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UR: I Spy Transits and Pulsations – Empirical Variability in White Dwarfs Using Gaia and the Zwicky Transient Facility

7 Mar 2021, 17:00 UTC
UR: I Spy Transits and Pulsations – Empirical Variability in White Dwarfs Using Gaia and the Zwicky Transient Facility
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The Undergraduate Research series is where we feature the research that you’re doing. If you are an undergraduate that took part in an REU or similar astro research project and would like to share this on Astrobites, please check out our submission page for more details. We would also love to hear about your more general research experience!
Joseph GuidryUniversity of Texas at Austin

Hi! I’m Joseph (he/him/his), a fourth year Astronomy & Physics undergrad at UT Austin applying to graduate programs in astronomy for fall 2021 start. I love observing, studying white dwarf stars, cooking, and photographing the beautiful natural world.White dwarf stars mark the end point for about 97% of stars in the Universe, including the Sun. As these stellar “fossils” cool for the remainder of their lives, a significant fraction of these white dwarfs will vary in brightness. These variations are caused by a myriad of mechanisms, including gravity wave pulsations, accretion of a nearby companion star, and transits by planets and debris clouds. With several enormous data sets floating around, it is becoming increasingly important to develop efficient ways to mine these data sets for interesting stars like these “that go bump in the night.” We ...

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