland and the Space Telescope Science Institute; joined UW in 2011.

Why UW? “I do computational astrophysics, so the big attraction for me was the NCARWyoming Supercomputing Center.”

Research: “I study how planets form around other stars and around our own sun.”

Planets that orbit a star other than the sun are called exoplanets, and close to 2,000 exoplanets have been discovered so far. “They’re very different from our solar system. You’ll have planets that are two or three times Jupiter’s mass that are closer to their star than Mercury is to the sun.” Jang-Condell and her team study how these gas giant planets can be so close to a star’s heat, and they study why some planets have eccentric orbits.



“I hope my research will lead to a better understanding of our place in the universe because I feel like one of the fundamental questions humanity has is, ‘Are we alone in the universe?’ ”
By finding out how common habitable planets like ours are—planets that have a rocky body and are the right distance from a star to have liquid water—researchers can better determine if any are inhabited.
Jang-Condell and her team were recently tapped to take part in NASA’s Nexus for Exoplanet System Science initiative, an interdisciplinary project that connects top research teams for a synthesized approach in the search for planets with the greatest potential for signs of life.



“If we can learn more about what life is like on other planets, I think that would be extremely exciting.” About the Science Initiative: “I think the Science Initiative will bring better students to our university and improve the education we can provide to those students. “I’m excited about drawing more students into physics and astronomy. One of the things that we have high hopes for are upgrades to the Wyoming Infrared Observatory (see page 27). Wyoming used to be a major power in research astronomy in decades past, but since that time, bigger and better telescopes have been built. If we can make an investment in our current assets and really develop them, we can still be a player.”

To read the full article “Investing in Research” from the September 2015 issue of UWyo Magazine, click here.

Hannah Jang-Condell

Hannah Jang-Condell
Hannah Jang-Condell is an assistant professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. She Studies how planets form around other stars and around our own sun.

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University Public Relations
1000 E University Ave
Dept. 3226, Bureau of Mines
Laramie, WY 82071
Phone: (307) 766-2379
Fax: (307) 766-6729
Email: uwmktg@uwyo.edu


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