Keri Hoadley, Ph.D.
How things form and evolve in the universe drives Prof. Hoadley's research interests. Such a question is non-trivial, since all of the largest structures we observe in the universe (like galaxies, stars, and planets) are built from the smallest particles we know: atoms and molecules. Formation of these structures is clearly universal, yet the varieties of them and how they eventually evolve are not. Prof. Hoadley likes to study molecular hydrogen and its relationship to other rich atoms/ions that emit/absorb light in the far-ultraviolet in all kinds of astrophysical systems, including planet-forming disks, star-forming regions, the space between stars and galaxies, and astrophysical jets/shocks, to understand what drives the formation and evolution of different phenomena.
All of Prof. Hoadley's research requires cutting-edge instrumentation to observe the faint light emitted from regions near stars, planets, and galaxies. In addition, peering into the physical properties of these environments, including their motions, densities, and temperatures, requires exquisite resolution. Prof. Hoadley and her group members, the Hoadley UV Space Laboratory (HUSL), are developing new ways to make high-dispersion UV gratings with technology available at UIowa, which will provide game-changing performance for very high-resolution ultraviolet spectroscopy. HUSL team members are core investigators on a variety of NASA-sponsored and proposed space flight missions, including:
- FIREBall-2, a NASA-funded suborbital balloon telescope with a novel near-ultraviolet multi-slit spectrograph (managed by Caltech), that will uncover how pristine gas surrounding galaxies behaves and its ties to how galaxies form stars in the near present-day universe.
- Aspera, one of NASA's first four Astrophysics Pioneers SmallSat missions (run out of the University of Arizona), that will observe the space around nearby galaxies at extreme-ultraviolet wavelengths to discover and characterize what the majority of mass is doing there and its relationship to its host galaxy.
- Hyperion, a proposed NASA Medium Explorer far-ultraviolet telescope (leading institutions: University of Arizona/JPL), that will explore how clouds are formed and destroyed by the very stars they make. Hyperion features a high-resolution far-ultraviolet spectrograph, which will benefit from the technology progress being made by HUSL's grating development efforts.
I am currently co-teaching Exploration of the Solar System (ASTR 1080) with Prof. Allison Jaynes.
- Astronomy and Astrophysics