Area of Expertise: Astrophysics, interstellar dust (how interstellar dust of different shapes, sizes, and composition distorts light in varied ways), interstellar medium
Additional Information: Ulysses J. (U. J.) Sofia primarily uses data from the Hubble Space Telescope's ultraviolet spectrometer—an instrument that spreads images of invisible light waves into their component colors—to determine how interstellar dust of different shapes, sizes, and composition distorts light in varied ways. Astronomers use this information to devise ways to control for the dust in their observational data.
He is also working with his father, Yale University astrophysicist Sabatino Sofia, on an international project aimed at measuring the sun's temperature and size over time. These measurements will help determine how much energy the sun is releasing. Of the project's significance Sofia says, "the amount of energy the sun is putting out has a huge effect on our predictions about how fast we think the climate will change due to the carbon dioxide and methane [emissions] associated with global warming."
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