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Dr. Thomas Oberst Leads Discovery of Exoplanet Soon to be Shredded

An artist’s impression of a Jupiter-like planet orbiting close to its star (G. Bacon STSci/NASA/ESA)

Thursday, March 30, 2017

A multinational team of astronomers led by Dr. Thomas Oberst, associate professor of physics and director of the Westminster College Planetarium and Observatory, has discovered an exoplanet orbiting precariously close to its host star. And it is getting closer. The planet, KELT-16b, is whipping around its star so quickly that its entire year lasts less than one day on Earth. Oberst’s team calculates that it may have only a few hundreds of thousands of years left – a mere instant in astronomical timescales – before being ripped to shreds by the tidal forces of its star.  

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Westminster hosts Dr. Rob Wittenmyer for Robert M. Woods Memorial Lecture

Monday, January 30, 2017

Westminster College’s Department of Physics will host Dr. Rob Wittenmyer for a Robert M. Woods Memorial Lecture at 7 p.m. on February 15 in Phillips Lecture Hall, Hoyt Science Resources Center. Wittenmyer’s lecture, "The Great Unveiling: A New Golden Age of Exoplanetary Science," is free and open to the public.

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Humans of Westminster: Meet Thomas

Monday, January 16, 2017

"The Night Sky Over Westminster"
The night sky over campus can be especially dark and star-filled if the stadium field lights are off and you pick the right spot. Westminster is far from big city lights and noise, and provides a peaceful retreat. My personal favorite spots for stargazing are the Outdoor Field Station and the College Woods. Our nighttime astronomy labs are a big hit with students, and public stargazing events following planetarium shows can draw a crowd. My most memorable night was when students viewed comet Pan-STARRs through telescopes. A couple weeks later, some of the same students stayed up all night to watch the Lyrids meteor shower.

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Westminster College to Host Woods Lecture: David Weintraub

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Westminster College’s Department of Physics will host Dr. David A. Weintraub for the annual Robert M. Woods Memorial Lecture at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 3, in Phillips Lecture Hall, Hoyt Science Resources Center. The lecture and the reception at 6:30 p.m. are free and open to the public.

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Westminster College Introduces Astronomy Program

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Westminster College will introduce an astronomy minor program for the 2016-2017 school year.

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Westminster Co-Awarded $250,000 NSF Grant for Student Travel and Research in Astronomy

Friday, August 26, 2016

 Dr. Thomas Oberst, Westminster College associate professor of physics, and Dr.  Phillip Reed, Kutztown University associate professor of physics and astronomy, have    been awarded a $250,000 collaborative grant from the National Science Foundation   (NSF) for student travel and research in the field of astronomy.

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Dr. Thomas Oberst Awarded the 2016-2017 Henderson Lectureship

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Dr. Thomas E. Oberst, associate professor of physics and director of the planetarium and observatory at Westminster College, has been named the 2016-2017 Henderson Lecturer.

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Westminster College Hosts Awards Dinner, Recognizing Students in the Division of Cognitive and Quantitative Sciences

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Westminster College’s mathematics, computer science, computer information systems, physics and engineering physics programs hosted their annual spring recognition and awards banquet, March 22.

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Join Us: Research Celebration, April 20

Friday, April 15, 2016

Westminster College will host the Undergraduate Research and Arts Celebration (URAC) featuring presentations and performances from more than 300 students from each department, April 20 from 8:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. throughout campus.

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Westminster College to Host First Annual STEM Academy Camp, Learning How to Survive on Planet Mars

Friday, March 4, 2016

Registration is now open for Westminster College’s first annual STEM Academy, from 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. each day from June 27 – 30. This year, the camp is open to the first 30 students entering grades nine and ten. Registrations following will be added to the waitlist.  

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