Alexis was born and raised in Honolulu, and graduated from Kamehameha Schools Kapama Campus in 2011. She currently attends UH Manoa, where she plans to graduate with a BS in Mathematics. After earning her degree, she would like to attend graduate school. Alexis also enjoys reading, playing video games, and spending time with her friends.
Home Island: Honolulu
High School: Kamehameha Schools Kapalama
Institute when accepted: UH Manoa
Project Title: Developing a Parallax Ranging Method for Point-Source Objects
Project Site: Institute for Astronomy, Maui
Mentor: JD Armstrong
Parallax is the relative shift in position when looking at the same object from two different points in space. The angle that the parallax shift creates can be used to measure how far away that object is. The goal of the project was to develop a parallax ranging method to measure the distance to point source objects. Asteroids were used as a test bed to determine whether or not this parallax ranging method would be effective in measuring the distance to satellites. The asteroids were observed from the Cerra Tololo telescope in Chile and the McDonald Observatory in Texas over a period of approximately 15 minutes at the same time. Right ascension and declination were measured from both sites. From that information, the parallax angle and unit vector to the asteroid were calculated. A baseline was established, and the distance was calculated by dividing the baseline with the sine of the parallax angle. The distances were reported with an error of about ±0.05”. Further works with this project would be to see if it is possible to measure the distance to satellites using this ranging method.