CAREER: Obscuration of Active Galactic Nuclei and the Starburst Connection

  • Levenson, Nancy (PI)

Grants and Contracts Details


Dr. Nancy Levenson is awarded a CAREER grant at the University of Kentucky for an integrated program of research and education to study the obscuration by dust and resulting reprocessing of energy in active galaxies, ultimately revealing the intrinsic accretion power of their central engines. She and her students will observe nearby samples of obscured active galactic nuclei (AGN) with three specific objectives: (1) to measure the local physical conditions and distribution of material in the obscuring regions; (2) to identify reliable signatures of AGN, even when they are strongly obscured; and (3) to reveal the connection between circumnuclear starbursts and AGN. This work will use spectroscopy and imaging at X-ray and infrared energies, specifically considering the effects of strong obscuration and intense star formation, which can alter the net emission significantly. The related educational program will enhance the undergraduate astronomy concentration at the University of Kentucky, improve the education of non-scientists, and develop students' abilities through research. Dr. Levenson will increase the effectiveness of the astronomy concentration by creating an intermediate-level astrophysics course, increasing student involvement in research, and producing new publicity about the program. In teaching both science and non-science majors, she will apply effective pedagogies that emphasize active learning, such as collaborative learning, peer instruction, and assigned writing. Finally, Dr. Levenson will mentor undergraduate and graduate students, directing their work in the research program.
Effective start/end date7/15/036/30/09


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