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campus scene

Bravo! Linguist wins teaching prize
Faustini wins Ciancio Award
Retiring faculty
Dick Hihn and Kris Szymborski
Intercultural reach and depth Skidmore's first intercultural-studies director
Professoriat What the faculty are up to
Geek squad squareoff Skidmore techies in programming contest
Idea marketplace Guest lectures touch on society and scholarship
Books Faculty and alumni authors
Sky command Using the wolrd's biggest radiotelescope
Shaping campus sustainablity Coordinator goes for the green
On exhibit Now at Skidmore's Schick Art Gallery and Tang Museum
Sportswrap Thoroughbred highlights

Sky command

Clambering among girders
and guy wires high in the air, Skidmore astronomy professor Mary Crone Odekon (at right) and Siena College’s Rose Finn explore
Puerto Rico’s Arecibo Observatory, home of the world’s largest radiotelescope. As
part of a National Science Foundation grant, Odekon and Scott Manglitz ’09 are one
of fourteen college teams to join Arecibo’s project to detect and map an estimated 25,000 galaxies as far away as 750 lightyears. The college teams visited in January for seminars, training, and a tour of the twenty-acre, thousand-foot-wide dish and the antennas and reflectors suspended 450 feet above it. Odekon says radiotelescopes, unlike optical ones, can detect vast clouds of cool gas that may be galaxies-in-waiting—they contain atomic hydrogen but have not yet formed stars. Radiotelescopes can also sense dark matter by its gravitational tug on hydrogen gas. Odekon and Manglitz plan to use data from Arecibo to “weigh” the atomic hydrogen and dark matter in groups of galaxies. —SR