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Daly discusses black hole spins at AAS conference

Dr. Ruth Daly, Professor of Physics, was invited to participate in a press conference during the American Astronomical Society meeting in Washington D.C. on January 4, 2010. Daly was one of several astronomers who announced new advances in understanding the giant black holes that inhabit the centers of nearly all large galaxies.

The conference was covered by Sky & Telescope magazine in an article titled, "Black-Hole Bonanza" by Robert Naeye. The following is an excerpt from that article.

"The group, led by Daly, studied 55 supermassive black holes that are producing powerful high-speed particle jets. Using a new method that she published last year, Daly estimated each hole's spin from the jet's power. She found a wide range of black-hole spins among her 55 objects. The most distant of them, up to 10 billion light-years away and seen when the universe was young, spin at the maximum speed theoretically possible. But closer black holes, some just a few tens of millions of light-years away in essentially the present-day universe, spin at only about 10% to 80% of their theoretical maximum speed."

Daly's research was supported in part by a grant from the National Science Foundation and Penn State University.

Daly has been working in the fields of extragalactic astrophysics and cosmology for more than 20 years. She has published over 70 papers including more than 40 peer reviewed publications. Many of the papers included graduate and undergraduate students as co-authors. In addition, she is frequently an invited speaker at major national and international meetings.

In 2006, Daly received the Penn State Berks Outstanding Researcher Award in recognition of her research accomplishments. Prior to this, she was the recipient of a prestigious National Science Foundation National Young Investigator Award, a NSF/NATO Postdoctoral Fellowship, and a NASA Graduate Student Researcher Fellowship.
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