POCA

A Partnership in Observational and Computational Astronomy

Year 5 Research, Education and Training Activities

Faculty Research

Co-PI Howell and PI Walter prepared a paper on the variable R CrB. While preparation occured during the reporting period, the paper was submitted to PASP in RPPR - Preview Report https://reporting.research.gov/rppr-web/... 1 April 2013, outside the current reporting period.

In January 2013, Walter submitted a proposal to the NASA Kepler Mission GO Cycle 5 program with Cash and Hinkle as Co-Is. Observations were approved in April but no funding was provided.

Walter conducted 3 observing runs using the Coude Feed telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory (KPNO).

Cash, Walter, Howell and Hinkle are preparing a paper on the Kepler light curves of RV Tauri and Semiregular variables.

Student Research

During the reporting period, 3 underrepresented minority graduate students at Clemson progressed toward advanced degrees. One (Shaun Hampton) will receive his M.S. in astronomy in May 2013 and then pursue a Ph.D. in theoretical particle physics at Ohio State University, since Clemson is not involved in that sub-discipline. A second graduate student (Jared Lalmansingh) will complete his M.S. in astronomy in the summer of 2013 and then seek employment. The third graduate student (Adrianna Delgado-Navarro) will take her Ph.D. qualifying exams in the fall of 2013 while conducting research on classical novae.

A total of 7 undergraduate students were supported through scholarships and/or summer internships at SC State during this award period. Five of the seven were from underrepresented groups (Hispanic and African-American). Two of the undergraduates came from out of state institutions (Montclair University and Sacramento Community College), while the other five were undergraduate physics majors with the astronomy option at SC State. One SC State student will graduate in May 2013, two more in May 2014 and two more in May 2015.

Cash, Smith and Walter at SC State continued to develop their professional skills through working with their collaborators at Clemson, NOAO and NASA. This included authorship on papers, writing and submission of grants as well as increasing their knowledge base within the areas of research and curriculum development.

Use of Research Facilities

The SCSU faculty and collaborators used the 1.3 meter Robotically Controlled Telescope and the Coude Feed telescopes at KPNO

Clemson used the SARA North (KPNO) and SARA South (CTIO) telescopes.

These obsevations support the research on RV Tauri and Semiregulars.

The NOAO/KPNO Coude Feed telescope is being used by SCSU faculty and students for research and in the case of students, for training. The 1.3m RCT is being used by SCSU faculty and students for research and training. The SARA North 0.9m recently had a spectrograph installed and Clemson has offered SCSU access to the spectograph to support its RV Tauri research. Hinkle will acquire high-resolution near-IR spectra with the Phoenix spectrograph on the KPNO 2.1-meter telescope as part of the ground support for the Kepler stars he, Cash and Walter are studying.

Thesis/Dissertations

Shaun Hampton. Pair Production by Primordial Black Hole Evaporation. (4/8/13). Clemson University.

Publications

Walter, D.K., Brittain, S.D, Cash, J. Hartmann, D., Howell, S.B., King, J.R., Leising, M.D., Mighell, K.J. and Smith, D.M (1/8/13). A Five Year Summary of the NSF PAARE Project at SC State. A poster presentation at the January 2013 meeting of the American Astronomical Society that summarizes the results of five years of the PAARE project at SC State and partners Clemson University and the National Optical Astronomy Observatory. Bibliographic Code: 2013AAS...22125512W

Kurgatt, Charles; Walter, D.K.; Howell, S.B.; Cash, J.; and Eleby, J.S. (1/9/13). A Study of Spectroscopic Variability of Select RV Tauri and Semiregular Stars. This poster presentation at the January 2013 meeting of the American Astronomical Society is a study of 3 RV Tauri and 4 Semiregular variables over a period of 10 years. Their spectral changes (e.g spectral type, effective temperature and luminosity) as a function of the phase of their pulsation cycle is investigated. Bibliographic Code: 2013AAS...22135406K.

Pugh, Bryan; Walter, D.K.; Howell, S.B.; and Cash, J. (1/9/13). Emission-Line Variability in the Iron Star XX Orphiuchus Over the Past Decade. This was a poster presentation at the January 2013 meeting of the American Astronomical Society. A nine-year study of the spectral and photometric changes of this unusual iron-emission line star is presented. A major photometric episode in 2004 was recorded as a significant decrease in the brightness of the star. Subsequent changes in the stars emission and absorption-line spectrum over the next few years is discussed and a model of the system is presented. Bibliographic Code: 2013AAS...22135405P.

Pugh, Bryan; Walter, D.K.; Howell, S.B.; and Cash, J. (1/9/13). Emission-Line Variability in the Iron Star XX Orphiuchus Over the Past Decade. This was a poster presentation at the January 2013 meeting of the American Astronomical Society. A nine-year study of the spectral and photometric changes of this unusual iron-emission line star is presented. A major photometric episode in 2004 was recorded as a significant decrease in the brightness of the star. Subsequent changes in the stars emission and absorption-line spectrum over the next few years is discussed and a model of the system is presented. Bibliographic Code: 2013AAS...22135405P.

Eleby, Johnae (11/9/12). Phase Analysis of RV Tauri and Semi-Regular Variables. A poster presentation at the Quadrennial Physics Congress in Orlando, FL. An analysis of the AAVSO light curves for 10 RV Tauri and Semiregular variables for the period 1998 - 2012 to determine the proper pulsational phase information. Abstract posted: http://www.spscongress.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/2012-PhysCon-Program.pdf.

McKay, Myles A. (11/9/12). The Light Curve Classification of TT Oph and UZ Oph. A poster presentation at the Quadrennial Physics Congress in Orlando, FL. An analysis of the AAVSO light curve data on these two stars and a discussion of their classification as RV Tauri variables. Abstract posted: http://www.spscongress.org/wordpress /wp-content/uploads/2012/11/2012-PhysCon-Program.pdf.

Kurgatt, Charles (11/9/12). A Spectroscopic Study of RV Tauri and Semiregular Variable Stars.. A poster presentation at the Quadrennial Physics Congress in Orlando, FL. A look at the change in spectral properties of two RV Taruri stars (AC Her and R Sct) and two Semiregular variables (g Her and Z UMa). Phase folded data from 2003-2012 allowed for a clearer picture of the behavior of these objects over a single pulsation cycle. Abstract posted: http://www.spscongress.org /wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/2012-PhysCon-Program.pdf.

Educational Aids or Curricula

Smith has developed and distributed on his web site (http://physics.scsu.edu/~dms/cosmology/home2.html), two new labs and 5 new simulations as well as updating one exisitng lab.

The one updated lab was:
- Observed Large Scale Structure Compared to Random Galaxies

The two new labs were:
- Cosmic Microwave Background Lab (under development)
- Other Dark Matter and Dark Energy Universes Lab

The five new simulations were:
- Dark Matter Revealed--Stars Orbit a Galaxy
- Dark Matter and Dark Energy in Other Universes
- Dark Energy Revealed by Supernova
- Inflation
- Gravitational Lensing (from Wolfram Demonstrations)

These are all related to cosmology and designed for novices and non-majors as well as for introductory science courses. These laboratory exercises have been used in physics and physical science classes at South Carolina State University as well being presented as a hands-on expereince for teachers and high school students visiting the campus.

All of these include materials to download and use in the classroom such as exercise sheets and data sets.

Labs and simulations can be found at:
http://physics.scsu.edu/~dms/cosmoogy/simulations.html

This product is being shared through:
1) presentations at state and national meetings
2) via the web
3) An attempt was made during this reporting period to publish these results. This included a submission by Smith to the "American Journal of Physics" (an education journal) in May 2012. However, AmJP declined to publish the article noting that they had recently devoted an entire issue to astronomy and his work would have fit nicely into that issue. However, in addition to some reviewers concerns, the editors felt the general audience would be too small to justify publishing in the regular issue.

A submission to the Astronomy Education Review in April 2012 was also declined because of the anticipated small size of the audience.