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Freshman project in astrophysics

by m~ray
Tags: craters, impact
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m~ray
#1
Jan11-11, 02:15 AM
P: 29
hi, i am a first year student in an under-graduate inst. i have a lot of interest in astronomy and physics and wish to pursue research work in this field. however i have limited tools in terms of knowledge as this is only my first year. So can you suggest me some research project topics that will not require extremely so called hi-fi theories and maths. I just want to get a taste of how research works, while learning something about my passion (astronomy)..thank you..
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kg4pae
#2
Jan11-11, 02:38 AM
P: 27
Quote Quote by m~ray View Post
hi, i am a first year student in an under-graduate inst. i have a lot of interest in astronomy and physics and wish to pursue research work in this field. however i have limited tools in terms of knowledge as this is only my first year. So can you suggest me some research project topics that will not require extremely so called hi-fi theories and maths. I just want to get a taste of how research works, while learning something about my passion (astronomy)..thank you..
The easiest way to get involved is to join an astronomy club After that you might want to attend a star-party (usually listed online). Usually they have professional presenters there that can get you started on a project. Also look for astrophysics colloquia at the closest university with a physics department. Finally check out "Challenges of Astronomy" by Schlosser, Schmidt-Kaler & Milone (Springer Verlag), which has astronomy assignments in it. At any rate, keep at it: starting to get connected is usually the hardest part.
m~ray
#3
Jan11-11, 03:29 AM
P: 29
thanks...but i need to do a project this semester in my institution as a part of the course. So i wanted to do it on a subject i am interested in..So is there any topic in astronomy that i can take up ??

Cigarshaped
#4
Jan15-11, 10:38 AM
P: 4
Freshman project in astrophysics

Hi m~ray,
Quote Quote by m~ray View Post
thanks...but i need to do a project this semester in my institution as a part of the course. So i wanted to do it on a subject i am interested in..So is there any topic in astronomy that i can take up ??
I think you will find this project unique and very interesting. There are a number of sources I can help you with, off line.

1) Investigate the reason why craters exist in the following forms:
a) circular flat base, steep walled
b) -ditto- with central peak (of existing strata)
c) hexagonal, flat bottomed steep walled.

2) Come up with a solution to the Mercury observations that craters occur symmetrically and concentrically.
Nabeshin
#5
Jan15-11, 05:22 PM
Sci Advisor
Nabeshin's Avatar
P: 2,193
Quote Quote by m~ray View Post
So i wanted to do it on a subject i am interested in..So is there any topic in astronomy that i can take up ??
You want us to tell you what you're interested in?

You should start off by telling us what areas of astronomy you're interested in. General categories first, like planetary, stellar, galactic, extra-galactic, and then more specifics if you know them. It doesn't do any good for us to talk about what we're interested in. For example, Cigarshaped's suggestion sounds like the epitome of boredom to me; I just don't really like planetary astronomy/geology that much. So tell us a little more about what you're interested in and I'd be happy to throw out some potential ideas.
higginsdj
#6
Jan15-11, 06:31 PM
P: 26
Well how about asteroid lightcurves and spin rate determination? If allowed, you can bypass the observation stage and just take published raw data and do the rest of the work yourself! I publish all my data on my web site. If you are really keen (or just spin rate determination is too simple) then you can take the data from the binary asteroids I have observed and uncover all the parameters of the binary system then make some calculations on the geometry of the system.

Cheers

David
HHO, Canberra, Australia
http://www.david-higgins.com/Astronomy
Cigarshaped
#7
Jan20-11, 07:13 PM
P: 4
Quote Quote by Nabeshin View Post
For example, Cigarshaped's suggestion sounds like the epitome of boredom to me; I just don't really like planetary astronomy/geology that much.
So you find craters boring. Maybe that's because there's so many, everywhere we look. Have you ever stopped to ask yourself how they got there?
With fresh eyes/mind try removing the word 'impact', (quite a recent addition). Ask what else could have etched a flat-based, steep walled shape, not necessarily circular, but nearly always symmetrical, sometimes hexagonal. On the smallest lump of asteroid rock to the biggest lump of planet, these shapes are pretty consistent. You even find little ones preferentially perching on bigger ones and in the case of Mercury big ones centrally etched in bigger ones!

It doesn't look like haphazard impacts to me, more like 'machining'. In fact I've seen similar work done by EDM on metal plate, it's a standard engineering process. Electric Discharge Machining does exactly that with a high negative voltage plasma wand (cathode), over a positive (anode) plate. Check out the web!

It might just mean there's a lot of electricity out there in space. Not sure if there's any guys with electric wands though!
higginsdj
#8
Jan21-11, 03:22 PM
P: 26
Well any of Nabeshin's suggestions will likely be of little use if m~ray is actually interested in Planetary Astronomy! Or maybe he is trying to use his own bias to lead m~ray down a yet, undisclosed path.... Is there something wrong with Planetary Science? (FYI my observational interest is in Minor Planets)

Cheers

David
Nabeshin
#9
Jan21-11, 08:20 PM
Sci Advisor
Nabeshin's Avatar
P: 2,193
Quote Quote by higginsdj View Post
Or maybe he is trying to use his own bias to lead m~ray down a yet, undisclosed path...
Quite true! I certainly have my areas of interest, but I still don't know what m~ray is interested in! Since he never specified, I was just suggesting very broad categories.. of which planetary astronomy certainly is one. It's just not something that I know too terribly much about, nor am terribly interested in, that's all. Perhaps m~ray is interested in cratering or minor planets, but perhaps he's interested in seismic activity on the sun, dark matter distribution in young galaxies, or acoustic peaks in the CMB.

Who knows! He hasn't returned since the 11th, so I wonder if we'll ever find out...
ajclarke
#10
Jan22-11, 07:36 AM
P: 35
In my second year I did a simple light curve analysis of a Recurrent Nova. Was interesting. Looking at the overall changes in flux and what not. Time taken for the envelope to reform.

Was second year but tbh nothing in it was beyond a first year with a bit of dedication to read around the subject.

I picked RS Ophiuchi for mine =]
m~ray
#11
Jan22-11, 03:52 PM
P: 29
sorry for replying late...was busy with work the last week..unfortunately for me i figured it out that none of my profs in our institution works in areas of astronomy ..they work in various fields in physics, chemistry and biology...hence i had to choose from a field in which they were working..so i finally ended up taking a physics related field regarding stochastic resonance...i am quite happy to work on it ..also i tried to relate it with some astronomical phenomenon, i havn't been able to do so yet..!! yes i love planetary astronomy and wish to learn more about it in a systematic way (although my institute does not have much to offer me in astronomy..


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