BSCTC Physics and Astronomy instructor Garrison Turner has paper published


PRESTONSBURG – Gary Turner, physics and astronomy instructor at Big Sandy Community and Technical College (BSCTC), has had a paper published by the American Association of Variable Star Observers (Journal of AAVSO).

Turner’s research on the pulsation periods in KIC 5197256 is the topic of his research, which was performed with John Holaday of Purdue University. The KIC number is assigned by the Kepler Space Telescope team, a NASA supported device that studies Exo-Planets (planets outside the solar system).

“We are doing some cutting-edge research here,” said Turner, who confirmed that only about 30 people in the world were studying pulsations in eclipsing binaries prior to the Kepler Mission. “This is some exciting findings in terms of astronomy.”

Turner and BSCTC student Austin Maynard will be conducting similar research this summer and will submit papers for publication.

Eclipsing Binary Systems are two stars that are fairly close together orbiting each other. A primary eclipse is when the larger and hotter star is being passed by a smaller and cooler star (like the moon eclipsing the sun). What is interesting about Turner’s research is the pulsating variable.

“Our research demonstrated that fast pulsation is occurring in this system,” said Turner. “What the Kepler Space Telescope is doing is giving us some of the best data in the world on studying eclipsing binaries with a pulsating component.”

For more information on the BSCTC’s physics and astronomy program, contact Turner at (606) 889-4722 or email gturner0040@kctcs.edu.

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