Astrobites features the most recent research in astrophysics — including work done by undergrads! You can see our previous posts on undergraduate research here.
If you’re an undergrad or you know undergrads doing interesting research related to astrophysics, we’d love to hear from you! It can be published or unpublished work — if it’s something you’ve put time and effort into and would like to share with us, we want to see it.
Please submit a brief (fewer than 200 words) write-up of your work using the form below. The target audience is one familiar with astrophysics but not necessarily your specific subfield, so write clearly and try to avoid jargon.
Please also provide a one- or two-sentence bio describing where and when you did the research you’re reporting (was it an REU? Is it research you do at your undergrad institution?) and what year you’re in currently.
Here’s an example bite:
Abby Smith is an undergraduate studying Astronomy at Fake University. She completed this research at the REU University REU program under the supervision of Dr. Advisor. She plans to present these results at AASXYZ.
Can we detect exomoons, or moons around exoplanets? To answer this question, I simulated the light curves (or the light as a function of time) we would see in the Kepler Telescope if a planet with a moon passed in front of a star. I varied star’s, planet’s and moon’s physical properties, like the masses and radii. I found that Kepler can detect large moons around small planets and small stars. This result is surprising, because previous studies indicate that Kepler cannot detect moons at all. We plan to further explore this model to calculate how many exomoons Kepler should have detected over the past five years. This work will be presented in January at AAS.