Western University Physics adn AstronomyWestern Science

Solar System and Exoplanetary Astronomy

Supervisor: Dr. Stan Metchev

Project: Detecting the Shadows of Outer Solar System Comets

Can extend to MSc?:  Yes

Project Description (Abstract):

This project aims at detecting small icy objects—kilometre-sized comets—in the outer solar system with a new approach: by monitoring thousands of stars for the occasional eclipses by unseen comets.  This project is in its initial stage, and will involve telescope testing and observations, simulations of the predicted survey outcome, and a first peek at some very new and exciting science.

Project: Extraterrestrial Storms: in the Solar System and Beyond

Can extend to MSc?:  Yes

Project Description (Abstract):

This project will give us a first glimpse into what the observable characteristics of giant weather patterns—storms—would be on extrasolar planets. To this end, we will measure the behaviour of storm systems on solar system planets, and compare that to what we know about such storms on extrasolar “brown dwarfs”: giant planets’ more massive kin.  Such knowledge would then prepare us to study storms on extrasolar planets with the future (2018–) James Webb Space Telescope.


Other projects on extrasolar planets, or solar system asteroids and comets are also available.

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