Astronomers Search for Orphan Stars Using Newly Upgraded Telescope

Chris Mihos

Using new instrumentation, Case Western Reserve University astronomers can now view the night sky wider and deeper than before.

While the vast reaches of intergalactic space may appear dark and empty, a new camera installed on the university's Burrell Schmidt telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory in Tucson, Ariz., will bring into clear view the faint sea of orphan stars strewn throughout the nearby Virgo cluster of galaxies. This faint orphan starlight, dubbed "intracluster light," was originally discovered in the Virgo cluster three years ago by Case astronomer Chris Mihos and his collaborators.

The design and installation of the new camera system was led by Case Western Reserve astronomer Paul Harding, who also serves as the observatory manager. A new charge coupled device (CCD)—a larger and more sensitive version of the imaging technology found in everyday digital cameras—will enable the astronomers to determine the ages of these stars and unravel the secrets of their origins. Read more.

IT Computer Systems Down, Kelvin Smith Library Closed May 30-June 2

Case Western Reserve University's Construction Administration and Information Technology Services departments will be shutting down and upgrading the building power to the Kelvin Smith Library and the KSL server room on Friday, May 30, 2008. Therefore, the Kelvin Smith Library will be without power and the majority of the university's IT applications will be unavailable from 5 p.m. Friday, May 30, until 8 a.m. Monday, June 2.

The Kelvin Smith Library will close at its regular time at 5:30 p.m., May 30, and will remain closed until 9 a.m., June 2.

Most IT applications will be unavailable during this time, including but not limited to: all Case e-mail, voicemail, the university Web sites, Blackboard, Oracle Calendar, ERP Financials, HCM, SIS (the new student information system, including registration) and the sponsored projects system.

For all future updates related to the Data Center Remediation projects and specifically the KSL power outage, visit the project Web site. During the KSL outage, check the off-campus Perceptis Web site, or contact the HelpDesk at 216-368-HELP for updates on the status of the power upgrades and availability of services.

During this period, the campus wireless and wired networks will remain operational as will access to sites on the Internet not on the Web server and the campus telephone system.

For questions or concerns regarding Data Center Remediation projects in general or in preparation for the May 30 service outage, send e-mail, or check the project Web site for a list frequently asked questions and answers.

Campus News


1-2-1 Fitness Center invites employees and students to participate in two upcoming classes. Combat Camp is a six-week group training course which begins May 30. Participants will learn techniques from muay thai and western style boxing. The second class, Self Defense, is a six-week course taught by Art Hardee, chief of police and director of security for Case Western Reserve. The class begins June 6. For information, call 368-1121, or go online.


The Office of Alumni Relations has partnered with Liberty Mutual to offer Case Western Reserve University alumni special savings on auto, home and renters insurance through Group Savings Plus. Two of Liberty Mutual's local sales representatives will be at Alumni House from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., May 28 to provide free, no-obligation rate quotes. Attendees are asked to bring a copy of their current insurance declarations for comparisons. Lunch will be provided by the Office of Alumni Relations. RSVP by calling 800-866-6280.

The Center for Community Partnerships invites the campus community to participate in a book collection drive for Carver Missions Academy Library in Liberia. The academy needs 10,000 books in order to become an accredited library. The local drive is sponsored by the Women in Leadership Development program at New Community Bible Fellowship. Academic books for grades K-12 will be accepted, and can be dropped off at the church from 8 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., June 7 at the church, located at 3557 Washington Blvd., Cleveland Heights. For information, contact the Center for Community Partnerships at 368-3909.

For Faculty and Staff

The Staff Advisory Council's (SAC) Community Service Committee is accepting Wish List donations for Ronald McDonald House (RMH) of Cleveland in conjunction with an upcoming pancake breakfast service project to be held June 7. The RMH Wish List can be found online. Gently used or new books also will be accepted. Drop off contact names and locations are: Janice Eatman-Williams, Center for Civic Engagement & Learning, Thwing Center basement; Michelle Saafir, Crawford Hall, Room 215; Mary Lou Smith, School of Dental Medicine, DO1230; and Theresa Grigger, Crawford Hall, Room 532. Pickups are available. Donations will be accepted until June 5. For additional information, call Michelle Saafir at 368-3185.

For Students

The Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences is offering its award-winning International Short-Term Immersion Courses for graduate and undergraduate students to Bangladesh and El Salvador in December. Students can earn three credit hours. The Bangladesh program will take place December 27 through January 11, 2009, and the El Salvador experience will take place December 6-13. In addition, plans are being made for spring break 2009 to Israel, Guatemala and the Netherlands. Learn more.


RePlay for Kids is hosting a toy repair workshop to benefit children with disabilities from 4-6 p.m. today in Nord Hall, Room 310. Volunteers will repair and adapt toys and assistive devices for Cleveland-area children.

Refer to the Web event calendar for a list of events and activities on campus and in the community today and in the days ahead.

The views and opinions of those invited to speak on campus do not necessarily reflect the views of the university administration or any other segment of the university community.

May 27, 2008

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Case in the News

Case Western Reserve University adds $100,000 imaging device to Kitt Peak National Observatory telescope

The Plain Dealer, May 27, 2008
Astronomers at Case Western Reserve University have a new tool to help scientists unravel the history of the universe. A $100,000 imaging device was recently installed on the university's Burrell Schmidt telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory in Tucson, Ariz. The thin, 3-inch-square wafer of silicon will allow stargazers to see a wider portion of the sky with greater detail. Chris Mihos, professor of astronomy, comments.

Laughter clubs help people 'yuk' their way to better health

The Plain Dealer, May 27, 2008
Doctors and researchers have found positive benefits of laughter, from maintaining a healthy heart to reducing stress and depression. As a result, laughter clubs are springing up around the county, including one in Lakewood, Ohio. Heath Demaree, associate professor of psychology at Case Western Reserve University, comments.

Experts: Region could compete in wind, R&D

Crain's Cleveland Business, May 26, 2008

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Northeast Ohio long has had the expertise to develop environmentally friendly technologies, but now the region finally appears to have the will to do it, according to local researchers and experts. The article cites the Great Lakes Institute for Energy Innovation, a public-private research collaboration led by Case Western Reserve University.

Getting divorced is an off-and-on process in Cuyahoga County

The Plain Dealer, May 25, 2008
Cuyahoga County judges and magistrates routinely allow divorce trials to run in fits and starts over weeks, months or sometimes a year or more, according to a Plain Dealer review of 2007 court records. Kathryn Mercer, associate professor of law at Case Western Reserve University, comments.

Connie Schultz: Doctor's apology can heal

The Capital Times, May 23, 2008
A number of academic medical centers are encouraging health care providers, including doctors, to disclose medical errors to patients and offer sincere apologies and fair compensation. Daniel Ornt, vice dean for education and academic affairs Case Western Reserve University's School of Medicine, comments.

Isabella Basile prepares to close well-known That Place on Bellflower restaurant

The Plain Dealer, May 24, 2008
That Place On Bellflower is closing May 31. The space is owned by Case Western Reserve University. Another restaurant is expected to open in the spot this year, although a deal has not been finalized.

Higher Ed News

How green is the college? Time the showers

New York Times, May 26, 2008
Oberlin College's new sustainability house — SEED, for Student Experiment in Ecological Design — is a microcosm of a growing sustainability movement on campuses nationwide.

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