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Winters to present at American Astronomical Society Conference

One of Morehead State’s Craft Academy for Excellence in Science and Mathematics juniors has been chosen to present his research at next year’s winter meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS).  

Colby Winters of Cattletsburg has been a part of the Pulsar Search Collaboratory (PSC) for three years after being introduced to the program by his astronomy teacher during his freshman year at Boyd County High School. His work with the PSC involves sifting through terabytes of data looking for an extremely rare object called a pulsar. By helping sort this data that is too broad to be sorted by computer algorithms and too large to be sorted by only a few people, students have the potential to discover an object that could help further understand our universe. He has done presentations about his work with the PSC at West Virginia University Capstone seminars; Green Bank Observatory student research presentations; and the Robotic Telescopes, Student Research and Education Conference.  

Winters, along with his colleague and co-author, Samuel Jett, focus their research on studying high magnetic field pulsars and how they are different from other pulsars. AT MSU, Winters is working with Dr. Thomas Pannuti, professor of astrophysics and space science, to follow-up on three anomalous X-ray pulsars with the Green Bank Telescope, located at the Green Bank Observatory in West Virginia. The two will also look for X-ray counterparts in the Chandra/XMM archive.   

“Before my experience with the PSC, I had understood that astronomy was what gave us those pictures of un-earthly worlds and that it shaped the way we understand our universe, but it wasn’t until I was able to be a part of the process and search for new answers, that I understood how much I enjoyed astronomy,” Winters said.   

Winters will travel to Honolulu, Hawaii, in January to attend the AAS conference and present his research.   

For information about astrophysics programs at MSU, visit www.moreheadstate.edu/phes, email phes@moreheadstate.edu or call 606-783-2381.  

For more information about the Craft Academy, visit www.moreheadstate.edu/craft-academy, email craftacademy@moreheadstate.edu or call 606-783-2093. 
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