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New England Region Silver Medal Winner
“A Search for Variable Stars In Two Northern Open Clusters”
Morgan MacLeod discovered two new stars using his own inexpensive technique that will allow other amateur astronomers around the world to make their own far-away observations and discoveries. Mr. MacLeod used a variety of amateur equipment, including a telescope, digital camera and laptop computer, at a cost of just $4,000, to search for variable stars, which are integral to our understanding of stellar structure. He identified two variable stars in Cassiopeia (the open cluster NGC 637), including one rapidly pulsating star that had not been recognized by professionals.
Mr. MacLeod, a senior, enjoys cycling and photography. He is a member of the Portland Velo Club and the Astronomical Society of Northern New England. He received first place in Environmental/Earth and Space Science at The Junior Science and Humanities Symposium. Mr. MacLeod plans to study physics in college. His mentor on this project was Robert O’Neill.