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Matt Varakian

Matt Varakian
Graduate Students

Contact Info
mvarakia at

Expertise: Small Bodies, Main Belt Asteroids, Planetary Science



I’m a third-year grad student here at NMSU and I work with Dr. Nancy Chanover as part of the Planetary Group. I’m interested in using a combination of spectroscopy (optical and NIR) and modeling techniques (Hapke modeling and linear unmixing) to determine the abundances of materials found on asteroid surfaces. If these surface abundances can be correlated with more easily obtainable measurements, such as NIR albedo derived from NEOWISE data, then we can use those measurements as proxies for quick estimates of asteroid surface composition. Since asteroids are essentially debris leftover from the early solar system, information about their composition can help us better understand solar system formation and evolution.