INTRO: Great Balls of Fire

Payton B -

My name is Payton. I have always loved astronomy. In my fifth-grade science class, my teacher finished the last unit with some time left in the year so she filled that time by teaching astronomy. From the moment I learned about the sun and moon, I was captivated, and it only got more interesting as time went on. I learned about the stars outside of our solar system, how they formed, and how they died.  I learned about how time changes when near a black hole. Everything about astronomy interested me. 

A year later, my grandparents got me a telescope for Christmas. Before even opening the rest of my gifts, I ran outside, set it up, and pointed at the sky. I could barely wait for nighttime so that I could look at the moon and planets. The first thing I did was point it at Jupiter. It was the first time I was ever able to see its red spot and this only furthered my love for astronomy. Now, I am allowed to further explore my curiosity and I cannot wait.

For the first week, I will be doing mostly internet research and interviews so I will get a more in-depth understanding of my mentor’s research on the topic. This is to make sure I fully understand what I will be doing and what my responsibilities will be. After, I will be performing observations and gathering data on the stars, specifically LBVs with my mentor, by using telescopes. Then I will work with my mentor to create a code that will help us understand the data that we gathered. Lastly, if the coding works out, we will be left with good and understandable data that we will put together to help us further understand these stars.  Hopefully, I will be doing experiments to understand the data that I have collected. My final goal is a complete understanding of the data that we have gathered and contribute to the ongoing research at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University on the subject.

Below is a link to my Senior Project Proposal that breaks down the background research performed and goes more into what we are observing and why.  Senior Project Proposal

Until next time!

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    Your project sounds like a lot of fun! I can’t wait to hear more about it! I’m just curious, who will you be interviewing? Will it be astronomy students, professors, or experts in the field?

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