Faculty Sponsor

Luke Leisman

Streaming Media


Arts and Sciences



Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Symposium Date

Summer 7-24-2020


My research has involved researching ultra diffuse galaxies (UDGs), galaxies whose stars are spread far apart, making them appear much dimmer than a "normal" galaxy. UDGs are also strange because they are rotating too slowly for the amount of matter they contain. Specifically, I have been studying UDGs using radio astronomy using the Arecibo and Green Bank Telescopes to detect emission from atomic hydrogen in UDGs. This is useful because UDGs are too dim or too far to observe with optical telescopes. I have been collaborating with fellow radio astronomers, the Undergraduate ALFALFA Team (UAT), which already have a method for analyzing the data taken with the Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico. However, the UAT does not have similar software for data taken with the Green Bank Telescope, so my research involved developing new code that works efficiently at the Green Bank Telescope. I have worked closely with programs such as Python, IDL, and VNC to produce and alter new code so the GBT data can be processed as smoothly as Arecibo. I learned how to use various coding programs as well as how to find values such as recessional velocity and distance to plug into Python and determine a galaxy’s mass and amount of atomic hydrogen gas. By comparing these measurements of "normal" galaxies observed with Arecibo and UDGs observed at Green Bank, we are able to look for differences to see if they help explain why the stars are so diffuse.

Biographical Information about Author(s)

Olivia Krugman is a rising Junior who is a physics major with a focus in astronomy. She loves astronomy and all forms of it, which is what prompted her to do research in radio astronomy. She had not known much about it before her research, and wanted to learn it. She hopes to learn more about it and possibly make a career out of it in the future.