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January

Students and faculty observe a comet, an Earth approaching asteriod, and a quasar in outburst all in one night from the observing deck of the Stocker Astroscience Center!

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February

This news note is to announce the annual SCAS scholarship for astronomy students at FIU. Interested students should contact Dr. Webb, Dr. Van Hamme, or Dr. Simpson about an application form. The scholarship will be awarded to the most qualified student who is a physics major with a minor in astronomy, and has a GPA in physics above 3.0. An application form, recent transcripts, and at least one letter of recommendation should be submitted by March 15th, 2015.

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April

The color Combination winner for the Observational Astronomy lab this year are Jennifer Medina and Andres Medina. They took raw CCD frames and calibration frames taken from the SARA South telescope in Chile in three different frequency bands. These images were processed and combined to make a color image of the galaxy. Congratulations Jennifer and Andres! Great work.

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Dr. Webb was nominated by the astronomy club for advisor of the year for 2014-2015. He wants the thank the astronomy club not only for nominating him, but for running such a great club that others think he is responsible for it! Actually, he just stays out of the way and lets the students go with it! "So, thanks students for making me look good!" Dr. Webb.

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Dr. Webb performs his song "Can Music Really Change the World " on WLRN Radio

Dr. Webb was invited on the Michael Stock radio show, "Folk and acoustic music" on Sunday, April 19. Michael Stock interviewed Dr. Webb and then Webb performed solo acoustic on of the songs off of the new album "Reaching for the Stars" live. The WLRN radio station at FM 91.3 is a weekly show listened to devotees from Key West through Broward county.

July

More than 35 people showed up for the passage of New Horizons through the Pluto system.

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October

President Obama is hosting the "White House Astronomy Night" and has asked universities, planetariums and science centers to host events that same night, October 19. Here at FIU, there will be SAC telescopes out to show visitors the vistas of the night sky (weather permitting). There will also be music and refreshments, tours of the observatory, and a talk by Dr. Webb.

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FIU, in collaboration with the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU), hosted the association’s 2015 Youth Leadership Development Forum in October. Nearly 500 high school students representing nine Miami-Dade County Public Schools were in attendance.

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High-Tech firm Orbital ATK donates $5,000 to StAsc.

The high-tech firm Orbital ATK, who makes rocket parts for NASA has donated $5,000 to the astroscience center for a display in the exhibition hall that will feature recent Hubble images and programs for student to watch, hear and learn.

Dr. Webb travelled to the beautiful island of La Palma in the Canary Islands to attend the SARA Board meeting and the dedication ceremony for the newest telescope in the SARA constellation, the SARA JKT 1-meter telescope. It was recently refurbished and automated and is ready use in the various SARA research projects.

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November

The new Hubble ViewSpace installation in the Stocker Astroscience Entryway/Exhibition hall is now live! It has been described as: stunning, inspiring, spectacular, and real. Come check it out, anytime during 9:00 am to 5:00 pm in the hall.

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Orbital ATK donates grant to the Stocker Astroscience Center

Due to the generous help of Robert Martinez and his brother, Roman Martinez, Orbital ATK generously donated $5,000 to the Stocker Astroscience Center Foundation fund for exhibitions, equipment, and software for the center. Currently, the funds have been used to set up the Hubble ViewSpace display, and other purchases necessary to the operation of the observatory. A huge thanks goes to Orbital ATK and Bob and Roman Martinez for the generous gift.

December

FIU astronomers now have access to a remotely operable telescope at one of the best observing sites for optical astronomy in the world: the Jacobus Kapteyn telescope (JKT) in the Canary Islands.

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