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Michael A. Kuhn

Michael A. Kuhn

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  • Graduate Student
440 Davey Lab
University Park, PA 16802
Phone: (814) 863-5565


  1. B.A. Astrophysics, Swarthmore College (2007)

Selected Publications

Publications are available via NASA ADS.

Research Interests

I am interested in star formation, star clusters, space astronomy, and statistical modeling and methodology.

I have been part of the MYStIX group at Penn State. This project uses multiwavelength Chandra X-ray, UKIRT/UKIDSS NIR, and Spitzer MIR data to identify more than 25,000 young stellar objects in 20 of the nearest star-forming regions. My work has been studying the spatial structure of the star clusters in these regions, investigating signs of subclustering, dynamical relaxation, cluster expansion, and mass segregation, and non-coeval star forming history. 

I have adapted the finite-mixture model cluster detection algorithm from statistics to identify subclusters of young stars. This is a novel approach to this problem in studies of young stellar clusters, and it offers to provide information about young cluster structure not available through other, more commonly used cluster finding algorithms. The linked PDF figure shows the finite-mixture model algorithm applied to the Orion Nebula -- in which the model identifies layered structures that include the BN/KL cluster, stars in the OMB-2/3 filament, and a core-halo structure of the ONC.

Other statistical tools that I am adapting to for in astronomy include the of the Emark statistic (Schlather et al. 2004) to identify mass segregation in star-forming complexes and the inhomogeneous two-point correlation function (Baddeley et al. 2000) to study variation in young stellar surface densities.

In addition to work on the star forming regions in the MYStIX project, other work on young stars includes multiwavelength study of the regions IC 5146 and W 40, and the Lindroos binary star beta Crucis

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