Physics major Makennah Bristow (B.S. 2019) researched how galaxies evolve, using data from the SDSS-IV MaNGA Survey.

UNC Asheville astronomers Britt Lundgren and David Wake are both part of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), an international astronomy collaboration working to precisely measure the positions and properties of millions of nearby stars, galaxies, and quasars.  Lundgren studies quasars and the circumgalactic medium of galaxies, using spectra obtained by the SDSS-III BOSS and SDSS-IV eBOSS Surveys.  Wake specializes in studies of galaxy evolution and is the Sample Design Lead for the SDSS-IV MaNGA Survey, which is obtaining spatially-resolved spectroscopy for 10,000 galaxies in the local universe. Lundgren and Wake have also each led observational and archival programs using the Hubble Space Telescope. In 2023, Wake became the U.S. lead of a large parallel observing program using the James Webb Space Telescope.

UNC Asheville astronomer Christene Lynch has worked in a variety of different astronomy fields, from follow-up to gravitational waves, to studying magnetism in the lowest mass stars and extra-solar planets.  Their current research focuses on constraining the range of magnetic properties for cool stellar objects in order to understand magnetism in the broader population of stars. They plan to use a suite of low-frequency radio telescopes worldwide to complete a volume-complete observational campaign of low-mass stars. Christene also uses near-simultaneous targeted radio and optical observations to do detailed studies of key objects. These observational programs will more comprehensively identify the magnetic processes occurring in cool objects, inform planetary interaction models, and better quantify the impact of space weather effects.

Current UNCA students involved in research projects with Lundgren, Lynch, and Wake include:

  • Jose Alpizar (Computer Science)
  • Abby Grulick (Atmospheric Science / Astronomy)
  • Bella Johnson (Physics / Astronomy)
  • Will Kinley (Physics / Astronomy)
  • Riley McBride (Physics / Astronomy)
  • Solomon McDonald (Computer Science / Astronomy)
  • Loden Miller (Physics / Astronomy)
  • Nick Robisch (Computer Science / Astronomy)
  • Meghan Sedberry (Physics / Astronomy)
  • Aaron Speyer (Physics / Astronomy)
  • Kayla Sutton (Engineering & Mechatronics / Astronomy)

Recent publications: