Last summer, physics major Alya Sharbaugh was selected to do research funded by the Tennessee Space Grant. She teamed up with Marshall Space Flight Center astrophysicist Amy Winebarger to study properties of solar flares. Using data from the Solar Dynamics Observatory, Alya wrote an analysis code in Python that first filtered the data to remove saturated images, and then plotted brightness, area, and intensity of the flares as a function of time. This analysis will be repeated across flares of varying intensities. Results from this work will be used to determine properties of cameras aboard sounding rockets.
Recently, Alya presented her work at the Southeastern Section of the American Physical Society in Wrightsville Beach, NC, where she was awarded Best Oral Presentation. She is continuing this work, and will present updated results at the 2020 Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics.