Alum Urges Career in Astronomy

By Mary Rose Fissinger

Danny Kudrow ’07 urged a collection of Astronomy and Physics students Friday to reach for the stars, literally. He was invited by John Feulner to address his 3rd period Astronomy class, which was joined by some members of Karen Hutchison’s 3rd period AP Physics B class. Now a Physics major at University of California Santa Barbara and intern at LCOGT observatory in Santa Barbara, Kudrow spoke about the many perks of going into the field of astronomy.

“In fields like Astronomy and Physics, there’s so much to do, you can get started right away,” he said.

Kudrow entered UCSB with an undeclared major, but after taking several Physics and Astronomy classes he decided that was the path he wanted to take. He got involved with LCOGT through a professor he had this last quarter for an Observational Astronomy class.

There, he works with a group of people to develop imaging techniques for ground base telescopes. Because these telescopes must look through the atmosphere, the images they produce are often distorted due to the rays of light bouncing off the different elements in the atmosphere. Kudrow is working to develop an imaging technique that takes several thousands of pictures in a very short time. This would increase the chances of capturing an image that is the direct likeness of what they are trying to see, Kudrow said.

This technique would be much cheaper than the techniques currently in use, allowing for more frequent collection of data from more locations.

“Astronomy is the last old-fashioned science,” Kudrow said, in reference to the fact that it involves observation and then contemplation rather than dealing simply with formulas in a lab. He called it a throwback to Galileo’s experiment. “There’s just something really romantic about it,” he concluded.