Friday, May 8, 2020

URSP Student Sara Jeffreys Researches Dwarf Galaxies

I am currently pursuing a career as a professor to study Astronomy, and I have found a
passion for Radio Astronomy, specifically. This is the study of the universe in different
wavelengths of light, usually in the Radio frequency, but it can sometimes include others. I have studied galaxies in in the past in my courses, and found myself to be very interested in them from the start. I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to pursue my interest in galaxies through this research project. 

Dwarf galaxies are so different from larger galaxies, and very hard to study because of their small size. My research has hopefully enhanced our knowledge of them. Scientists have made the connection that in larger galaxies there is a linear correlation between the Radio continuum and Infrared luminosities. Because dwarf galaxies are so much smaller, their characteristics tend to be different than larger galaxies, and do not follow this relationship for some reason. What will the lack of a linear correlation in dwarf galaxies do to the Radio-Infrared relation plot? Is there even a Radio-Infrared correlation to be found in them? If not, then what makes the dwarf galaxies different? 

 My research has given me the opportunity to study the properties of a group of dwarf galaxies. I have calibrated data of a dwarf galaxy in the Radio frequency and imaged and measured its flux value. Over the past few weeks, I have taken a more programming approach, thanks to the pandemic, and began the plotting phase of the research. I actually created a final plot that compares the dwarf galaxies we studied with a random set of normal sized galaxies in the Infrared vs Radio. The results were not what we expected them to be, and so I am excited to further continue this research in different Radio emissions band, to see if the unexpected trend will continue. Therefore, I will continue to program and do my literary research in order to understand exactly what is going on with dwarf galaxies. I am thoroughly excited.