• Contact Info
Publications in VIVO
 

Berta-Thompson, Zachory K Assistant Professor

Positions

Research Areas research areas

Research

research overview

  • The Universe is teeming with planets; we now know of thousands of them orbiting stars other than our Sun. Zach Berta-Thompson observes transiting exoplanets -- those that pass in front of their stars as seen from Earth, resulting in periodic dimmings. Specializing in time-series photometry and spectroscopy with astronomical telescopes, Berta-Thompson searches for new transiting planets and studies the composition and dynamics of their atmospheres. By developing new observational techniques and applying them to planets in diverse environments, he aims to understand the fundamental processes that sculpt the evolution of planetary atmospheres. This research makes use both of large ground-based telescopes, like the 3.5m telescope at Apache Point Observatory in New Mexico, and premier space-based telescopes, like the Hubble Space Telescope or the soon-to-be-launched James Webb Space Telescope.

keywords

  • exoplanets, exoplanary science, extrasolar planets

Publications

selected publications

Teaching

courses taught

  • ASTR 1030 - Accelerated Introductory Astronomy 1
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2019
    Covers principles of modern astronomy summarizing our present knowledge about the Earth, Sun, moon, planets and origin of life. Requires nighttime observation sessions at Sommers-Bausch Observatory. Required in ASTR major/minor. Like ASTR 1000 and 1010, but taught at a higher intellectual level, including a significant amount of quantitative analysis. Degree credit not granted for this course and ASTR 1000 or ASTR 1010.
  • ASTR 2600 - Introduction to Scientific Programming
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2019
    Introduces principles, methods and tools of scientific programming commonly used in research. Topics include an introduction to programming in Python, data structures, numerical methods for calculus and data manipulation/visualization. Techniques covered are relevant to many technical fields but emphasis is placed on application to problems in astronomy and planetary science. Class time is split between lectures and in-lab tutorials.
  • ASTR 3400 - Research Methods in Astronomy
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2018
    Introduces research methods in astronomy and engages students in an active research project. The research projects will vary and may include astronomical observations, data analysis, scientific programming, theoretical models and statistical inference. As part of their research, students will read scientific papers, attend local seminars and prepare oral and written research proposals and reports. Elective for ASTR majors.
  • ASTR 5835 - Seminar in Planetary Science
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2019
    Studies current research on a topic in planetary science. Students and faculty give presentations. Subjects may vary each semester. May be repeated up to 4 total credit hours to meet candidacy requirements. Department enforced prerequisite: senior level undergraduate physics. Same as ATOC 5835 and GEOL 5835.
  • ATOC 5835 - Seminar in Planetary Science
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2019
    Studies current research on a topic in planetary science. Students and faculty give presentations. Subjects may vary each semester. May be repeated up to 4 total credit hours to meet candidacy requirements. Same as ASTR 5835 and GEOL 5835.
  • GEOL 5835 - Seminar in Planetary Science
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2019
    Studies current research on a topic in planetary science. Students and faculty give presentations. Subjects may vary each semester. May be repeated up to 4 total credit hours to meet candidacy requirements. Same as ASTR 5835 and ATOC 5835.

Background

International Activities

Other Profiles

Github

  • zkbt