Summary: 1/13/10 9:01 AMWilliams College | From A Star Journal
Page 1 of 6http://www.williams.edu/home/focus/star_journal/#day3
From a Star Journal
EMMA LEHMAN, a senior astrophysics major from Concord, N.H., is researching
planetary nebulae with astronomy professor Karen Kwitter. Currently working on her
Senior Honors Thesis, she traveled to Mauna Kea and the Gemini telescope in Hawaii to
gather data for her senior astrophysics thesis on planetary nebulae.
We asked Emma to keep a journal of her experience, which she shares with us here.
About the Project
Planetary nebulae are the glowing
shells of gas ejected by medium-sized
stars at the end of their life. We can
determine their chemical composition
by analyzing the spectra of these
objects. Obtaining this information for
many planetary nebulae in different
parts of the galaxy allows us to see
how elements are distributed
throughout the galaxy and give us
clues as to how galaxies are formed.