making stars (feat. ic 5146: the cocoon nebula) – prepare to astronomize

willb/ January 24, 2020/ research log/ 1 comments

when molecular clouds – large clumps of gas and dust within galaxies – become unable to support their own weight they collapse inwards into a cascading series of overdensities and clumps which then become stars. even if they can support themselves, collisions between clouds, supernovae, or other dramatic events can cause dynamical disruptions in molecular clouds which trigger star formation.

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make your own color magnitude diagram ! – prepare to astronomize

willb/ January 13, 2020/ research log/ 0 comments

Luritja aboriginal astronomers have a classification system for by-eye observation of stars: Tjilkera (white) stars, Tataka Tjilkera (red/white), Tataka (red) and Tataka Indora (very red) [1, 2]. Astronomers today, thanks to Williamina Flemming and Annie Jump Cannon (among other Harvard Computers), use a rather opaque system of stellar classification called the Harvard spectral classification: OBAFGKM(LTY), ranging from white/blue to red/brown.

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lefty astronomy: can “science” be decolonized? and what really is “science”?

willb/ January 12, 2020/ lefty astronomy, research log/ 3 comments

Context, and then some of my thoughts on astronomy Mauna Kea, the tallest of five volcanoes comprising the big island of Hawai’i, is the most sacred of mountains to native Hawaiians. Protected by kapu, a code of conduct, visitation was restricted in order to protect the sanctity of the mountain. Around the 12th century native people began small quarries high

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inclusive astronomy 2: postmortem

willb/ October 18, 2019/ personal, research log/ 3 comments

The inclusive astronomy conference was originally held in 2015, at a time when tensions were boiling over in the field. it was attended by a variety of astronomy-lovers who sought change in a field that (to this day) hides the ugliness of colonialism, racism, misogyny, and LGBTQ-phobia behind a veneer of impartial, apolitical scientific inquiry. My personal hero, Frank Tavares,

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lefty astronomy: the PAYWALL & open access

willb/ August 23, 2019/ lefty astronomy/ 0 comments

In your research, whether you’re an art historian or a astrophysicist, you’ve likely run up against a paywall. Berated with appeals either to login, sign-up, or get out, these moments can feel frustrating. Whether you move on, referencing a similar paper you have access to, finding a pre-print of the paper on an online resource, or simply asking the author

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lefty astronomy: supporting the mauna kea protests

willb/ July 25, 2019/ lefty astronomy/ 0 comments

Jul. 25th, 2019 What is happening on mauna kea? Construction of TMT on Maunakea was scheduled to resume Monday, July 15, 2019. On July 14, 2019, AP reported that unarmed National Guard units will be involved in transporting personnel and supplies, and enforcing road closures. Exact details of the situation on the mountain are dynamic, but as of Wednesday, July

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python, paths, and anaconda – prepare to astronomize

willb/ July 13, 2019/ prepare to astronomize, research log/ 2 comments

This is the beginning of a short series about the things I’ve learned in order to do astronomy research. This particular article may be insightful for citizen scientists or undergraduate astronomers interested in using and exploring their data via python. Installing python via anaconda The anaconda distribution is a suite of python (and R) packages, including conda, the python package

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willb/ July 5, 2019/ personal, research log/ 0 comments

on workflow and production in my limited research experience. i’ve been thinking today (day two of a four day holiday weekend) about my process. since attending amherst i’ve struggled a lot with schoolwork; mental health being my largest hurdle. after 1½ go rounds doing summer research, interspersed with a part-time research job in the same lab during the school year,

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