Posts by willb

heart of darkness (dark subtraction)

In this series, I’ll walk through each of the steps necessary to go from taking data at an (optical) telescope...

turnover: 2021

a lovely someone recently shared with me an 104 year old article, written by political theorist Antonio Gramsci, titled “I...

Ending: Inconclusive

So, the semester has come to a close. For how long I’ve spent operating under a semesterly school system, it...

Interview: Feng Long (Planetary cradles: UMass/FCAD colloquium speaker presents ALMA view of early solar systems)

Solar systems like ours begin as pancakes of dust and gas left over after a star forms. Over time, the dust within these "circumstellar disks" coagulate into planetesimals that will eventually form planets like the Earth. During this early stage of solar system evolution, these circumstellar disks are called "protoplanetary disks" because planets have not fully formed within them. Feng Long, the Submillimeter Array (SMA) Postdoctoral Fellow at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA), spoke at the Five College Astronomy Department (FCAD) Fall 2020 Virtual Colloquium hosted by UMass Amherst on Thursday, October 29. She discussed her recent publications and the implications that these incredibly detailed observations have for our understanding of solar system formation.

what’s your bias? (bias correction)

In this series, I’ll walk through each of the steps necessary to go from taking data at an (optical) telescope...

these are no Pyrrhic victories

The resounding left victories in Latin America lay bare the farce of the United States' most popular television program. You can feel good about it all you want, but Joe Biden's victory (or any conceivable outcome of the 2020 election) is not a victory, by any measure, for the American left.

whelmed

whelmed

The old english “whelmen” was paired with the prefix “over” sometime 600 years ago, and “overwhelmed” overtook the base word...

anticipating failure

anticipating failure

As trite as I think it is to discuss time and the perception of time (especially in the context of...

Interview: Lena Treiber (Observing Outbursts from Orbit)

Preface This article was originally published in the Amherst STEM Network magazine online (in our Fall 2020 issue) with the...

Interview: Joe Palmo (High Flying Adored: Whole Air Sampling Research Tracks Emissions from Fuel Leaks)

Preface This article was originally published in the Amherst STEM Network magazine online (in our Fall 2020 issue) with the...