Two UH Hilo students receive space grants

University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo
Alyson Kakugawa-Leong, (808) 974-7642
Director, Media Relations, University Relations
Posted: Oct 6, 2010

Two University of Hawai‘i at Hilo students have received $3,000 grants from the Hawai‘i Space Grant Consortium to conduct research using UH Hilo’s new 36-inch Hoku Ke‘a telescope atop Mauna Kea.

Briana Hurley, a junior physics and astronomy major, has titled her project, “Photometrically Re-imaging the Pleiades Open Cluster using the Hoku Ke‘a 0.9m Telescope.” Her research will measure the brightness and surface temperatures in the Pleiades open cluster of stars, also called the “Seven Sisters,” which may have been erroneously measured in the past.

Jamie Scharf, a senior geology and astronomy major, has titled her project, “The Calibration of the CCD for the Hoku Ke‘a Telescope.” Her project will test the stability and light-detection capabilities of the new telescope’s charge-coupled device, a sophisticated $45,000 digital camera.

Both projects are mentored by Dr. David James, assistant professor of astronomy at UH Hilo and Hoku Ke‘a director. Both Hurley and Scharf will co-author papers with James on their projects by the end of the Fall 2010 semester.