Student: Miles Lucas, Undergraduate Student in Physics, Iowa State University
Research Mentor: Dr. Massimo Marengo
Analyzing Planetary Systems using Infrared Spectroscopy
I am involved in helping Dr. Massimo Marengo at Iowa State University in his focus on planetary system dynamics. He is using IRTF/SpeX data from NASA’s Near InfraRed Disk Survey (NIRDS). This data can be used to discover asteroid belt analogs in these systems leading to more information on the system physics and dynamics. In order to discover these analogs we need to model the photospheric emission and corresponding attenuation due to interstellar medium of the stars.
To accomplish this, I am working on the development of an open source statistical modeling technique in python. This technique is known as the Feldman-Cousins method and will help us fit certain complex models to astronomical data that is well suited for this method. Our goal is to have a fully-featured python package that can be used for a variety of appropriate models. The model we will be testing first with this method are spectral data models fit on IRTF data.
The exigence of making this code open-source is especially suited for NASA involvement so we can contribute this code to the JWST AstroPython software package.