The astronomy group at UGA studies a wide range of astrophysical objects and phenomena using a wide range of observational and theoretical methods. We work on stars, star forming regions, and hot and cold gas clouds and supersonic shocks within our Galaxy. We take and analyze radio, optical, ultraviolet, and X-ray data using Arecibo, Chandra, FUSE, the GBT, Mt. Hopkins, ROSAT, XMM, and one the newest sites at Kitt Peak, the SARA telescope.
In order to better understand the observations, we perform detailed computer simulations of fluid motions and spectral signitures and we compute some of the atomic/molecular parameters needed for spectral simulations.
Clouds of Cold Gas in the Galaxy
The Galaxy is filled with clouds of cold, cool, warm, and hot gas. Molecules abound in the denser cold regions. Dr. Loris Magnani and collaborators use the Arecibo 305 meter radio telescope in Puerto Rico and the Green Bank 100 meter radio telescope in West Virginia to search for molecules such as CO, CH, OH, and H2CO throughout the galaxy.
Stellar Ages and Constraints on Planet Formation
Stars like Vega are thought to be orbited by disks of dusty material from which planets may be forming. Dr. J. P. Caillault and collaborators (including his former graduate student, Inseok Song) have used infrared and X-ray observations to determine the ages of Vega-like stars and thus determine the timescale during which their disks may have evolved.