Week 11: Stumbling towards the finish line

Willb/ April 21, 2020/ astronomy 341/ 0 comments

The longer I stare at periodigrams the less I know. Knowledge drains from out my ears like water from a leaky faucet; my sanity drops like the price of oil (and good riddance, the world doesn’t need either). Lena and I have divided our analysis work among ourselves by field, with me taking command of the RV T.E.S.S. and her taking stewardship of the HMS HL Tau.

The TESS field haunts me in my dreams. In the narrowbands, there is nothing in that evil place but low SNR chaos. I’m like the joker from batman now; seeing the chaos makes me laugh.

I tried to sort it, and was partially successful in doing so. First I assigned each target in our .reg files a number according to its position within said regfile. I gave a name to each target based on that number, names like “BD 12” or “M33,” real Star Wars robot sounding names. With each target given a unique identifier, I matched their RA and Dec coordinates to those from the color/mass estimates our instructor sent to us, and now we have a table of named M-dwarfs and their masses. I went through our photometry and flagged each target that made it through with actual data (in each narrowband) and sorted them by this flag. The resulting table (color coded) is below.

TESS targets, colored by their recovery in our photometry. Red is no recovery in either filter, yellow is recovery in Ha but not Ha-off, and green is recovery in both.

We recovered about as many TESS objects as we have targets in the Taurus field, so I decided to try and throw our photometry in to periodigrams and graph the output. Below is an example of how that went for one of the targets, M16.

an example of a periodigram (run on TESS data, not our HDI data) for TESS target M16
The resulting phase folded light curve using TESS data

None of the period fits on our data passed the eye test to any degree of certainty, which you can see in the gallery below. I barely believe the TESS fits I’ve looked at, but I haven’t done those for all our targets. At this point, I’m thinking I’ll try to get TESS period fits for all the targets, graph a fit with those periods over our data, and use those periods for whatever analysis I can throw together before our complete poster is due tomorrow. I am unraveling.

Until next week. Keep the faith for me.

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About willb

I'm Will, an undergraduate astronomer studying transition disks, direct imaging, and planet accretion and formation at the Follette Lab at Amherst College. I use they/them/theirs pronouns.

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