May General Meeting
Sunday, May 17, 2015 (Note date!) at 7p.m.
Grady Planetarium, South Mountain Headquarters
High Resolution Spectroscopy for Education & Research with a 0.6-meter Telescope.
Featuring Phill Reed, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Physics & Astronomy
The Kutztown University Observatory (KUO) operates a robotic 0.6-meter RC telescope that is equipped with a high-precision multicolor photometry system and a fiber-fed echelle spectrograph. Recent work at KUO includes an international collaboration to study the pulsations of the variable star V473 Lyr, which is the only Cepheid variable known to show amplitude variations of a Blazhko-like effect (long-period modulations). KUO has also been working to detect new extrasolar planets in orbit around some of the hottest and brightest host stars as a follow-up observatory for the Kilodegree Extremely Little Telescope (KELT) Project. The latest ongoing work at KUO is the new campaign to observe bright interacting Algols (binary stars undergoing mass flow between them), in order to create Doppler tomograms (indirect images) of their mass transfer streams and the resulting circumstellar disks that develop. Continuous observations from the dedicated observatory will monitor the disks as they develop, disappear, redevelop, etc., and interact with the stars' magnetic fields.