Meet the Team: Meg Schwamb

Today we have the next post in our Meet the Comet Hunters Team series. This time we’re featuring Meg Schwamb from the science team.

Photo credit: Sundar Srinivasan

Photo credit: Sundar Srinivasan

Name: Meg Schwamb

What is your current position and where/institution?

Postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Astronomy & Astrophysics at Academia Sinica

Where are you originally from/where did you grow up?

Long Island, New York on the Northeast cost of the United States

What is your role in Comet Hunters?

I’m a member of the science team and serve as project scientist. I help organize the science team efforts and the day-to-day logistics of the project.


Beyond Comet Hunters, what else do you work on?

I work on studying small bodies in the outer Solar System in the Kuiper belt and beyond. I’m part of the ColOSSOS (Colours of the Outer Solar System Origins Survey) project to study the surfaces of ~13o Kuiper belt objects. I’m also currently involved in the Planet Four and Planet Four: Terrains Zooniverse projects to study the seasonal processes on Mars’ south pole.

In 3 lines explain your PhD thesis?

Studying the icy bodies orbiting past Neptune, in the region known as  the Kuiper belt and beyond. I used a wide-field survey to look for more objects like dwarf planet-sized Sedna, whose highly distant and eccentric orbit  cannot be explained by the current architecture of the Solar System. I  was able to place constraints on the size and properties of these populations.

Why are you interested in main-belt comets?

This is one of the newest reservoirs of water in the Solar System. I’m interested to learn how this population may have delivered water to the Earth, and what main belt comets can tell us about the Solar System’s birth and evolution.

Name one hobby of yours?

Baking


What is the most recent tv show you have watched?

House of Cards (US version)

What is your favorite movie?

Batman Returns

What is the latest book you have read?

The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher by Hilary Mantel

Who is your favorite singer/band/musical artist?

Nine Inch Nails/How to Destroy Angels

What are five of the top ten most played songs on your iTunes/spotify/etc playlist?

Warriors by Imagine Dragons

Radioactive by Imagine Dragons

Of the Night by Bastille

Breathe by Alexi Murdoch

Silhouettes by Of Monsters and Men

What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?

I saw Star Trek: Nemesis in the movie theater  four times

Favorite cocktail or beverage?

Champagne/sparkling wine

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