Ohio State University Student Wins Prestigious Arts and Sciences Scholarship

November 27, 2017
Stars (NASA Hubble Space Telescope)

Ohio State University undergraduate Connor Basinger has won a prestigious Arts and Sciences Honors Committee Undergraduate Research Scholarship. Connor is investigating how spectroscopic measures of rotation rates can be used to derive ages of unevolved (main-sequence) stars.  The advent of large spectroscopic surveys at high resolution, including those used to search for extrasolar planets, have yielded many new measures of spectral line broadening due to rotation. Stars spin fast when they are young, and slow as they age, so in principle one could use rotation to infer ages. Young stars viewed pole-on can, however, be confused with old, slowly rotating stars, so ages inferred from spectroscopy will be imprecise.  The goal of Connor's work is to derive probabilistic ages, in particular to identify young (< 1 Gyr) stars among planet hosts. His advisor is Professor Don Terndrup. Congratulations Connor!