Astronomy & Astrophysics

Astronomy & Astrophysics

The Astronomy Group at Cal Poly Pomona is both very active on-campus and well-connected off-campus through collaborations with research institutions throughout California, across the country, and around the globe. Astronomy research at Cal Poly Pomona focuses on the fundamental astrophysical problems of star and planet formation, emphasizing the strong connections to galaxy evolution and the origins of life itself. The Astronomy Group maintains a dedicated computer laboratory for the use of our students, featuring powerful Macintosh computers running state-of-the-art astronomy and graphics design software packages. Students engaged in astronomy research gain a depth and breadth of knowledge in astrophysics well beyond our course curriculum and learn fundamentals of data acquisition and analysis, computer programming, communication and presentation skills.

About the Faculty

Assistant Professor Matthew PovichN49M17.jpg studies the formation and evolution of massive star clusters/associations and their H II regions in our Milky Way Galaxy. His research involves the analysis of large astronomical datasets obtained primarily through survey observations in the X-ray, infrared, and radio. Dr. Povich is a core member of several international astronomy research collaborations, including the GLIMPSE and Milky Way Project Teams. He is also the Associate Director of CAMPARE. Students working with Dr. Povich have pursued a variety of research projects, from triggered star formation and protoplanetary disks to the identification of extremely red galaxies and SETI.

ARO_12m.jpgProfessor Alexander Rudolph provides numerous research opportunities for students as the Principal Invesigator and Director of the CAMPARE summer research program. His own astronomy research probes the formation of stars and planets and the structure and abundance gradients of the Milky Way, primarily through radio and near-infrared observations. Dr. Rudolph is also very active in Physics and Astronomy Education Research.

Dr. Joseph Rhee studies dusty, planet-forming disks around very young stars, in collaboration with a research group at UCLA.

Professor Suketu Bhavsar, Director of the Kellogg Honors College, has a research background in computational astrophysics and cosmology, in particular the formation of superfilaments, the largest structures in the universe. Honors College students interested in astronomy and astrophysics research are encouraged to consult with Dr. Bhavsar or any other astronomy faculty member to lean more about opportunities offered through the Department of Physics & Astronomy.

Selected Publications

M. S. Povich, M. A. Kuhn, K. V. Getman, et al., The MYStIX InfraRed Excess Source Catalog. (2013) The Astrophysical Journal Supplement, 209, 31. DOI: 10.1088/0067-0049/209/2/31

J. A. Eisner, G. H. Rieke, M. J. Rieke, K. M. Flaherty, T. J. Arnold, Jordan M. Stone, S. R. Cortes, E. Cox, C. Hawkins, A. Cole, S. Zajac and A. L. Rudolph, Time-monitoring observations of the ro-vibrational overtone CO bands in young stars. (2013) Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 434, 407. DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stt1029

C. Melis, B. Zuckerman, J. H. Rhee, et al., Rapid disappearance of a warm, dusty circumstellar disk. (2012) Nature, 487, 74. DOI: 10.1038/nature11210

R. J. Simpson, M. S. Povich, S. Kendrew, et al., The Milky Way Project First Data Release: a bubblier Galactic disc. (2012) Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 424, 2442. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2012.20770.x

L. Chomiuk & M. S. Povich, Toward a Unification of Star Formation Rate Determinations in the Milky Way and Other Galaxies. (2011) The Astronomical Journal, 142, 197. DOI:  10.1088/0004-6256/142/6/197

M. S. Povich, N. Smith, S. R. Majewski, et al., A Pan-Carina YSO Catalog: Intermediate-mass Young Stellar Objects in the Carina Nebula Identified Via Mid-infrared Excess Emission. (2011) The Astrophysical Journal Supplement, 194, 14. DOI: 10.1088/0067-0049/194/1/14

M. S. Povich, L. K. Townsley, P. S. Broos, et al., Candidate X-ray-emitting OB Stars in the Carina Nebula Identified Via Infrared Spectral Energy Distributions. (2011) The Astrophysical Journal Supplement, 194, 6. DOI: 10.1088/0067-0049/194/1/6

J. C. Carson, K. D. Hiner, G. G. Villar III, et al., A Distance-Limited Imaging Survey of Substellar Companions to Solar Neighborhood Stars. (2009) The Astronomical Journal, 137, 218. DOI: 10.1088/0004-6256/137/1/218

J. H. Rhee, I. Song, B. & Zuckerman, Warm Dust in the Terrestrial Planet Zone of a Sun-like Pleiades Star: Collisions between Planetary Embryos? (2008) The Astrophysical Journal, 675, 777 DOI: 10.1086/524935

J. H. Rhee, I. Song, B. Zuckerman & M. McElwain, Characterization of Dusty Debris Disks: The IRAS and Hipparcos Catalogs. (2007) The Astrophysical Journal, 660, 1556 DOI: 10.1086/509912

M. S. Povich, J. M. Stone, E. Churchwell, et al., A Multiwavelength Study of M17: The Spectral Energy Distribution and PAH Emission Morphology of a Massive Star Formation Region. (2007) The Astrophysical Journal, 660, 346 DOI: 10.1086/513073

A. L. Rudolph, M. Fich, G. R. Bell, et al., Abundance Gradients in the Galaxy. (2006) The Astrophysical Journal Supplement, 162, 346 DOI: 10.1086/498869

S. Bharadwaj, S. P. Bhavsar, & J. V. Sheth, The Size of the Longest Filaments in the Universe. (2004) The Astrophysical Journal , 606, 25 DOI: 10.1086/382140

A. L. Rudolph, R. Bachiller, N. Q. Rieu, et al., A Molecular Line Study of the HH 7-11 Outflow. (2001) The Astrophysical Journal , 558, 204 DOI: 10.1086/322440

J. P. Bernstein & S. P. Bhavsar, Models for the magnitude-distribution of brightest cluster galaxies. (2001) Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 322, 625. DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-8711.2001.04124.x

J. D. Barrow, S. P. Bhavsar, & D. H. Sonoda, Minimal spanning trees, filaments and galaxy clustering. (1985) Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 216, 17.