Strasburger/LA Astronomers Feted In NASA News

Lawrence Academy Astronomy team, led by Science Teacher David Strasburger, recognized for "doing real astronomy."

David Strasburger

On January 11th, Lawrence Academy Science teacher David Strasburger and his student astronomers were feted by NASA/IPAC for their work leading up to the 2022 NASA/IPAC Teacher Archive Research Program (NITARP) meeting. Unfortunately, that January meeting was canceled.

The official release explained:

NITARP reaches thousands of students per year with information about how science really works, what NASA does, and the wealth of astronomy data that is freely available to the public.

Here are the teams that were prepared to present posters at the January 2022 AAS meeting. These teams began work in 2020 and continued through the pandemic into 2021.

2020/2021 team working with Dr. Varoujan Gorjian (JPL/Caltech):

  • David Strasburger (Lawrence Academy, Groton, Massachusetts) – mentor teacher for the team
  • Neal Boys (George S. Parker High School, Janesville, WI)
  • Alyssa McElroy (Houston Middle School, Amarillo, TX)
  • Raghida Sharif (KIPP NYC College Prep High School, Bronx, NY)
  • David Temple (Longview High School, Longview, TX)

This team used variability at optical and infrared wavelengths to study the size of accretion disks around supermassive black holes at the centers of galaxies called active galactic nuclei (AGN). The infrared light curves were obtained from NASA’s Near-Earth Object Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE) satellite’s all-sky catalog.

The full release may be found on the official IPAC site.