Anna Frebel receives NSF CAREER Award

MIT News Office, MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research Wednesday, April 17, 2013

MIT Assistant Professor of Physics Anna Frebel has been named a recipient of an NSF CAREER Award for her proposal, "The origin of the metal-poor halo of the Milky Way." These highly selective grants are given to junior faculty members who are likely to become academic leaders of the future. Recipients are selected by the National Science Foundation's Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program.

Frebel's project, which begins on July 1, has three specific goals:

  • to perform stellar archaeology, giving us new constraints on the major physical processes that drove early star formation;
  • to perform dwarf-galaxy archaeology, allowing us to better understand galaxy formation;
  • to determine the role of metal-poor stars as tracers of the accretion history of the Milky Way halo.

Utilizing the Australian SkyMapper Telescope, Frebel will identify large numbers of 12 to 13 billion-year-old stars in the galactic halo, for which she will obtain high resolution spectroscopic observation using the Magellan telescope in Chile.

Professor Frebel is a resident faculty member at the MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research, and Assistant Professor of Physics in the Astrophysics Division.