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McMINN COUNTY NATIVE WINS TOP AWARD IN ASTROPHYSICS

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McMinn County, Tennessee native Dr. Colleen Wilson-Hodge has been recording explosions in space for the past decade. She is the principal investigator for the Gamma Ray Burst Monitor team. Last year, the team made history after independently detecting the first pulse of gamma rays to be associated with a gravitational wave at the same spot 130 million light-years away. The odds of this happening are around one in 20,000,000. According to a long-time theory, the events resulted from a collision of two dying stars called neutron stars. For their work, Dr. Wilson-Hodge and her team have earned the top award in high energy astrophysics, the Bruno Rossi Prize. Wilson-Hodge and her team will officially receive the award next January in Seattle at the annual meeting of the American Astronomical Society. Wilson-Hodge will also give a lecture at the event.

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