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Rachael Merritt

Astronomy PhD Candidate
Graduate Research Assistant
Department of Physics and Astronomy
Georgia State University



Hello! My name is Rachael. I like space, cats, and being on time!

I am a third year Astronomy PhD candidate at Georgia State University.
I am the president of Women in Physics at Georgia State University for the 2019-2020 academic year and an AstroPal!
I am very interested in science communication and improving academia for underrepresented
groups in STEM. Prior to starting my PhD, I was a planetarian and am still pretty good at
pointing out what's up in the current night sky!
Outside of school I enjoy traveling, karaoke, and competitive reality television shows!

Nika Rose!

Curriculum Vitae

Updated May 2019


Observational astronomy (X-ray, optical, near-infrared)

Fundamental properties of supermassive black holes

Advisor: Misty C. Bentz

Image Credit: Sloan Digital Sky Survey


Spring 2020
ASTR 1010 - Astronomy of the Solar System lab

Thursdays - 12:00 - 1:50pm - Lurie (16374)
Thursdays - 2:00 - 3:50pm - Lurie (16331)


Project Guidelines

Potential Project Topics

Observatory Report

Lab 24 - Observing Phases of the Moon

Link to lab website

On-campus Observing
Thursday, February 27 - 7:30 PM
Monday, March 2nd - 7:30 PM
Tuesday, March 31st - 8:30PM
Monday, April 6th - 9:00PM
Meet 10 minutes before observing begins in lab room stated in reminder email (Langdale 715 or Langdale 721).
Talk to Rachael before or after class to sign up!

Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute