2022 - Present
University of California San Diego |
Graduate student in Astronomy PhD Program
Concentration: Brown Dwarf Studies
2018 - 2022
Arizona State University | Bachelor's Degree
BS in Earth and Space Exploration (Astrophysics)
Minor in Physics
Ronald Greeley Planetary Scholar (Fall 2021)
Graduated Magna Cum Laude (GPA: 3.76)
Bachelor's Astrophysics Thesis with Dr. Jenny Patience
2021 - 2022
Looking for Brown Dwarf companions around type B and A stars at distances of 100AU and greater. I analyzed a night's worth of Keck data to optically identify and calculate properties of candidate companions. A total of 95 candidates were found and follow up observations are in progress.
2020 - 2022
Brown Dwarf Binary Research with Dr. Adam Schneider
Working in collaboration with the Backyard Worlds: Planet 9 Citizen Science Project team my project consisted of finding and confirming brown dwarf binary systems by comparing images from a variety of surveys.
My work resulted in the discovery of the widest separated brown dwarf binary currently known. I gained experience with the WISE View catalog as well as working with Keck data, specifically plotting and editing observational spectra of discovered systems. Through this process I have gained experience in calculation parameters of the system: Mass, Age, Separation, Photometric Distance, and Binding Energy
2019 - 2022
Brown Dwarf and Exoplanet Research with Dr. Jenny Patience
• Working on a GPI project with team lead Justin Hom. Analyzing GPI images to search for stars with exoplanet of brown dwarf companions. Measuring the sensitivity level of stars without companions as well as calculating frequency of planet and brown dwarf companions.
• Submitted Observing Proposals for Keck and Hubble as a CoI on projects.
ASU Sundial Early Start Mentoring & Research Experience Program
Learned to accessed and exported data from exoplanet databases.
Used VPython to model a basic multi-planet model of an exoplanet solar system.
Was lead theory investigator for gravitational and orbital methods used in the developed Python Program.
Publications and Presentations
Softich et al. 2022, CWISE J0146AB: Widest Separation Amongst Known Brown Dwarf Binaries
Abstract: Using brown dwarfs discovered with data from the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) via the Backyard Worlds; Planet 9 citizen science project, we inspected other, higher resolution, sky surveys to look for overlooked companions. During this process we discovered J0146AB, a binary system consisting of two L dwarfs. The spectral types of each component were determined to be L4 and L9 from near-infrared spectroscopy with Keck/NIRES. Our spectroscopic observations also allow us to determine various physical properties of each component of this system. At a distance of ~40 pc, J0146AB has a separation of ~125 AU, making it the widest separation brown dwarf pair found to date.
CWISE J0146AB: Widest Separation Amongst Known Brown Dwarf Binaries
COOLSTARS 21 Conference
Softich et.al Poster
Nov 9th 2021
Discovery of the Widest Separated Brown Dwarf Binary Known
ASU Stars, Planets & Disks Journal Club
30 min presentation
Nov 29th 2021
Finding the Widest Separated Brown Dwarf-Brown Dwarf Pair
AST 421 – Astrophysics II
5 min AAS Style presentation
Machine Learning: Detection Rate of Simple Figures
SES 130 – Coding for Exploration
10 min Workshop- Style presentation
Applied Python to create a code that would test the detection rate of simple figures. The project utilized machine learning techniques to display figures with different degrees of blurring being introduced by a Gaussian function
Science Public Outreach
2018 & 2019
SES 191 – Mentorship
Being a mentor to the incoming student in the SESE program.
SESE Open House
Public presentations for the LOCO group, presenting to a diverse range of attendees
Maned telescopes for the public during the observation portion of the open house
Operating the telescopes manually
Provided information regarding objects to those in attendance
Provided both scientific and safety information regarding the 2017 Total Eclipse for those in my community in Missoula