Week 13: the once and future researcher

Willb/ May 5, 2020/ astronomy 341/ 2 comments

We’ve presented, and thus our journey has come to a close. Last Wednesday about 60+ astronomers loaded into a zoom call. They were serenaded by smooth jazz during interstitials and distant shouts, heavy breathing, and keyboard clacking throughout. It went off with so many hitches, but it happened none the less. The best part of the experience was hearing from

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Week 12: proof of variation

Willb/ April 28, 2020/ astronomy 341/ 0 comments

In quarantine, it doesn’t seem like a lot changes day-to-day. The second part of this blog addresses how I used the linmix package to prove that our TESS-S21 field M-dwarf targets exhibit H-alpha, even in their old age. To begin, however, I’ll address a bunch of changes/improvements/revelations I made to our periodograms and period fitting. Is what I’d tell my

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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

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Week 10: nearing conclusions

Willb/ April 14, 2020/ astronomy 341/ 0 comments

This week I felt like I didn’t really accomplish anything. I’m sick and my whole body hurts, and there’s the whole global pandemic while I’m trying to figure out summer internships. I tried to get photometry to work for the binary targets in our Taurus subfield, but I couldn’t get our algorithm to treat the targets separately. Good thing is,

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Week 9: pythons in the grass

Willb/ April 7, 2020/ astronomy 341/ 0 comments

This week we set to work performing differential photometry (as outlined in previous posts) using python, as opposed to AIJ. Our python photometry allows us easier access to the data and is more automated than using AIJ, meaning we can more easily standardize our procedure. I then made a periodigram from our Ha fluxes in our Taurus field. Our pipeline

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Week 8: curve comparison

Willb/ March 31, 2020/ astronomy 341/ 0 comments

This week we were tasked with generating light curves for the targets in our images and writing an annotated bibliography for a paper we were assigned in groups. My group was assigned “Accretion in low-mass members of the Orion Nebula Cluster with young transition disks” (de Albuquerque et al. 2020). We divided our Taurus targets between our group members after

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Week 7 – Lightcurves in the time of Coronavirus

Willb/ March 24, 2020/ astronomy 341/ 0 comments

Now that society has collapsed, I finally have had some time to read some papers. We’ll get to that later in this post, but first I’ll review some small changes to my pipeline, our group’s intended schedule for pipeline convergence, an additional lightcurve I made, and some notes on two resources our adviser asked us to summarize. The first update

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Week 6: a tale of two pipelines

Willb/ March 11, 2020/ astronomy 341/ 0 comments

Amherst College may be self-destructing over the novel COVID-19, but the stars move in the heavens, and so my work continues. One last proposition: This past week we submitted our proposals (fingers crossed) and learned how to use a program, AstroImageJ, to create light curves from our aligned images. I reduced our entire observing run, filling out my preprocessing pipeline

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Week 5: a bad case of bad pixels

Willb/ March 3, 2020/ astronomy 341/ 1 comments

This week I wanted to run our reduction steps on another night of data, to move towards reducing all the data we have, but also to ensure the code and steps will actually work across all the data we’ll be working with. The first thing I did was create a function I called “timesample” which sorts a list of files

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Week 4: we need to go deeper

Willb/ February 25, 2020/ astronomy 341/ 1 comments

This week a python script filled with shiny new functions descended from the heavens into my lap. Like a divine tablet I lugged “shift_methods.py” down from Mt. Moodle and into the desert of my working repository. I started the work of tearing my shoddily built shift functions from my module, sparks and wires flying, until the dust had settled. My

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