Thesis Proposal by Eric Ramesh on July 30th

Space Studies M.S. candidate, Cedric (Eric) Ramesh, will present his thesis proposal as follows.  All Space Studies students, faculty and staff are encouraged to show your support by attending.

When:  Thursday, July 30th at 4:00 pm (Central DST)

Where:  online only – see details below

Title:  “Betelgeuse, A Parameter Study Investigating Human Timescale Evolution Preceding Type IIP Supernovae”

About the topic: Betelgeuse (Alpha Orionis) is a relatively near (642 ly) star that has been directly imaged with Hubble (Lobel & Dupree, 2001). The light curve and imagery indicate irregular variability in the star’s luminosity and temperature. Betelgeuse experienced a recent plunge in luminosity of ≈ 1 full magnitude (Guinan & Wasatonic, ATel #13439). This dimming is unprecedented. It has been speculated this dimming could be the signal of an oncoming Type II supernova. The project’s first goal is to create an accurate model of Betelgeuse using the astrophysics code MESA, matching the observational behavior Betelgeuse has displayed by evolving the star from a pre-main sequence star to its present position on the HR diagram. The next step is to examine the MESA results on smaller timesteps (human timescales) to see if there are any drops in magnitude outside of Betelgeuse’s normal variability on the scale of a human lifetime. The final step will be to match these expectations with results from the supernovae computer code BOOM, to determine if any notable brightness fluctuations precede Betelgeuse’s eventual supernova (expected in ~ 100,000 years), that may be perceivable on the scale of human lifetimes.

Advisor:  Dr. Tim Young (Physics)

About the Presenter: Eric Ramesh has a bachelor’s degree in physics with a minor in astronomy from New Mexico State University. Growing up with Star Trek and visions of the heavens through his father’s old Sears refractor telescope, he eventually bought a telescope of his own and fell in love with the stars. He has completed internships with NASA Academy (Marshall SFC), the Air Force Research Lab (AFRL, Kirtland AFB, NM), and the National Solar Observatory (NSO, Apache Point, NM). He worked as a defense contractor for one year (supporting Missile Defense Agency). He taught secondary school for three years (Algebra, Precalculus, AP Physics, Astronomy). He is a current on-campus student at University of North Dakota. In his free time, he enjoys camping at National Parks, watching Japanese anime and sci-fi with his cat (Bobo), and playing Magic The Gathering.

Join us online via one of two formats:

Via Zoom video conferencing.  Questions for the speaker may be posted at this site during the presentation.

meeting number: 327-372-990


A simple live webcast will be available at


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