Christian Aganze (Morehouse ’16) who participated in the 2014 and 2015 programs, has been awarded an American Astronomical Society (AAS) Funds for Astronomical Meetings: Outreach to Underrepresented Scientists (FAMOUS) grant. The grant provides up to $1000 for travel, meals & lodging for participation in the January 2016 AAS meeting in Kissimmee, Florida. Christian will be presenting his work searching for distant brown dwarfs in the HST WFC3 Infrared Spectroscopic Parallels Survey (WISPS).
After completing 8 weeks of intensive research on the spectra of distant, cool brown dwarfs, Morehouse Bridge Scholar Christian Aganze presented his results at the 2015 UCSD Summer Undergraduate Research Conference. Chris was able to find several dozen new late M, L and T dwarfs hidden among thousands of galaxy spectra in WFC3 Infrared Spectroscopic Parallel (WISP) Survey data. In many cases, these sources are well over 1000 light-years away, making them some of the most distant brown dwarfs known. Chris joined other members of the Cool Star Lab presenting results on cool brown dwarf spectra, atmospheres and physical properties.
Morehouse Bridge scholar Christian Aganze (right) with Prof. Burgasser and Cool Star Lab colleague Adrian Suarez.
Christian’s presentation slides can be seen here.
All of the UCSD-Morehouse-Spelman Bridge scholars were on present and presenting at the 2015 National Society of Black Physicists (NSBP) National Meeting, February 25-28 in Baltimore, MD. This Annual Conference brings together a broad range of experts in multiple fields of physics (astronomy, astrophysics, biophysics, condensed matter and materials, physics, high energy, etc.), and is the largest academic meeting of minority physicists in the United States. It is co-organized in partnership with Associated Universities, Inc. and co-sponsored by the National Science Foundation.
Christian Aganze, a 2014 Morehouse Bridge Fellow working with Prof. Adam Burgasser, won a poster award at the 2014 National Conference of the Society for the Advancement of Chicano and Native American Scientists (SACNAS). Christian won the award for his presentation of work done this summer to investigate the mysterious nature of GJ 660.1B, a cool companion to the nearby M0 dwarf GJ 660.1. Using data in the SpeX Prism Library and published spectral index relations, Christian has found that this source is either very young or metal poor, but careful inspection supports the latter hypothesis. This makes GJ 660.1B a new benchmark for metal-poor very low mass dwarfs, and is a cautionary tale for index-based gravity measures.
The UCSD-Morehouse Physics Bridge program has selected its first class of Bridge Scholars for 2014. They are (from left to right): Christian Aganze (2nd year, Physics/Electrical Engineering), Jeremy Ariche (2nd year, Physics), Saidou N’gaide’ (2nd year, Applied Physics/Aerospace Engineering), Julian Pilate-Hutcherson (3rd year, Applied Physics/Civil Engineering) and Jarrhett Butler (4th year, Applied Physics/Nuclear Engineering). Each of these students will be paired with one the UCSD faculty mentors for an 8-week research position and graduate preparation training.