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Across the Universe: Astronomy in the Solar System and Beyond

What is the ambitious goal of this project?

The astronomy program within the Physics Department at Boise State is committed to conducting research to answer some of the most important questions in science.

Experience Gained

The exact outcomes will depend on which project students are involved with, but across all projects, students will demonstrate the following:

  • Basic astronomical career navigation and research skills
  • An understanding of the psychological challenges of doing scientific research
  • Literacy in scholarly articles
  • Understanding measurement uncertainties
  • Basic coding capabilities

Methodologies and/or Technologies used to achieve project goals

  • Arduino & Rasberry Pi Computing
  • Coding and coding software
  • Fieldwork
  • K-12 outreach and collaboration
  • Qualitative research methods
  • Quantitative research methods
  • Writing

Preferred Preparation

400 students need to have taken 200 level courses or have the equivalent in research experience.

Majors or Interests Needed

  • Computer Science
  • Geosciences
  • Mathematics
  • Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering
  • Physics

VIP Coach Information

Prof. Brian Jackson is a planetary astronomer and conducts research on extrasolar planets, as well as planetary analog field work.

Course Information

VIP  200, VIP 400 or VIP 500
Full semester course. Choose to enroll in 1 or 2 credits.
Team meetings: Thursdays, 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.

Interested in joining this team?

For more information and to request a permission number to register, contact Prof. Brian Jackson at
You can also complete this interest form and someone will contact you. Check out this page for tips on contacting a professor.

To register

To register search by Subject: Vertically Integrated Projects, read the project description to find the right section of VIP 200, 400, or 500. Use permission number, here are instructions Add with a permission number