The University of New Hampshire, a New England Council member, received a $2 million grant from NASA to fund a research project to study cosmic explosions and the debris that results from them.
The Large Area burst Polarimeter (LEAP) project, led by UNH Professor Mark McConnell , will also measure the polarization of gamma rays from gamma-ray bursts (GRBs). The project will include an instrument mounted on the International Space Station to measure the GRBs, yielding essential data about the strength of magnetic fields before stars collapse or collide. The LEAP project and four others received funding and will seek to improve their projects through Phase-A research that ends in 2021. NASA will then choose two of the projects to continue developing and launch them in 2025.
“Not only do we have the right instrument for the task, but we also have been very successful in putting together a team of researchers who represent some of the foremost researchers in the study of Gamma Ray Bursts,” said Dr. McConnell. “We are thrilled with the prospects for the LEAP project.”