The Department of Physical Sciences is home to several degree programs:Bachelor of Science in Astronomy & AstrophysicsBachelor of Science in Engineering PhysicsBachelor of Science in Space PhysicsMaster of Science in Engineering Physics; and Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering Physics.

The programs offer a unique balance of engineering and physics curriculum, so students can focus on the scientific challenges and planning associated with mission design and space exploration, along with engineering fundamentals.

These programs prepare students to make positive scientific and technological contributions to our increasingly complex society. This highly research-oriented department has one of the oldest and largest Engineering Physics programs in the nation. Students are involved in all the research, which includes grants funded by NASA, the National Security Agency (NSA), and other agencies.

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Submissions from 2017

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Secondary Gravity Wave Generation Over New Zealand During the DEEPWAVE Campaign, Katrina Bossert, Christopher G. Kruse, Christopher J. Heale, David C. Fritts, Bifford P. Williams, Jonathan B. Snively, Pierre-Dominique Pautet, and Michael J. Taylor

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Magnetospherically-Trapped Dust and a Possible Model for the Unusual Transits at WD1145+017, J. Farihi, Ted von Hippel, and J. E. Pringle

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First Performance Results of a New Field-Widened Spatial Heterodyne Spectrometer for Geocoronal Hα Research, D. D. Gardner, E. J. Mierkiewicz, F. L. Roesler, J. M. Harlander, K. P. Jaehnig, S. M. Nossal, and L. M. Haffner

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Multi-Site Simultaneous Time-Resolved Photometry with a Low Cost Electro-Optics System, F. Gasdia, Aroh Barjatya, and Sergei Bilardi

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Numerical Modeling of a Multiscale Gravity Wave Event and Its Airglow Signatures over Mount Cook, New Zealand, During the DEEPWAVE Campaign, C. J. Heale, K. Bossert, J. B. Snively, D. C. Fritts, P. -D. Pautet, and M. J. Taylor

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The Ages of the Thin Disk, Thick Disk, and the Halo from Nearby White Dwarfs, Mukremin Kilic, Ted von Hippel, Jeffrey A. Munn, Hugh C. Harris, James W. Liebert, and et al.

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Book Review: Chandra's Cosmos: Dark Matter, Black Holes, and Other Wonders Revealed by NASA's Premier X-Ray Observatory, T. D. Oswalt

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Book Review: From the Realm of the Nebulae to Populations of Galaxies: Dialogues on a Century of Research, Astrophysics and Space Science Library, 435, T. D. Oswalt

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Book Review: Shoot the Moon: A Complete Guide to Lunar Imaging, T. D. Oswalt

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Book Review: Visually Observing Comets, T. D. Oswalt

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A Hierarchical Model for the Ages of Galactic Halo White Dwarfs, Shijing Si, Ted von Hippel, David A. van Dyk, Elliot Robinson, Aaron Webster, and et al.

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Spatial and Temporal Variability in MLT Turbulence Inferred from in situ and Ground-Based Observations During the WADIS-1 Sounding Rocket Campaign, B. Strelnikov, A. Szewczyk, I. Strelnikova, R. Latteck, G. Baumgarten, Aroh Barjatya, and et.al

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The ACS Survey of Galactic Globular Clusters XIV: Bayesian Single-Population Analysis of 69 Globular Clusters, R. Wagner-Kaiser, Ted von Hippel, A. Sarajedini, D. C. Stenning, D. A. van Dyck, and et al.

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Nonlinear Ionospheric Responses to Large-Amplitude Infrasonic-Acoustic Waves Generated by Undersea Earthquakes, M. D. Zettergren, J. B. Snively, A. Komjathy, and O. P. Verkhoglyadova

Submissions from 2016

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Plasma Density Analysis of CubeSat Wakes in the Earth’s Ionosphere, Robert M. Albarran II and Aroh Barjatya

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Observation and Modeling of Gravity Wave Propagation through Reflection and Critical Layers above Andes Lidar Observatory at Cerro Pachón, Chile, Bing Cao, Christopher J. Heale, Yafang Guo, Alan Z. Liu, and Jonathan B. Snively

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New Halo White Dwarf Candidates in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, Kyra Dame, A. Gianninas, Mukremin Kilic, Jeffrey A. Munn, Warren R. Brown, Kurtis A. Williams, Ted von Hippel, and Hugh C. Harris

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Book Review: How Do You Find an Exoplanet?, T. D. Oswalt

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Book Review: Moons of the Solar System: From Giant Ganymede to Dainty Dactyl, T. D. Oswalt

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Book Review: The International Atlas of Mars Exploration: From Spirit to Curiosity: V.2: 2004 to 2014, T. D. Oswalt

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Bayesian Analysis of Two Stellar Populations in Galactic Globular Clusters – III. Analysis of 30 Clusters, R. Wagner-Kaiser, D. C. Stenning, A Sarajedini, Ted von Hippel, D. A. van Dyk, E. Robinson, and W. H. Jefferys

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Evidence of Dispersion and Refraction of a Spectrally Broad Gravity Wave Packet in the Mesopause Region Observed by the Na Lidar and Mesospheric Temperature Mapper Above Logan, Utah, T. Yuan, C. J. Heale, J. B. Snively, X. Cai, P.- D. Pautet, C. Fish, Y. Zhao, M. J. Taylor, W. R. Pendleton Jr., V. Wickwar, and N. J. Mitchell

Submissions from 2015

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Self-Accleration and Instability of Gravity Wave Packets: 1. Effects of Temporal Localization, David C. Fritts, Brian Laughman, Thomas S. Lund, and Jonathan B. Snively

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Gravity Wave Propagation Through a Vertically and Horizontally Inhomogeneous Background Wind, C. J. Heale and J. B. Snively

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The Life Cycle of Instability Features Measured from the Andes Lidar Observatory Over Cerro Pachon on 24 March 2012, J. H. Hecht; K. Wan; Lynette Gelinas; David Fritts; R. L. Walterscheid; R. J. Rudy; Alan Liu; Steven J. Franke; Fabio Vargas; P. -D. Pautet; Michael Taylor; and Gary Swenson,

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A Full-Wave Model For a Binary Gas Thermosphere: Effects of Thermal Conductivity and Viscosity, Michael P. Hickey Ph.D., R. L. Walterscheid, and G. Schubert

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Bayesian Investigation of Isochrone Consistency Using the Old Open Cluster Ngc 188, Shane Hills, Ted von Hippel, Stéphane Courteau, and Aaron M. Geller

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Book Review: The Scientific Exploration of Venus, T. D. Oswalt

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A Sliding Mode LCO Regulation Strategy for Dual-Parallel Underactuated UAV Systems Using Synthetic Jet Actuators, N. Ramos-Pedroza, W. MacKunis, and M. Reyhanoglu

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Interpreting Ulysses Data Using Inverse Scattering Theory: Oblique Alfvén Waves, Mark Anthony Reynolds, Henry R. Wheeler IV, and R.L. Hamilton

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Lower Thermospheric Response to Atmospheric Gravity Waves Induced By the 2011 Tohoku Tsunami, Yonghui Yu, Zhiyu Yan, and Michael P. Hickey Ph.D.

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Ionospheric Response to Infrasonic-Acoustic Waves Generated by Natural Hazard Events, M. D. Zettergren and J. B. Snively

Submissions from 2014

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Numerical Simulation of the Long-Range Propagation of Gravity Wave Packets at High Latitudes, C. J. Heale, J. B. Snively, and M. P. Hickey

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Thermospheric Dissipation of Upward Propagating Gravity Wave Packets, C. J. Heale, J. B. Snively, M. P. Hickey, and C. J. Ali

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Very Low Frequency Subionospheric Remote Sensing of Thunderstorm-Driven Acoustic Waves in the Lower Ionosphere, R. A. Marshall and J. B. Snively

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High-Resolution Spectroscopy of the Lunar Sodium Exosphere, E. J. Mierkiewicz, R. J. Oliversen, F. L. Roesler, and O. L. Lupie

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A Deep Proper Motion Catalog Within the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Footprint, Jeffrey A. Munn, Hugh C. Harris, Ted von Hippel, Mukremin Kilic, James W. Liebert, Kurtis A. Williams, Steven DeGenarro, Elizabeth Jeffery, and Trudy M. Tilleman

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Book Review: Cosmic Dawn: The Search for the First Stars and Galaxies, T. D. Oswalt

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Book Review: Planetary Rings: A Post-Equinox View 2nd Ed, T. D. Oswalt

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Book Review: Robotic Exploration of the Solar System: Pt. 4: The Modern Era, 2004-2013, T. D. Oswalt

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Book Review: The Observer's Guide to Planetary Motion: Explaining the Cycles of the Night Sky, T. D. Oswalt

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The Geocoronal H α Cascade Component Determined from Geocoronal H β Intensity Measurements, F. L. Roesler, E. J. Mierkiewicz, and S. M. Nossal

Submissions from 2013

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Elevated Electron Temperatures Around Twin Sporadic E Layers at Low Latitude: Observations and the Case for a Plausible Link to Currents Parallel to the Geomagnetic Field, Aroh Barjatya, J. P. St. Maurice, and C. M. Swenson

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Payload Charging Events in the Mesosphere and Their Impact on Langmuir Type Electric Probes, T. A. Bekkeng, Aroh Barjatya, U. P. Hoppe, and M. Friedrich

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Multi-Instrument Comparisons of D-Region Plasma Measurements, M. Friedrich, K. M. Torkar, U. P. Hoppe, T. A. Bekkeng, Aroh Barjatya, and M. Rapp

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Moving Objects in the Hubble Ultra Deep Field, Mukremin Kilic, Alexandros Gianninas, and Ted von Hippel

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Measuring the Evolutionary Rate of Cooling of ZZ Ceti, Anjum S. Mukadam, Ted von Hippel, and et al.

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A Bayesian Approach to Deriving Ages of Individual Field White Dwarfs, Erin M. O'Malley, Ted von Hippel, and David A. van Dyk

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Book Review: Heart of Darkness: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Invisible Universe, T. D. Oswalt

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Book Review: Weird Worlds: Bizarre Bodies of the Solar System and Beyond, T. D. Oswalt

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Mesospheric Hydroxyl Airglow Signatures of Acoustic and Gravity Waves Generated by Transient Tropospheric Forcing, J. B. Snively

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Numerical and Statistical Evidence for Long-Range Ducted Gravity Wave Propagation Over Halley, Antarctica, J. B. Snively, K. Nielsen, M. P. Hickey, C. J. Heale, M. J. Taylor, and T. Moffat-Griffin

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Wave Heating and Jeans Escape in the Martian Upper Atmosphere, R. L. Walterscheid, Michael P. Hickey Ph.D., and G. Schubert

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Ionospheric Signatures of Acoustic Waves Generated by Transient Tropospheric Forcing, M. D. Zettergren and J. B. Snively

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Ionospheric Signatures of Acoustic Waves Generated by Transient Tropospheric Forcing, M. D. Zettergren and J. B. Snively

Submissions from 2012

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Optimization of Magnetic Powdered Activated Carbon for Aqueous Hg(II) Removal and Magnetic Recovery, Emily K. Faulconer, Natalia Hoogesteijn von Reitzenstein, and David W. Mazyck

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Ionospheric Signatures of Tohoku-Oki Tsunami of March 11, 2011: Model Comparisons Near the Epicenter, David A. Galvan, Attila Komjathy, Michael P. Hickey, Philip Stephens, Jonathan Snively, Y. Tony Song, Mark D. Butala, and Anthony J. Mannucci

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Gravity-wave-induced Variations in Exothermic Heating in the Low-latitude, Equinox Mesophere and Lower Thermosphere Region, Michael P. Hickey Ph.D. and Tai-Yin Huang

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Gravity Wave Propagation in a Diffusively Separated Gas: Effects on the Total Gas, Michael P. Hickey Ph.D. and R. L. Walterscheid

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Detecting Ionospheric TEC Perturbations Caused by Natural Hazards Using a Global Network of GPS Receivers: The Tohoku Case Study, A. Komjathy, D. A. Galvan, P. Stephens, M. D. Butala, V. Akopian, B. Wilson, O. Verkhoglyadova, A. J. Mannucci, and M. Hickey

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Sodium Atoms in the Lunar Exotail: Observed Velocity and Spatial Distributions, Michael R. Line, E. J. Mierkiewicz, R. J. Oliversen, J. K. Wilson, L. M. Haffner, and F. L. Roesler

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Observed Seasonal Variations in Exospheric Effective Temperatures, E. J. Mierkiewicz, F. L. Roesler, and S. M. Nossal

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Observed and Modeled Solar Cycle Variation in Geocoronal Hydrogen Using NRLMSISE-00 Thermosphere Conditions and the Bishop Analytic Exosphere Model, S. M. Nossal, E. J. Mierkiewicz, and F. L. Roesler

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Book Review: Astronomy at the Frontiers of Science, T. D. Oswalt

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Book Review: New Eyes on the Universe: Twelve Cosmic Mysteries and the Tools We Need to Solve Them, T. D. Oswalt

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Book Review: The International Atlas of Mars Exploration: The First Five Decades: v.1: 1953 to 2003, T. D. Oswalt

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Thrust Vector Control of an Upper-Stage Rocket with Multiple Propellant Slosh Modes, Mahmut Reyhanoglu and Jaime Rubio Hervas

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Contamination Effects on Fixed-Bias Langmuir Probes, C.T. Steigies and Aroh Barjatya

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An Intense Traveling Airglow Front in the Upper Mesosphere–lower Thermosphere with Characteristics of a Bore Observed over Alice Springs, Australia, during a Strong 2 Day Wave Episode, R. L. Walterscheid, J. H. Hecht, L. J. Galinas, Michael P. Hickey Ph.D., and I. M. Reid

Submissions from 2011

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The 2009 Samoa and 2010 Chile Tsunamis as Observed in the Ionosphere using GPS Total Electron Content, David A. Galvan, Attila Komjathy, Michael P. Hickey Ph.D., and Anthony J. Mannucci

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Gravity Wave Heating and Cooling of the Thermosphere: Sensible Heat Flux and Viscous Flux of Kinetic Energy, Michael P. Hickey Ph.D., R. L. Walterscheid, and G. Schubert

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The White Dwarf Age of NFC 2477, Elizabeth J. Jeffery, Ted von Hippel, and et al.

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Book Review: Exploring Mars: Chronicles from a Decade of Discovery, T. D. Oswalt

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Book Review: The Cambridge Atlas of Herschel Objects, T. D. Oswalt

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Modeling and Control of Space Vehicles with Fuel Slosh Dynamics, Mahmut Reyhanoglu

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Group Velocity and Energy Flux in the Thermosphere: Limits on the Validity of Group Velocity in a Viscous Atmosphere, R. L. Walterscheid and Michael P. Hickey Ph.D.

Submissions from 2010

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A Comprehensive Rocket and Radar Study of Midlatitude Spread F, G.D. Earle, P. Bhanja, P.A. Roddy, C.M. Swenson, Aroh Barjatya, and et al.

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Atmospheric Airglow Fluctuations due to a Tsunami‐driven Gravity Wave Disturbance, Michael P. Hickey Ph.D., G. Schubert, and R. L. Walterscheid

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A Detailed Model Atmosphere Analysis of Cool White Dwarfs in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, Mukremin Kilic, Ted von Hippel, and et al.

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Visitors from the Halo: 11 Gyr Old White Dwarfs in the Solar Neighborhood, Mukremin Kilic, Ted von Hippel, and et al.

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Book Review: Stars Above, Earth Below: A Guide to Astronomy in the National Parks, T. D. Oswalt

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OH and OI Airglow Layer Modulation by Ducted Short-Period Gravity Waves: Effects of Trapping Altitude, Jonathan B. Snively, Victor P. Pasko, and Michael J. Taylor

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Pulsational Mapping of Calcium Across the Surface of a White Dwarf, Susan E. Thompson, Ted von Hippel, and et al.

Submissions from 2009

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Invited Article: Data Analysis of the Floating Potential Measurement Unit Aboard the International Space Station, Aroh Barjatya, Charles M. Swenson, Donald C. Thompson, and Kenneth H. Wright

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Inverting Color–Magnitude Diagrams to Access Precise Star Cluster Parameters: A New White Dwarf Age for the Hyades, Steven DeGennaro, Ted von Hippel, and et al.

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Propagation of Tsunami-Driven Gravity Waves into the Thermosphere and Ionosphere, Michael P. Hickey, G. Schubert, and R. L. Walterscheid

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Spitzer Observations of the Oldest White Dwarfs in the Solar Neighborhood, Mukremin Kilic, Ted von Hippel, and et al.

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A Near-Infrared Spectroscopic Survey of Cool White Dwarfs in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, Murkremin Kilic, Piotr M. Kowalski, and Ted von Hippel

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Book Review: Clocks in the Sky: The Story of Pulsars, T. D. Oswalt

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Book Review: Electronic Imaging in Astronomy: Detectors and Instrumentation 2nd ed., T. D. Oswalt

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Book Review: Escaping the Bonds of Earth: The Fifties and the Sixties, T. D. Oswalt

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Book Review: Finding the Big Bang, T. D. Oswalt

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Book Review: Humans in Outer Space-Interdisciplinary Odysseys, Studies in Space Policy, 1, T. D. Oswalt

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The Dust Cloud Around the White Dwarf G 29-38. II. Spectrum from 5 to 40 μm and Mid-Infrared Photometric Variability, William T. Reach, Ted von Hippel, and et al.

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Analysis and Modeling of Ducted and Evanescent Gravity Waves Observed in the Hawaiian Airglow, D. B. Simkhada, J. B. Snively, M. J. Taylor, and S. J. Franke

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Gravity Wave Ducting in the Upper Mesosphere and Lower Thermosphere Duct System, R. L. Walterscheid and Michael P. Hickey Ph.D.

Submissions from 2008

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Tomographic Imaging of Airglow from Airborne Spectroscopic Measurements, D. Scott Anderson; Gary Swenson,; Farzad Kamalabadi; and Alan Liu

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Was a Long-Lived, High Velocity Gas Jet Produced by the Comet Tempel 1 Deep Impact Event: Evidence from High Spectral Resolution [OI] 630 nm Interference Spectra, J. B. Corliss, F. L. Roesler, E. J. Mierkiewicz, R. J. Oliversen, and W. M. Harris

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White Dwarf Luminosity and Mass Functions from Sloan Digital Sky Survey Spectra, Steven DeGennaro, Ted von Hippel, D. E. Winget, S. O. Kepler, Atsuko Nitta, Detlev Koester, and Leandro Althaus

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The First Mid-Infrared Spectra of Cool White Dwarfs, Mukremin Kilic, Ted von Hippel, and et al.