Yuxi (Lucy) Lu

Astronomy Graduate Student at Columbia University & American Museum of Natural History

About me

Download my CV View my papers

I've been an Astronomy graduate student at Columbia University since 2019. I am also supported by the Doctoral Student Fellowships at American Museum of Natural History since Fall 2021. My research focuses on obtaining stellar ages from large stars surveys (e.g. Kepler, TESS, APOGEE, LAMOST etc.) and the application of stellar ages in Galactic Archaeology.

Stellar age catelogs I created that are publicly accessable:

  • Gyro-Kinematic ages (29,949 Kepler ages; avaliable here): We combined kinematic properties (verticle velocity), temperature, magnitude from Gaia, and rotation periods from Kepler to estimate gyro-kinematic ages.
  • Spectroscopic ages and red clump membership (64,317 APOGEE ages: avaliable here): We used The Cannon) to obtain stellar ages and red clump membership from APOGEE spectra. These stellar ages are then used to study the properties of the high- and low-α disks.
  • I am currently working on an age catalog with more than 300,000 spectroscopic ages.


Undergraduate Research

Before grad school, I worked on simulating the dynamics in Saturn's ring. I studied dynamical structures ranging from sub-km sizes to the size of the ring.

Small structures : Gravitational wakes in the ring. These wakes are caused by self-gravity between the ring particles and are sub-km in size. We don't have direct observations of these wakes since they are too small to be imaged by the Cassini spacecraft (read my paper about them here).

Medium structures : Spokes. These are dark/bright triangles on the ring. It is still a mystery how these spokes formed, but it is most likely due to the combination of collisional physics and the presence of Saturn's magnetic field (the 2 most common reasons behind mysteries). The figure below, taken by Voyager, illustrates what spokes look like on Saturn's ring (the dark shadows).


Large structures : Shapes of the edge of the ring caused by resonances. The figure below is from a paper
written by one of our collaborators from Cornell, read it here.