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Stellar McGill researcher receives Killam research fellowship

Astrophysicist Victoria Kaspi receives elite award for her research.

The Canada Council for the Arts has awarded a Killam Research Fellowship to Dr. Victoria Kaspi for her astrophysics research. Kaspi may spend her time among the stars, but she's got her feet firmly on the ground when it comes to her work. "I am extremely honoured that my project A New Window on the High Energy Universe was selected by the Council. Moreover, the award will provide a wonderful boost to this field of research that is pushing the boundaries of our knowledge," she said.

Neutron stars are stars that have collapsed. Kaspi's project will focus in part on the study of a small group of known neutron stars called magnetars. They have the highest magnetic fields known in the universe that retain and occasionally release high amounts of energy. The project title reflects the fact that the research will be part of the observing schedule of NuSTAR, a new X-ray telescope that NASA will launch in 2011.

Kaspi is one of eight outstanding Canadian researchers that have each been awarded $70,000 a year for two years, from a total of $1.12 million. The recipients are chosen by the Killam Selection Committee, which is comprised of 15 eminent scientists and scholars representing a broad range of disciplines. The awards support scholars engaged in research projects of outstanding merit in the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, health sciences, engineering and interdisciplinary studies within these fields.

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