Getachew Mekonnen

Astrophysicist

Mafikeng, South Africa | born in Debre Markos - Ethiopia

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Getachew Mekonnen is an Astrophysicist and a postdoctoral fellow at the North-west University Space Research Center, Mahikeng astronomical observatory, Mahikeng. 

 He was born and raised in Debre Markos, Ethiopia. After completing his high school studies, he joined Jimma university and got his BSc. in Physics. During his stay at Jimma university he actively participated in different clubs and got the opportunity to share experience with people who studied Astrophysics that was the time where he realized that he can study and contribute to the body of knowledge in Astrophysics. Then he got a government scholarship to pursue his Masters degree and joined Addis Ababa University, Department of Physics and joined the Astrophysics group and got his MSC.

Physics (Astrophysics) from Addis Ababa University. During his stay at Addis Ababa university he conducted a research on High Energy physics especially on accretion of binary stars. His main research focus was on investigating  and deriving the inverse Compton  scattering cross section for the scattering of a low frequency photon with relativistic electron. Moreover, in his investigation he derived the spectrum function from the cross section which has a direct application on the hardening of thermal photons through inverse Compton scattering.

 

Due to his enthusiasm in broadening his knowledge in Astrophysics he received a scholarship to join  the National Astrophysics and Space Science Program (NASSP) at the university of Cape Town. During his stay he met several astronomers and researchers and   his dream was to conduct a research on searching extrasolar planets. In his research he investigated  Gravitational Microlensing and the search for extrasolar planets. He studied both theoretical  modelling by including several effects such as finite source effect. More over, by observing a microlensing target  OGLE-2011-BLG-265 and fitting with the theoretical model he came up with the conclusion that the observed target can be accurately described as a binary lens microlensing event with a planetary companion. Then, he got his MSC. In  Astrophysics and Space Science  from University of Cape Town.

Getachew was curious to investigate more in the fields of astrophysics.

 

After completing his second MSC. He attended  MERIAM conference and something triggered him to continue on a different field of Astrophysics. The famous saying by Sir Arthur Stanely Eddington “Our Telescopes may probe farther in to the depths of space; but how can  we ever obtain certain knowledge of that which is hidden  behind substantial barriers? What appliance can pierce through the outer layers of a star and test the conditions within?”.

Currently his main research focus is developing theoretical mode identification formula for pulsating stars. By using stellar sounds, one can see deep into the stars. Moreover, he is also involved in KEPLER and Gaia space based observations to study asteroseismology
 

 

Getachew is a registered member of the South African Institute of Physics (SAIP) and accredited Professional Physicist.

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