Jul 06th, 2016


Over the next few weeks, we will briefly feature one of our students who is participating in summer research, whether at HPU, another U.S. institution, or even abroad. For our first student profile, we recognize rising sophomore Thomas Boudreaux, who is participating in the Space Astronomy Summer Program (SASP) at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, MD. STScI is a world-renowned institute for astrophysics and space science research and serves as the operations center for the Hubble Space Telescope (and soon the James Webb Space Telescope!). Over the past few weeks, Thomas has been working with astronomer Dr. Scott Fleming on archival data from GALEX, an orbiting ultraviolet (UV) space telescope that imaged a large fraction of the night sky. Even though its detectors recorded the position and arrival time of every photon event, the data were archived almost exclusively as integrated, single images. Thomas’ goal is to use a Python package called gPhoton to go back to the time-tagged photon events and create UV light curves for all hot subdwarf stars observed by GALEX. With any luck, he will uncover new variable stars (pulsators, eclipsing binaries, etc.) that he can later follow up on using the robotic SKYNET telescopes. We’re excited to see where his research goes!