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Undergraduate Research


Extrasolar Planet Discovery

Kutztown University Astronomy students are involved in the process of discovering extrasolar planets.  Extrasolar planets, or exoplanets, are planets that orbit distant stars other than the Sun.  The KU Observatory is part of a network of research observatories that performs follow-up observing for the Kilodegree Extremely Little Telescope (KELT) project.

We also perform follow-up observing for NASA's Kepler Eclipsing Binary Working Group to find circumbinary exoplanets and to study other stellar properties.

For more information on exoplanet research at KU, please visit Dr. Phill Reed's website.

Kutztown University has been awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to support undergraduate student participation in exoplanet discovery research!  See Dr. Phill Reed's website for more information and to apply to participate in the program.

Plot of extrasolar planet light curve


Planetary Surface Processes

image of surface of Mars

Kutztown University Astronomy students use numerical modeling and topographical profiles to study the dynamics of surface processes on the planet Mars.

For more information on planetary surface processes research at KU, please visit Dr. Erin Kraal's website.


Stellar Astrophysics

Kutztown University Astronomy students perform observational photometry and spectroscopy to study a wide range of astrophysical phenomena.  Some projects have included measuring the rates of mass transfer between stars in close binary star systems, discovering activity cycles on magnetically active stars, and observing the "afterglow" of a supernova in a distant galaxy.

Our students use professional observing methods and the latest modeling codes to collect and analyze their observations.

For more information on stellar astrophysics research at KU, please visit Dr. Phill Reed's website.

animated model of an interacting binary star

plot of spectra of an interacting binary star