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Amgen Scholars: Announcements of Opportunity

Below are Announcements of Opportunity posted by Caltech faculty for the Amgen Scholars program.

Announcements of Opportunity are posted as they are received. Please check back regularly for new AO submissions! Remember: This is just one way that you can go about identifying a suitable project and/or mentor. For additional tips on identifying a mentor click here.

Please remember:

  • Students pursuing Amgen must be U.S. citizens, U.S. permanent residents, or students with DACA status.
  • Students pursuing Amgen must complete the 10-week program from June 18 - August 23, 2024. Students must commit to these dates. No exceptions will be made.
  • Accepted students must live in provided Caltech housing.

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Project:  Characterization of hazardous asteroids using spacecraft data
Disciplines:  Astronomy, Planetary Science
Mentor:  Joseph Masiero, Solar System Scientist, (PMA),
Mentor URL:  (opens in new window)
Background:  Asteroids that come close to Earth's orbit present a potential hazard to our planet. Detailed characterization of these objects using multiple different data sources allows us to build a complete picture of the physical properties of specific objects, as well as understanding general trends in the population of these objects. This project will work in concert with a larger observing program to characterize asteroids with polarimetry and thermophysical modeling to understand the properties and origins of these objects.
Description:  This research project seeks to model the thermophysical properties of a subset of the near Earth asteroids that will be observed as part of the broader program using data from the NEOWISE space telescope. This work will focus on the objects with the largest infrared data sets that will provide the best support to the main project goals. The student will assist with all phases of this project, including conducting archive searches for available data, validating data quality, running thermophysical modeling routines to constrain asteroid properties, and interpreting results. This will require using existing software and tools to extract data, fit models, and plot results, and improving those tools. The student will also present their results to the broader team during the course of their work, and participate in writing up results for publication.

If the thermophysical modeling work is completed early, the student will also be given the opportunity to work on a new project in support of Roman Space Telescope data analysis. Roman will be conducting a large area sky survey at near-infrared wavelengths, and the RAPID project team at Caltech will be leading difference image analysis and alerting. The student will support this effort, in collaboration with the mentor, by developing software to inject asteroids into Roman image simulation test data. These data will then be used to test the capability of the processing pipeline to separate asteroids from other transient sources.
Student Requirements:  Python programming
Conducting astronomical observations
Programs:  This AO can be done under the following programs:

  Program    Available To
       SURF    both Caltech and non-Caltech students 

Click on a program name for program info and application requirements.

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