Haille Perkins '22 is double majoring in physics and computer science and is particularly interested in computational astrophysics. This interest led her to the research that she conducted with Dr. Aileen O'Donoghue in the summer of 2020. A highlight working with Dr. O'Donoghue was a trip to the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico where Haille learned more about the process used to observe radio emissions from galaxies. During this time, she was able to explore the types of work that occurs in the radio division of astronomy and hopes to experience other areas in the future.
The universe is vast, yet only five percent of it consists of tangible matter. A large portion of the universe is made of dark matter and its structure is governed by the distribution of it, yet there is uncertainty as to what this entity is. For this research, thirteen galaxies and their velocities, flux, and Hubble distances are presented. Thirty-seven sets of observation data were reduced utilizing a package of functions written in Interactive Data Language (IDL) specifically for the measurement of a galaxy’s neutral-hydrogen profile. Observations were conducted at Arecibo Observatory with the L-band Wide receiver, which determines the intensity of a received emission, and the Wide-band Arecibo Pulsar Processor, which separates the emission into the component frequencies. This project is in collaboration with the Arecibo Pisces-Perseus Supercluster Survey. The goal is to contribute the determined information about the detected galaxies to the survey, which aims to use galaxies to probe the dark matter distribution of and gain a deeper understanding of the large-scale structure of the supercluster.