2006 Student Research Conference:
19th Annual Student Research Conference

Science

Calculating the Rotational Curvature of the Milky Way Galaxy Through Observation of Hydrogen Emission Lines
Zach D. Ladlie
Dr. Matthew M. Beaky, Faculty Mentor

Radio astronomy is an important discipline within the field of astronomy. Radio waves can penetrate layers of dust and other matter in our galaxy, allowing us to make observations that are impossible at optical frequencies. In addition, atomic hydrogen – the most abundant element in our Galaxy – emits radiation in the radio frequency region. The Truman Observatory is equipped with several radio telescopes, including the Small Radio Telescope (SRT). The SRT has been calibrated and the antenna beamwidth has been determined. An experiment is underway to map the rotational velocity of the Milky Way by observing hydrogen emission lines along different points of the plane of the Galaxy. By plotting the velocities of each observed point according to its distance from the Galactic center, a rotational curve can be created. Details of this project will be described and results will be presented.

Keywords: astronomy, radio, hydrogen, emission, milky way, galaxy

Topic(s):Physics

Presentation Type: Poster

Session: 60-70
Location: OP Lobby and Atrium
Time: 4:15

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