|Infrared Spectrometry, Planet Formation, SOFIA|
Luke Keller is a co-investigator on a team of scientists and engineers who produced an infrared camera for NASA’s new airborne Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA). He finalized the optical design for the camera and leads development of the data analysis software. Keller also leads a team that is implementing upgrades to the new camera that will allow spectral observations enabling astronomers to measure chemical composition of astronomical objects. He serves on review panels for NASA and other scientific agencies.
Keller is part of a team using data from the Infrared Spectrometer on the Spitzer Space Telescope to study circum-stellar disks (dusty material orbiting young stars). Studying visible light and infrared spectra gathered at Earth- and space-based observatories has given him new insights into the chemical composition, physical characteristics, and formation of planetary systems.
Since 2004 Keller has implemented new methods for teaching large-enrollment introductory physics courses to non-majors. He is a co-investigator on an NSF-funded project to test classroom methods focusing on student learning of introductory physics and astronomy with group discussions and student-centered activities replacing traditional lecture-only formats.
Luke Keller has authored and co-authored numerous articles in Applied Optics, the Astrophysical Journal, the Astronomical Journal, and other professional journals on studies of star and planet formation, development of astronomical instrumentation, and pre-flight test results from FORCAST, an infrared camera used in the SOFIA airborne observatory. This instrument provides the astronomical community with multicolor imaging and spectroscopic capabilities for studies in many areas of astrophysics. Sky & Telescope Magazine recently featured Keller’s article on SOFIA (October 2010).
Star and planet formation
Spectroscopy and astrochemistry
SOFIA (Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy)
Astronomical telescopes and instrumentation
Student-centered methods of teaching introductory physics
Spitzer Space Telescope
Mirror-based telescope system