Muzhou Lu ’13, Astronomy & Physics

Muzhou Lu ’13 has dedicated three summers and his senior thesis to tracking total solar eclipses to study the Sun’s corona. Lu’s research culminated at this year’s American Astronomical Society (AAS) meeting in Bozeman, Mont. Lu won the Solar Physics Division (SPD) poster competition for his presentation, “Observations and Modeling of Solar Coronal Structures Using High-Resolution Eclipse Images and Space-based Telescopes with Wide Field-of-View.” Co-authors on Lu’s prize-winning poster include Pasachoff, his senior thesis advisor; Daniel B. Seaton ’01, who is now deputy director of a European Space Agency solar spacecraft project; Yingna Su and Aad Van Ballegooijen, Lu’s advisors at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics; and Royal Observatory of Belgium astronomer Matthew West. “Collaboration is a huge part in any area of research,” Lu says. “I’m glad [Professor Pasachoff] has shown me just what can be achieved through collaboration.”

Lu is spending the summer at Williams, conducting planetarium shows and working with Pasachoff on a journal article based on Lu’s thesis findings. In the fall, Lu will be teaching physics and math, as well as art and rock climbing, at an independent school in Maryland.