Time Magazine's issue of "New Space Discoveries

American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO)
Mon, 09/24/2012 - 13:03

Time magazine puts out a series of special magazines every year.  Among them is one issue on something to do with astronomy.  This year’s issue is entitled “New Space Discoveries”.  They are kind of pricy, $12.99 per copy, but I was in an ‘economic stimulation’ kind of mood last Friday so I picked up a copy of this latest magazine.  

This issue contains articles on: the hunt for earth-like planets, NASA’s future, the world’s biggest telescopes and new mysteries of the cosmos.  The last section of the magazine is entitled, “The 25 Most influential People In Space”.  The section header reads, “As the frontiers of space expand, so do the opportunities for its explorers: to pilot spacecraft, spot planets, search for aliens – and share their passion.  Here’s an array of the most brilliant”.  The list of the most influential in the astronomy/space field contains the likes of Geoff Marcy, Brian Greene, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, and our own AAVSO council member Chryssa Kouveliotou.  

The caption under Chryssa’s photo reads: “Gamma-Ray Argonaut.  As a child growing up in Greece, Chryssa Kouveliotou spent summer nights lying on the beach searching the sky for falling stars and tracings of satellites.  Her determination to explore the heavens graduated to more exotic phenomena. ‘My first love was always gamma –ray bursts,’ recalls Kouveliotou, of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, ‘tremendous explosions that rock the universe like nothing else.’  One source of gamma rays is magnetars, the tiny, superdense remains of supernovas that generate the most powerful magnetic fields in the universe; imagine a magnet strong enough to pull the keys out of your pocket from a distance halfway to the  moon.” 

Congratulation, Chryssa, on your inclusion in this most noteworthy list of professionals.  I still can’t pronounce your last name, though.    ;-)