Summer 2019

Another productive summer of undergraduate research!

Organizers and student presenters (including three of the Summer 2019 JHU interns) for the Aug 2019 Maryland Space Grant Student Symposium

Vedant Chandra
(advisors: graduate student Hsiang-Chih Hwang, Prof. Zakamska) applied machine-learning techniques to the analysis of spectra of white dwarfs — compact remnants of stars like the Sun. The spectral features he can extract from the white dwarf spectra can give precise measurements of white dwarf temperature, surface gravity and mass. Vedant has two papers in preparation based on his summer 2019 research internship.

Evan Petrosky (advisors: graduate student Hsiang-Chih Hwang, Prof. Zakamska) analyzed 200,000 variable objects in the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) data archive, learned to identify periodic variables, to measure their periods and to analyze their lightcurves. Evan is preparing a paper based on his summer 2019 research internship.

Shuchen Zhang (advisors: graduate student Hsiang-Chih Hwang, Prof. Zakamska) explored the emerging archive of the NASA Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), learned to visualize variability data, to classify different kinds of stellar variability and to understand their physical nature.

Katherine Xiang (advisor: Dr. David Nataf) continued her project started during the summer 2018 research internship and is wrapping up her paper on buckling galactic bars in simulations and in observations.

Ross Dempsey (advisors: Prof. Zakamska, Prof. Bah) continued his work in astrophysics and in particle theory. His paper on the origin of the bow-shock fingers in the Orion nebula has been submitted to Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Summer talk series for undergraduate interns (organized by D. Nataf):
June 25 — Prof. David Sing ““Probing the Atmospheres of Distant Exoplanets with Hubble””
July 2 — Dr. Kate Rowlands “Caught in the act: galaxy transformation over cosmic time”
July 9 — Dr. Jennifer Wojno “Galactic archaeology in Andromeda and the Milky Way”
July 18 — Prof. Julian Krolik “Bright Black Holes”
July 23 — Dr. Tanvi Karwal “The Hubble tension: how old is the Universe and how fast is it expanding today? “
July 25 — Dr. Lou Strolger “High Redshift Supernovae: Beyond The Epoch of Dark Energy”
August 1 — Dr. Duncan Watts “Observing the Cosmic Microwave Background with CLASS”
class install
Saianeesh Haridas went to the CLASS site in the Chilean Andes to help install the new telescope in 2019.