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Associate Professor of Physics Aileen A. O'Donoghue is among the scientists who have been at work on an extensive survey of stellar activity in nearby solar-type stars, the results of which were reported at the recent meeting of the American Astronomical Society. This report is of special interest, as it may provide information about the behavior of the sun in both the past and the future.

Also listed as a researcher in the survey is 2003 physics graduate Emily R. Knox, of Fairport, New York.

The team of astronomers has been engaged in a NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology-funded three-year project obtaining spectroscopic data for the nearly 3,600 sun-like stars within 130 light-years of the sun. The purposes of thes project are to provide new, precise classifications of these stars; to derive the basic physical characteristics of these stars, such as temperatures, evolutionary states and overall elemental abundances; and to provide a "snapshot" of the stellar activity of these stars.

The report states that the team is "more than halfway to our goal of measuring the stellar activity in our 3,600-star sample."

O'Donoghue recently was named Colorado Mountain College Alumnus of the Year. She earned her associate's degree from Colorado Mountain College in 1978, and has been a member of the St. Lawrence faculty since 1988. O'Donoghue is also a graduate of Fort Lewis College, with a master's degree and Ph.D. from the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology.

Posted: January 15, 2004