Rosalie McGurk recognized for postdoctoral excellence

Rosalie McGurk was selected by the Carnegie Telescope Allocation Committee for the 2019 Thacher Award in recognition of an excellent research proposal from a postdoctoral scientist at The Carnegie Observatories or the Department of Terrestrial Magnetism in Washington, DC. 

The award is thanks to an endowed fund to enable Carnegie postdocs to pursue independent research projects established by lifelong amateur astronomer Michael W. Thacher and his wife Rhonda L. Rundle. 

An Observatories Instrumentation Fellow, McGurk is working on an adjustable filter for the Inamori Magellan Areal Camera and Spectrograph (IMACS) on the Magellan Baade telescope at our Las Campanas Observatory. It will allow our astronomers to look at very narrow ranges of wavelengths, up to a single emission line from an object. 

She plans to use the funding to further a collaboration with a researcher at another institution. They are studying star formation and outflows from a black hole in a group of four interacting spiral galaxies called the Grus-Quartet. 

Although it was not part of the proposal that led to her selection for the award, the committee also noted her efforts building a new integral field unit for the IMACS, which will improve our ability to make compound images of extended objects like galaxies, nebulae, or star clusters. 

“Instrument builders play a central role in our ability to do the best science and Rosalie is extraordinarily dedicated to enhancing our observational abilities at Las Campanas,” said Director John Mulchaey.