Southern Utah University

Southern Utah University is actively using the Great Basin Observatory to conduct research such as examining double star systems scattered across the night sky. Double star systems come in many forms. Some systems contain stars that only appear to be related from earth’s perspective, and others possess stars that are gravitationally bound to one another.  The goal of the Southern Utah University Research Team is to help classify these systems. Due to the slow movement of stars, sufficient data for conclusions can take many years to collect. By conducting research with the GBO, students at SUU are helping assemble pieces to an astronomical puzzle.

In the fall of 2017, the SUU Research Team was able to assert, through using GBO research, that a three-star system was actually a double star system. These classifications are the necessary first steps in the study of stars. The findings of these students are queued for publication in the Journal of Double Star Observations in July of 2018. Similar findings can be expected soon as similar groups are actively examining other multiple-star systems.

The students that benefit from the GBO partnership come from many different fields and backgrounds. SUU does not have a physics major. Students currently conducting research come from majors such as: Criminal Justice, Aviation, Biology, and Science Education. Research using the GBO has helped students secure enrollment in graduate programs in disciplines ranging from law to pharmacy school.