Hello, and welcome!
My name is Stephanie Hamilton, and I am a third year graduate student and NSF Graduate Research Fellow in Physics at the University of Michigan.
My research primarily concerns the search for and discovery of small members of our Solar System that orbit farther out than Neptune. Specifically, I am studying the characteristics of the longest-period objects we know about, which are clustered in physical space in an unexpected way. One explanation for this clustering is Planet Nine, a hypothetical new planet orbiting many times farther out than Neptune or Pluto that is responsible for shepherding these long-period objects into their current configuration.
I am a member of the Dark Energy Survey, a 500+ member global collaboration. We are currently taking hundreds of thousands of images of the Southern Hemisphere sky using a sophisticated camera (the Dark Energy Camera) mounted on the 4-meter Blanco Telescope in Chile. It is in these images that we are searching for new small bodies and the ultimate prize, Planet Nine!