- Research Program Mentor
PhD Doctor of Philosophy candidate
astronomy, astrophysics, cosmology, physics, planetary astronomy, stellar astronomy
To the nearest Pulsar and Beyond
Have you ever wondered about how astronomers study neutron stars? In this project, you will learn what a neutron star is and one way astronomical observers can study them! Using this website https://pulseatparkes.atnf.csiro.au/pulsardistance/, you have a whole database of neutron stars at your disposal. With it, you will learn about a specialized type of neutron star called a pulsar and about how we can measure the distances to these objects. Choose up to 10 pulsars from this database and follow the procedure to find their distances. Then, you can plot their distances vs their pulse rate to notice any trends in the data. Do pulsars that are farther away spin faster or slower than ones that are closer to Earth? As an extra challenge, you can find how luminous the pulsar is in the sky and compare that to how bright it looks to us on Earth! All of this information and data about pulsars and their distances will be synthesized in a scientific research paper. That will be your opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge and develop skills that researchers use to convey their own findings.