KU Observatory Discovers New Exoplanet

Pictured are Dr. Phill Reed and student Daniel Johns.

Kutztown University’s Observatory has discovered another exoplanet, KELT-23Ab. The discovery was featured in an article in the Astronomical Journal with KU student Daniel Johns, undergraduate physics and astronomy major, and his advisor Dr. Phill Reed, professor of Astronomy & Physics, serving as the lead authors. KU student Ryan Rauenzahn is also a contributing author.

The 0.6-meter on-campus research telescope at KU captured the exoplanet passing in front of a star on July 3, 2018, but more than a dozen other telescopes and 50 additional co-authors were involved in the discovery.

“Being the lead author of a large project like this really opened my eyes to the amount of work and collaboration that goes into discovering an exoplanet,” Johns said.

Reed and his fellow researchers at the Observatory are members of a follow-up observing network for the Kilodegree Extremely Little Telescope (KELT) exoplanet discovery project, which is owned and operated by Lehigh University, The Ohio State University and Vanderbilt University.

“KELT is a wonderful collaboration of exoplanetary scientists,” Reed said. “I am extremely grateful for the valuable opportunities they have afforded me and my students!”

The newly-discovered exoplanet orbits a star, KELT-23A, that is located 408 light-years from Earth and is nearly identical to our own Sun. The planet itself is a “hot Jupiter,” meaning that it is a giant, gaseous planet like our Jupiter; however, this exoplanet is slightly different than our Jupiter because it lies extremely close to its host star. At a mere 2.8 million miles from KELT-23A, KELT-23Ab completes a full orbit every 2.26 days. Using additional data from the European Space Agency’s Gaia spacecraft, the team determined that KELT-23A is actually a member of a wide binary star system.

The KELT-23A system orbits another star, KELT-23B, that is much smaller and cooler than the Sun. KELT-23A and KELT-23B lie about 600 astronomical units from each other, taking more than 10,000 years to complete a single orbit. This discovery is important because it contributes to currently developing models about how hot Jupiters are formed. Jupiter-like planets must form farther from their host stars, where temperatures are cooler, and then migrate inward toward the star. This inward migration may be occurring via interactions with a distant companion star. In the case of KELT-23Ab, the planet is still migrating in towards KELT-23A and will likely reach the star within the next billion years.

The position of the exoplanet is ideal for future observations by space-based telescopes. Due to its proximity to the constellation Ursa Minor, KELT-23Ab is near the continuous viewing zones of both NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) and the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) space-based observatories. TESS, which will begin observing the northern sky later this year, has the precision to discover other planets in the KELT-23A system, and possibly even Earth-sized objects. JWST, which is expected to launch in 2021, will study the formation and evolution of galaxies, stars and planetary systems using infrared technology, which gives the JWST a better advantage at examining cool objects and makes KELT-23Ab a prime candidate for study.

For more information about the Observatory and KU’s participation in this exoplanet discovery, please contact Dr. Phill Reed at preed@kutztown.edu. To read the full paper, please visit https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.3847/1538-3881/ab24c7.

Reading Public Library to feature college planning presentation

A free back to school program on the “College Process for Parents and Teens” will be held at Reading Public Library’s Teen Loft, 100 S. 5 th St. on Monday, September 9 from 5 pm to 6:30 pm.

The presentation, designed for high school students and their parents, will focus on admissions and financial aid. Lou Blair, a teacher who has taught SAT preparation for 23 years, will answer questions about putting together college plans, matching a college to a student, scholarships, and financial aid.

No registration is required. For more information, call or email the Teen Loft, 610.655.6350 ext. 241 or rplya@reading.lib.pa.us.

Gabriel Kane of Reading Member of 2019 Kutztown University Women’s Soccer Team

Kutztown University will have 31 student-athletes representing its women’s soccer program for the 2019 season, including Gabriel Kane of Reading, PA (19606).

Read the full season preview online

The 2019 season will bring a new look to the Kutztown University women’s soccer team. With the renovation of Kutztown Field, KU will have a ton of positive energy around the program, as it continues to compete to achieve its lofty, yearly goals of winning championships.

Not only will the field be different for the Golden Bears this year, but the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) has also changed up its format for women’s soccer. Since 2010, the PSAC has had a single division. With the addition of Shepherd University to the conference, the PSAC is now instituting two divisions (East and West), a first since it last had two divisions in 2009. Each team plays each other twice during the regular season.

Kutztown was recently voted second in the Eastern Division of the PSAC preseason poll, behind defending conference champs and nationally-ranked Bloomsburg. Nationally-ranked West Chester, 2017 PSAC champion East Stroudsburg, and 2018 semifinalist Millersville round out the top-five in a very competitive division featuring a majority of the top teams in the Atlantic Region.

But head coach Erik Burstein, beginning his 13th season as head coach, once again has an experienced and talented team that has played in big, postseason games earlier in their careers.

“I have tremendous faith in this group,” said Burstein. “We have some exceptional athletes who work hard, have great attitudes, buy into our culture, believe in our system and have worked hard to adapt to their new roles and responsibilities. They are an exciting group who truly want to be successful, and I believe they will be. However, we all know this new divisional format will provide some very different and unique challenges. We need to focus on one game at a time and make sure we finish in the top-four in the East. Once that is accomplished, we can start thinking about competing for championships. Stay humble and stay focused; one game at a time.”

KU finished the 2018 season at 14-4-2 overall and qualified for both the PSAC and NCAA Atlantic Region tournaments. It was the third consecutive NCAA berth and eighth in 10 years. Dating back to the 2008 season, Kutztown has earned 11 straight PSAC Tournament appearances.

Kutztown begins its 2019 campaign with back-to-back road games. It will take on the University of Charleston (WV) in the season opener on Thursday, Sept. 5, and then play at Millersville on Wednesday, Sept. 11. The home-opener in the brand-new Keystone Field complex will be Saturday night, Sept. 14, under the lights at 6 p.m., against East Stroudsburg.

News from Lebanon Valley College

Lebanon Valley College Opens with Record First-Year Class Third Consecutive Year

Lebanon Valley College opened its fall semester with a record number of first-year students. The new class of 478 students, the most in the College’s 153-year history, surpasses last year’s record of 473 first-year students. In fall 2017, LVC opened with 466 first-year students, also a record at the time.

Thirty-seven transfers students join the class, bringing total undergraduate enrollment to 1,638 students. There was also an increase in the number of full-time graduate health professions students (master’s and doctorate), from 84 to 93.

“The record first-year class is due to several reasons, including the personal attention provided by our faculty and coaches, offering majors desired by students and employers, and the tremendous employment success of our graduates,” said Edwin Wright, vice president of enrollment. “Combined, Lebanon Valley College has created a culture that enables students to go further and achieve more, personally and professionally.”

About the Record First-Year Class

*45 are members of The Pride of The Valley Marching Band*40% are student-athletes*The class represents 15 states and seven international countries (Trinidad and Tobago, China, Finland, India, Czech Republic, the Netherlands, and Northern Ireland)

*Exercise science, physical therapy, actuarial science, biology, and early childhood education are the top majors

*Alumni referred 40 students through the inaugural Alumni Referral Scholarship, which awards incoming students $1,000 per year for up to four years

*28% of the class are enrolled in the health sciences (athletic training, exercise science, physical therapy, or speech-language pathology)

KU student selected for Writing Wrongs Project to produce book in 72-hour marathon workshop Labor Day weekend

Fifteen students from a variety of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York colleges have been selected to labor during this year’s Labor Day weekend Writing Wrongs project. During a 72-hour workshop held in Berks County, the students, working as staff writers, photographers, designers and social media managers, will conduct research and interviews, draft articles and design pages for a printed book available for sale through national book sellers that highlights stories of members of the LGBTQ+ community, this year’s Writing Wrongs topic.

Among this year’s participants is KU student Jamilee Hoffman of Chalfont, Pa., who will serve as the social media manager. Hoffman is a senior communication studies major at KU. Learn more about Hoffman at the Writing Wrongs website.

“Hopefully, I’ll be able to make a difference by getting certain issues spread throughout the media,” Hoffman said. “This way, issues can reach to whoever they need to (such as a government officials) who will be able to create justice for those issues, even it is only in my surrounding town/community. That change could contribute to the overall change that is needed in the world.”

In its fifth year, Writing Wrongs – a community journalism project dedicated to generating awareness and promoting understanding of critical social issues – is the brain child of Dawn Heinbach, a Reading Area Community College and Kutztown University graduate. Heinbach’s sophomore year honors project – to develop a community-based journalism workshop to share the stories of local people impacted by societal issues – has grown into a nonprofit organization that has produced one newspaper and three books on a variety of issues ranging from homelessness and addiction, to sexual and domestic abuse.

In discussing the growth of Writing Wrongs, Heinbach said, “every year the program is expanding to include students from a wider radius. We have students from well-known, competitive schools volunteering their time and skills to explore these important issues as they pertain to the residents of Reading. The point to remember when looking at the book and videos they create is that the students accomplish all this in just one weekend.”

The LGBT Center of Greater Reading is partnering with Writing Wrongs this year, providing speakers and a space for interviews with members of the LGBT community whose stories will frame this year’s book.

Learn more about Writing Wrongs at seekreporttruth.com.

Vote For The Paws – Less Than a Week Left to Vote

There’s only a week and a half left to vote for the animals in your community to be recognized in Berks County Living’s Best of Berks.
Now is your time to VOTE for the animals. Simply write us in for the following categories…
#24 – Best (Local) Non-Profit EventHumane Pennsylvania’s Walk for the Animals & Walktoberfest
#26 – Best Pet Friendly BusinessHumane Pennsylvania/Humane Society of Berks County
#33 – Best Veterinary PracticeHumane Veterinary Hospital
Added perk, you can vote on your computer and on your smart phone.After you’ve submitted your votes, be sure to share this fun contest withall of your friends and family.
The submission deadline is September 6, 2019

2nd Friday in West Reading Features Music by Be and Dean’s Way dedication on the Cherry Street Mural Corridor

Strolling the Avenue is always a pleasure, especially on 2nd Fridays! Friday, September 13th participating shops are open late so you have time to shop, stroll and dine your way through West Reading. Live music at the 6th Avenue stage by Be from 6-8pm!

This month a Cherry Street Mural Corridor Stroll will be held from 5-6:30pm from 4th to 7th Avenues. A guided mural tour will begin at 5:30pm behind Benchwarmers Coffee at 4th Avenue and Cherry Street.

A Dean’s Way Dedication will be held at 6th Avenue and Cherry Street at 6pm.

The Cherry Street Mural Corridor is a collection of public art created over the past 6 years. During this time, individual artists and hundreds of community volunteers have worked together with property owners to create this unique outdoor gallery. The West Reading Community Revitalization Foundation has been the driving force for both the organizational and financial support of the Mural Corridor.

In 2018 the Cherry Street Mural Corridor was recognized by the Pennsylvania Downtown Center as tops in Pennsylvania for Public Space Improvements. Come tour the many murals, meet the artists and participate in some other fun activities on Cherry Street.

This past year we lost the driving force behind the West Reading Elm Street Program, it’s director Dean Rohrbach. To honor Dean’s memory the Mural Corridor has been renamed Dean’s Way.

Here’s some of the activities you may find on the Stroll…

• Mural artists on hand to answer questions about how murals are made and other considerations when making public art.

• Photo displays to show work in progress and photos of people working on our projects.

• Friday the 13th photo opp with Simon, the famous black mural cat.

• Scavenger Hunt at the West Reading Is… Mural (600 Block of Cherry Street).

• Artists “live painting” on Penn Avenue and Cherry Street.

Fleetwood graduate presents research at annual symposium

Taylor Nattress of Blandon presented research at the 11th annual Landmark Conference Summer Research Symposium at Elizabethtown College.

Students from Susquehanna University were joined at the symposium by peers from Moravian, Goucher, Elizabethtown and Juniata colleges. The symposium featured oral and poster presentations on a variety of research, in such areas as physics, biochemistry, biology, ecology, environmental science, mathematics, history, economics and computer science.

Nattress’s research, conducted with Dr. Michael Parra, concerned the role of histones in eukaryotic cells.

Nattress is a biochemistry major in the class of 2021. A graduate of Fleetwood High School, she is the daughter of Mark and Jennifer Nattress.

Fall 2019 History Talks with Bob Wood resume Sept. 22 at Studio B, Boyertown

Local historian, former public school English teacher, writer, presenter, potter, and fine art painter, Bob Wood announced his Fall schedule of informal discussions of local history at Studio B Art Gallery on Sundays from 2 to 3 p.m.

Wood has published 4 books of local history that he offers for sale. He is a popular presenter among groups dedicated to preserving local history; his articles appear in assorted publications.

Wood serves as Gallery Adjunct at Studio B. In addition to hosting his popular history talks, his varied roles include funding support of exhibits of emerging artists along with his own artwork and the artwork of his wife Sandy Wood—longtime Boyertown Area School District art instructor; assistance in staging exhibits of local artists at local businesses; facilitating poetry readings and book signings; and participation in community events.

Sept. 22: Cannons: New Findings about Casting Cannons for the Revolutionary War at Warwick, Reading, and Hopewell Furnaces.

Sept. 29: Shorts: There are many topics of local 18th & 19th century life that are interesting, yet too short for an hour-long discussion. Speaker’s choice and attendees’ choice.

Oct. 13: Small Presentation Fraktur (frok-tur). Filled with a combination of color, whimsy, piety, and design, small presentation frakturs provide a window into the soul of early settlers.

Oct. 27: The Owl’s Mirror—an evolution of certain folk stories.

Nov. 3: Daniel Royer’s Diaries— An interesting and complete record of 19th century local village life.

Nov. 10: Keeping Warm in the Old Days—A talk centered on stoves, fireplaces, and firewood.