This year, Kim McLeod will make a transition in her research from the study of quasar host galaxies to the search for undetected objects in the Milky Way. McLeodan assistant professor of astronomy at Wellesley College, researches dark matter, formation, structure, and evolution of galaxies; and star formation and extrasolar planets. She conducted much of her quasar research using the Hubble Telescope and the Infrared Space Observatory while an astrophysicist at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory.
Her current project is titled “In Search of White Dark Matter in the Milk Way.” Using images taken by the Big Throughput Camera (BTC), a nighttime astronomical camera, McLeod will explore the dark matter in the halo of the Milky Way by searching for old “white dwarf” stars that have escaped previous detection. She will use the motions of the stars to search for dark matter objects. This new project offers McLeod a chance to see the unseen.
McLeod has received grants from the Space Telescope Science Institute, a Brachman-Hoffman Small Research Grant from Wellesley College, a National Science Foundation Grant, and a University of Arizona Faculty of Science Graduate Fellowship. She received her PhD in astronomy from University of Arizona.