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Month: January 2023

UNCA Astronomers Present at the 2023 Winter AAS Meeting in Seattle

UNCA Astronomers Present at the 2023 Winter AAS Meeting in Seattle

Jan 15. 2023:

Representing UNCA at the 2023 AAS Meeting: Prof. Britt Lundgren, Delaney Carlton, Abdullah Sayed, Prof. David Wake

After a multi-year hiatus due to pandemic travel restrictions, students and faculty from UNCA’s Department of Physics and Astronomy happily returned this month to the largest annual US-based astronomy conference: the Winter Meeting of the American Astronomical Society, which was held January 8-12, 2023 in Seattle, Washington.

UNCA seniors Delaney Carlton (Physics) and Abdullah Sayed (Physics/Math/Astronomy) presented interactive posters describing the results of their undergraduate research. Each of their projects leveraged the vast astronomical dataset of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey to explore different outstanding questions in galaxy evolution and cosmology.

UNCA Physics Major and varsity swimmer Delaney Carlton presents results from using quasar spectra to backlight and measure the gas in the halos of foreground galaxies observed in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey’s eBOSS Survey.
UNCA Physics/Math major Abdullah Sayed describes his work using the distribution of metal-enriched gas in quasar spectra from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey to measure the baryon acoustic oscillation scale: a “standard ruler” that is used to measure the expansion history of the universe.

Delaney and Abdullah also attended the AAS graduate school fair and listened to a variety of plenary talks delivered by world experts on topics ranging from space telescopes to exoplanets to supermassive black holes. There was even time left over to collect loads of free NASA stickers and posters from the exhibit hall and explore a bit of downtown Seattle!

On the faculty side, Prof. Britt Lundgren also gave a contributed talk about ESCIP (Enhancing Science Courses by Integrating Python): a new collaboration aiming to improve the development and use of educational Python notebooks in Physics, Astronomy, and Chemistry.

All of our team’s research is ongoing, so check back soon for more updates!


This conference travel was made possible with support from UNCA’s Undergraduate Research Program office, donations supporting the Brian Dennison Award for Undergraduate Research, funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF 18-575 #2107727), and from the Research Corporation for Science Advancement (CS Award #26868).