Catherine Ball

Astronomy & Space Sciences


I am a third year interested in understanding galaxies' contents and evolution through spectroscopic observations of their gas. In the local universe, I use radio telescopes to observe the cool, atomic hydrogen gas in galaxies, which is important both as a reservoir of fuel for future star formation and as an extended tracer of the large-scale motions within galaxies. I am currently working with Professor Martha Haynes on understanding the information available to us in spatially unresolved observations of this neutral hydrogen in nearby galaxies. I also plan to work with Professor Gordon Stacey on using observations of spectral lines from various molecular and atomic species to constrain the nature of outflowing gas and star formation in galaxies.

I graduated from Macalester College in 2018, where I worked with Professor John Cannon on understanding the nature of "Almost Dark" dwarf galaxies by analyzing spatially resolved observations of their cool hydrogen. At Mac, I also enjoyed hosting our public observing nights and an astronomy-themed talk show called "Radio Astronomy". I enjoy participating in outreach here at Cornell as well, and am excited to be TAing starting in Fall 2019. In my free time, I enjoy hiking and am passionate about public radio and contemporary music.

Research Focus

Advisor: Professor Gordon Stacey