Contact Me

Email: rlpitts@ufl.edu

  • 319 Bryant Space Science Center
  • Department of Astronomy
  • University of Florida
  • Gainesville, FL 32611-2055
  • (352)-394-1854 (dial only the last 5 digits if calling from a landline on campus)
  • Current Adviser: Dr. Peter Barnes


Personal

Research Interests

While my personal interests tend toward compact objects and the high-mass stars that produce them, I have dabbled in a number of subjects from the Solar System to the galactic scale. Currently, I am involved in the CHaMP project, a large-area (l = 280° to 300°, b = -4° to 2°), NIR to radio survey of molecular clouds, protostellar cores, and young stellar clusters. My master's thesis studies dealt with Classical Be stars in the APOGEE survey and High-Mass X-ray Binaries (Pitts et al, in prep.), with an eye toward uncovering more compact objects. My undergraduate research focused on confirming and characterizing SX Phe stars - a rare type of Blue Straggler star on the instability strip of the HR diagram - in the LINEAR database, but also included the classification of eclipsing binary stars identified in follow-ups to the Kepler mission. In 2011 I also briefly studied the flaring ethane emissions from Jupiter's aurora with hopes of finding a correlation with Solar winds or the positions of its satellites (Kostiuk et al. 2014, DPS talk 2014).


Outreach

I am also a participating member of the UF Astronomy Outreach Committee, which works with local primary schools and their students to increase comprehension of and interest in a variety of astrophysical phenomena. Some of the activities we've hosted can be found under at NASA's Solar System Exploration beta, under Education. Instructors of K-12 classes may find the provided lesson plans useful.

Frequent Research Resources