Profiles of Astronomers: Lori Beerman

This week, we have another 6th-year astronomy graduate student, Lori Beerman!

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  • Who are you and where are you from?

Lori, a 6th year graduate student in UW’s Astronomy Department.  I’m originally from Cincinnati, Ohio but now I am completely in love with the Pacific Northwest!

  • How did you become interested in Astronomy?

I remember learning in third grade that our Sun was actually an ordinary star.  This fact amazed me—it meant that all of the other stars in the night sky were like our Sun, and could have little worlds around them, full of alien life.  Since then, I have been fascinated with trying to discover as much as I can about the universe and our place in it.

  • If you’re an astronomer, what do you study?

I study star clusters in the Andromeda Galaxy.  I am trying to determine their ages and masses, and their relation to the molecular gas from which they were born.

  • What’s the coolest thing (not literal) in the Universe?

The fact that we are literally made from stardust!

  • What’s the coolest thing outside of your field?

Having the opportunity to travel to awesome places such as Hawaii and Italy and make new friends from around the world.

  • What is your favorite non-astronomy hobby?

Learning to play the piano, which is something I always wanted to do as a child, and I’m now making it happen.

  • Is there anything else you’d like the public to know about you?

I also enjoy playing around with all kinds of data sets, cooking, reading, and hanging out with my awesome family.

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