Started in 2006

Fermilab - University of Chicago
QuarkNet Center


Summer Student Research 2008

As a result of last summer's successful student research program, this year's summer program participants once again teamed up with staff members of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey to learn some astronomy and astrophysics, and to perform analyses of digital photographic images taken with the SDSS telescope in New Mexico. The team, made up of one teacher and four students, spent seven weeks at Fermilab analyzing galaxy clusters. The purpose of this project was to analyze the mass and radius of individual galaxies in a galaxy cluster using weak lensing analysis. To begin, the redshifts of the individual galaxies in a cluster were collected. The red-shift is found using the Bright Central Galaxy (BCG) in the SDSS data (Data Release 6 - DR6). Redshift is a measure of the "shift" of waves toward the red end of the spectrum. It occurs when the source of the waves is moving away from observer, just like Doppler Effect. It is used for measuring distances.

Initially to compare the results, the data in the Girardi catalogue were collected independently from DR6 of SDSS. The resulting graph of Girardi Redshift vs. SDSS Redshift was compiled. The project also compiled the results of the individual mass vs. Girardi Masses, and Mass/Radius ratio vs. Girardi Mass/Radius ratio. After the results were found to be acceptable, the process was used to analyze clusters in the Abell Catalogue. The results from this project are still pending as the project is ongoing and expected to be completed later in the year. Jim Annis was the mentor for the summer research project.