Inspiring Minds seeks to broaden awareness and impact of graduate student research, while enhancing transferable skills. Students were challenged to describe their research, scholarship or creative activity in 150 or fewer words to share with our community.
As a Master’s student studying Astronomy here at Western University, my research involves an asteroid survey using remotely operated, robotic telescopes. I am looking for a unique subset of asteroids that have never been observed before. These asteroids -if they exist- would share the Moon's orbit. If discovered, they would provide researchers with the opportunity to do a long-term study on nearby (astronomically speaking!) asteroids, and potentially answer questions like whether asteroids played a role in bringing the necessities of life, like water or organic molecules, to our planet. This project also provides the opportunity to observe different types of asteroids that are quickly passing by Earth. This is exactly what happened on November 18th, 2020, when we observed a previously unknown asteroid, now designated ALA2xH. This provisional discovery has proven the capabilities of our continued survey.
Cole graduated with his Master of Science in Astronomy at Western University in 2021 and has since started his PhD. He received his Honours BSc in Astrophysics from Western in 2020. His research interests include: solar system dynamics; planetary science; interstellar transfer/dynamics; minor planet detections; and observational techniques for sky surveys. Cole would like to acknowledge his supervisor, Dr. Paul Wiegert, who has and continues to play a vital role in his education.
View Cole's work as it appears in the Inspiring Minds Digital Collection: https://ir.lib.uwo.ca/inspiringminds/159/