Skip to comments.Bradford Student Assists With Discovery Of New Planet
Posted on 01/20/2014 1:14:49 PM PST by SunkenCiv
Sam Mellon, a graduate of Bradford Area High School and a junior physics major and music minor at Westminster College in New Wilmington, was involved in the finding of KELT-b6, a Saturn-like planet located outside our solar system, called an exoplanet.
Mellon is the son of David and Martha Mellon of Bradford.
Sam Mellon, along with two other Westminster students and one Westminster faculty advisor, are part of a larger group called KELT (Kilodegree Extremely Little Telescope), which seeks to identify exoplanets. Research leading to the discovery of KELT-b6 was made with the help of the KELT-North survey telescope at the Winer Observatory in Arizona.
Research by the Westminster team is all volunteer, and they make time to observe the night sky to collect data...
The discovery of KELT-b6 was announced in June at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society, and the Astronomical Journal published the findings last week.
He said it is hard to know what the planet looks like because they are unable to get a photograph of the planet. We do know the star is relatively low in metallicity or metal-poor.
KELT-b6 is called hot Saturn due to its similar mass to Saturn.
Finding hot Saturns and hot Jupiters are more common than finding Earth-sized planets because their larger size makes them easier to detect, he explained.
For now, Mellon will continue doing exoplanet research at Westminster. After he graduates in May 2015, he plans to get a PhD in astrophysics. While a career in exoplanet research is not out of the question for Mellon, he does not yet know what his future will bring.
According to Mellon, the next direction in exoplanet research is to find ways to detect signs of life on other planets.
(Excerpt) Read more at bradfordera.com ...
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I guess a hot Saturn is better than a hot Uranus
He doesn’t know that Neptune, but if you hum a few bars...
I pay that price every time, lemme tell ya!