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Heather Cutler '12, at the controls at Arecibo (Photo by Jeff Miller)

Heather Cutler '12, a physics major from Waterbury, VT, traveled to the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico over Thanksgiving break, with Priest Associate Professor of Physics Aileen O'Donoghue and Laboratory Coordinator Jeff Miller, in preparation for a longer residency in January.

The team, along with teams from Colgate University and St. Mary's College of California, had four nights of observation with the telescope, and Cutler gained experience on the computers that control the telescope, plus some data analysis.

St. Lawrence is a member of the Undergraduate ALFALFA (Arecibo Legacy Fast ALFA) Team, a consortium of 16 institutions engaged in a program sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to promote undergraduate research within the ALFALFA project. The ALFALFA survey is an on-going blind survey of extragalactic neutral hydrogen (HI). The survey uses the largest single-dish radio telescope in the world, the 305-meter (1,000-foot) dish at the Arecibo Observatory, in Arecibo, Puerto Rico. When the survey is completed, ALFALFA will have detected more than 25,000 extragalactic HI line sources.

Cutler, O'Donoghue and Miller will return to the observatory in January for the 4th annual ALFALFA Undergraduate Workshop.

A graduate of Harwood Union High School, Cutler is a member of the physics honor society Sigma Pi Sigma; the student leadership honor society Omicron Delta Kappa and the women's indoor and outdoor track teams.

More: Physics Department Web Site

Posted: December 1, 2010


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