Astrophysics & Space Science at AUS
Astrophysics & Space Science is witnessing a golden era in the United Arab Emirates, with the upcoming Emirates mission to Mars (the Hope probe to be launched in 2020), the recent creation of a UAE space agency, next year’s launch of the Khalifasat satellite, which follows the series of Emirates satellites (Dubaisat 1 and 2 and Yahsat 1 and 2). The AUS Physics department, with four faculty members specializing in Astrophysics and Space Science, is making substantial contributions to this superb national endeavor; most notably, three are members of the Science Team of the Emirates Mars Mission.
The areas of expertise of the AUS faculty members in Astrophysics & Space Science span topics from Mars and planetary science to stars and globular clusters to high-energy radiation from various parts of the Milky Way and finally to gamma-ray bursts at the farthest reaches of the universe. More specifically:
Noteworthy aspects of the research activities of the Astrophysics & Space Science group at AUS include: the worldwide collaborations (with colleagues from the USA, Europe, Australia, Japan, and the Arab world), participation in research and observations at renowned international institutions (including large observatories such as SOAR and Blanco in Chile and Siding Springs Observatory in Australia, and world-class research institutions such as the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Boston, USA, the Institut d’Astrophysique of Paris, France, and others), publications in first-class journals, presentations of papers in top-quality international conferences, and last but not least the inclusion of undergraduate students in research and co-authorship of peer-reviewed papers.
Prof. Nidhal Guessoum: Models the emission of gamma radiation from various sources and environments: solar flares, accretion disks around compact objects, cocoons and jets of hypernovae, supernovae, and kilonovae associated with gamma-ray bursts. Special expertise on electron-positron annihilation, nuclear reactions involving gamma-ray emission, and other high-energy processes.
Dr. Tariq Majeed: Actively involved in the Emirates Mars Mission. Expertise includes data analysis and modeling of terrestrial and outer planetary atmospheres and ionospheres, atmospheric chemistry and dynamics, climatology and large-scale dynamics, air quality and environmental problems.
Dr. Randa Asa’d: Conducts observations at big international observatories in Chile and Australia, and spends summers as a visiting scientist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Investigates the Multiple Stellar Populations scenario in young and intermediate-age clusters.
Ms. Isra Siry: Study of interstellar dust around symbiotic stars and their H-alpha emission.