Matt VarakianGraduate Student NMSUAstronomy
I’m a second-year grad student here at NMSU and I work with Dr. Nancy Chanover as part of the Planetary Group. I’m interested in exploring rotational variations on the surfaces of asteroids using optical and NIR spectroscopy and potentially polarimetry. The combination of those measurements (and any changes we might see as a function of rotation of the asteroid) can tell us about differences in substance abundance and regolith properties at different points on the surface, should they exist. Currently, I’m using asteroid shape models and synthetic spectra to model how those changes might manifest themselves in an observed spectrum.