HCTC Professor makes astronomical discovery

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Published: Mar. 30, 2022 at 5:38 PM EDT
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HAZARD, Ky. (WYMT) - Dr. Jeremy Wood, tenured professor of Physics and Astronomy at Hazard Community and Technical College, recently made an astronomical discovery, which was accepted into a scientific journal.

“The big discovery was that, out here, there is a certain barrier, called the Perihelion Barrier.” He said, referencing his chalk board. “What I discovered was that if a Centaur could cross a barrier, here, then due to a single close approach, it could transform into a Jupiter-Family comet.”

Dr. Wood says that this ‘Perihelion Barrier’ is located about 6.3 astronomical units from the sun and Jupiter is about 5.2 units. Earth, being the measuring stick, is one unit from the sun.

Dr. Wood’s research was recently accepted into the ‘The Astrophysical Journey.’

The process was not an easy one for Dr. Wood.

“After two years of work, and research and computer simulations, I submitted the article to the Journal and through a long process that went on for about a year, they finally accepted it.” He said.

He said the work was worth the reward.

“I’m extremely happy with the result. I discovered this barrier that no one has discovered before. So that was a very exciting discovery, and I hope to be talking about it at a scientific conference later on in October.” Dr. Wood said.

Dr. Wood is already focusing on his next project, which is studying comets around Uranus, called ‘Trojans.’

He also wanted to encourage anyone who is interested in going into science. “You can do it, you just have to never give up.”

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