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50 Years of Research and Education at MIRA: Past, Present, and Future

Presentation #349.07 in the session HAD IV — iPoster Session.

Published onJun 29, 2022
50 Years of Research and Education at MIRA: Past, Present, and Future

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Monterey Institute for Research in Astronomy (MIRA). As a small, independent, non-profit observatory, MIRA has been dedicated to research and education for the last 50 years. Here we present some of the scientific highlights of our past research, a summary of our current interests and education programs, and a look toward what the future can bring us. We maintain a very well-equipped 36-inch telescope at an excellent dark site in the coastal mountains of Monterey County, California. In the past astronomers at MIRA have contributed to NASA’s WISE mission, obtained ground-based observations of the Deep Impact mission, created the first successful machine-learning stellar classification scheme, published observational and statistical studies of Young Stellar Objects, and generated an extensive near-IR stellar atlas with two-dimensional classification criteria. Continuing research topics include searching for near-earth asteroids, studying cometary debris trails, a non-TE stellar atmosphere simulation, and calibration of gravitational lens observations. The newest research at the institute focuses primarily on stellar astrophysics with astronomers studying topics such as asteroseismology, stellar polarimetry, stellar activity, and star formation. MIRA is an integral part of the local community, providing outreach and education activities for all ages. Each summer high school and college level students work with astronomers directly on their research through our thriving intern program. We plan to expand our research pursuits and outreach capabilities to further the inclusion of future generations of astronomers.

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