Undergraduate Research

Research areas + opportunities

Interested in getting started with research in astronomy? Join us! Many of our majors are working on research with faculty. Find out how you can too! Research students have access to the Delany Undergraduate Astronomy Laboratory and computer cluster to conduct their work.

IU astronomers work on exoplanets, stars, and galaxies, and carry out computer simulations of dynamical motions in astronomical systems. Within these broad categories, you can find studies on the inclination of exoplanets’ orbits, the origin of the light elements using stellar spectroscopy, globular clusters and compact objects in these clusters, and observational tests of galaxy evolution.

Recent undergraduate projects

  • A spectral analysis program in Python that automatically measures the redshift, line flux, line ratios, and reddening coefficients in emission line spectra from star-forming galaxies.
  • Examination of the environments of galaxies with extremely high star formation rates.
  • Measuring rotation in globular clusters from multi-object spectra obtained at the WIYN Telescope.
  • Determining lithium abundances in main sequence stars in the NGC 752 star cluster.

How to get started

  • Talk to faculty working in areas that interest you.
  • Visit the Astronomy Club to meet other students working on research projects.
  • Ask the instructors in your astronomy classes for suggestions on how to get started.
  • Attend the department’s Friday Lunch seminars to learn about ongoing research.