Summer 2011 News

Summer 2011 News


Renovations are now complete at the ETSU Planetarium.   Dr. Henson oversaw the installation of the new digital Digitarium Planetarium in addition to new seating, air conditioning, and flooring.   Dr. Luttermoser installed a new 5.1 audio system using a Sony-ES surround audio/video receiver, a Sony DVD player, and Paradigm Monitor-series speakers.   Funding for the renovations was provided by the ETSU Technology Access program and the ETSU `Friends of Astronomy' Foundation account. For more details, see


Physics major Erin Middlemas is participating in a Research Experience for Undergraduates program at Baylor University this summer.   Her summer research involves studying the effects of dust particles on argon plasma.

Physics major Olivia Miller is participating in a Research Experience for Undergraduate program at Bucknell University this summer.   She is working with Dr. James Higbie designing and building an imaging system that will be used to obtain images of Bose-Einstein Condensates and their interactions.

Physics major Jessica Webb is working this summer in the ETSU Dept of Physics and Astronomy with Dr. Beverly Smith on research involving infrared observations of variable stars from the COBE/DIRBE satellite

Physics major Nic Willis is working this summer in the ETSU Dept of Physics and Astronomy with Dr. Beverly Smith doing research involving multi-wavelength observations on interacting galaxies

Physics major Chance Brown is working this summer in the ETSU Dept of Physics and Astronomy with Dr. Richard Ignace on models of polarization in stars.

Physics major Jessica Webb presented her Honors thesis August 22, 2011.   Her thesis is titled `Phase Lags and Shapes of Light Curves of Asymptotic Giant Branch Stars'.


Drs. Mark Giroux, Beverly Smith, and Richard Ignace attended the May 2011 meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Boston Massachusetts. Dr. Giroux presented a poster entitled `Mid-Infrared Observations of Possible Intergalactic Star Forming Regions in the Leo Ring'.   Dr. Smith presented a poster entitled `The Local Environments of Ultra-Luminous X-Ray sources (ULXs) in Interacting Galaxies'.   The latter poster was co-authored by Physics major Olivia Miller.   Dr. Ignace gave a talk entitled `Linear Polarization of Oblique Magnetic Rotators'.

Drs. Richard Ignace, Gary Henson, and Tabetha Hole attended the `Stellar Polarimetry: Birth to Death' conference held in Madison in June 2011.  Dr. Ignace presented a poster entitled `Considerations of the Hanle and Zeeman Effects in Oblique Magnetic Rotators'.   Dr. Henson had a poster entitled `Optical Polarization Observations of Epsilon Aurigae During the 2009-2011 Eclipse', while Dr. Hole had a poster entitled `Can We Detect Clumpiness in Supernova Ejecta?'   Dr. Ignace was a member of the Scientific Organizing Committee for this meeting.

News from the Past.....