Astronomy summer research at Haverfordbwillman | June 7, 2011
There are five students at Haverford this summer doing astronomy research:
Aspen deVries, Haverford College (’14)
Alyssa Mayo, Haverford College (’13)
Rebecca Nakaba, Bennington College (’13)
Ana Nourmahnad, Haverford College (’14)
Sam Storck-Post, Beloit College (’12)
See how happy and smart they look:
There are lots of firsts for all of us this summer. For me, its the first time I’ve worked with REU students from the KNAC REU program. That is what brought Sam and Rebecca to Haverford. Its also the first time I’ve had a lab that was heavily stocked with students new to research. This means that there has been lots of Linux and IDL learning going on. Yay for computer programming.
These five students are working on three different projects:
Aspen – Investigating whether we can use the observed internal kinematics of Milky Way globular clusters and dwarf galaxies to put limits on the validity of the MOdified Newtonian Dynamics model of gravity (MOND).
Alyssa and Ana – Investigating three candidates for dwarf galaxies identified in RCS2 survey data, both using the original RCS2 catalog data and using follow-up observations obtained on the Magellan telescope in Chile.
Rebecca and Sam – Investigating how efficiently (or inefficiently!) broad-band photometry separates giant stars from dwarf stars, in the SDSS ugriz filter set and (hopefully) also with ugriz+ UKIDSS and/or WISE infrared observations.
We are three weeks in, and everyone is now comfortable working in the Linux environment, has learned a lot of astronomy jargon, and is independently writing IDL programs to perform calculations and to make nice figures displaying results. I look forward to seeing where these projects all go. I can’t believe that the 10-week summer research window is already 30% over.