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Basic Author Guidelines for Student Research Project Abstract

I. Abstract Structure and Contents

The abstract should consist of the following six sections:

    1. Main title

    2. Author's (student's) data:

        This section includes:

  • name (first name and last name)
  • major
  • email

         If there is more than one author, these data should be listed for each of them.

    3.  Research Adviser's Name

           This section includes:

  • name (first name and last name)
  • title
  • email

    4. Keywords   

          This is a common separated list of up to five words or expressions.

    5. Basic text

           The text should be up to 20 lines (about 260 words) including at least the following two paragraphs:

  • The research project description (formulation)
  • Results and personal contribution to the project.

    6. References

          This is a list of up to three titles. Bibliographical references should be numbered.

          When references are used in the basic text, enclose the citation number in square brackets, for example [1].  

Sample Abstract

The First Three Rungs of The Cosmological Distance Ladder


Erica Debenedictis

Jeremy Steeger

Research Adviser: Dr. Agnes Kim
Assistant Professor of Physics

Keywords: astronomical telescopes, cosmology, distance measurement, Earth rotation, eclipses, laboratory techniques.

Abstract:  It is straightforward to determine the size of the Earth and the distance to the Moon without using a telescope. The methods have been known since the third century BCE. However, few astronomers have done this measurement from data they have taken. We use a gnomon to determine the latitude and longitude of South Bend, Indiana, and College Station, Texas, and determine the value of the radius of the Earth to be Rearth=6290 km, only 1.4% smaller than the known value. We use the method of Aristarchus and the size of the Earth's shadow during the lunar eclipse of June 15, 2011 to estimate the distance to the Moon to be 62.3Rearth, 3.3% greater than the known mean value. We use measurements of the angular motion of the Moon against the background stars over the course of two nights, using a simple cross staff device, to estimate the Moon's distance at perigee and apogee. We use simultaneous observations of asteroid 1996 HW1 obtained with small telescopes in Socorro, New Mexico, and Ojai, California, to obtain a value of the Astronomical Unit of (1.59+/-0.19)×108 km, about 6% too large. The data and methods presented here can easily become part of an introductory astronomy laboratory class.


[1] Krisciunas, K., “Determining the eccentricity of the Moon's orbit without a telescope.” 2010, American Journal of Physics, 78, 834
[2] Rowan-Robinson, M. The cosmological distance ladder: Distance and time in the universe.1985, New York, W.~H.~Freeman and Co, 1985, 364 p.