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Thrilled to say that our team has been awarded a NASA Astrophysics Theory Program (ATP) Grant (21-ATP21-0144) for the 2021 cycle! Split between CMU (PI: Rodriguez, Co-I: Trac) and Northwestern University (Co-Is: Fragione, Rasio), the 4 year, ~$750K grant is to study the dynamical evolution of nuclear star clusters, the largest and densest stellar clusters in the universe. The effort at CMU will largely be focused on the dynamics itself, using the Cluster Monte Carlo (CMC) code to study nuclear star clusters across a variety of stellar/supermassive black hole masses, while the effort at Northwestern will focus on the hydrodynamics of the stellar and black hole collisions that occur in these dense stellar leviathans.

Combined with our active funding from both the NSF AAG program ($436K, to study the formation and evolution of lower-mass star clusters in cosmological simulations) and the Kaufman Foundation ($150K), our group currently has more than $1.3M in active funding, which should ensure that we can continue exploring black hole dynamics and their high energy transients for many years!

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