Interview: Lena Treiber (Observing Outbursts from Orbit)

Willb/ October 16, 2020/ Interviews, research log/ 0 comments

Preface This article was originally published in the Amherst STEM Network magazine online (at this link) with the title “Observing Outbursts from Orbit.” I’ve republished it here for posterity (the online articles are usually fleeting – there will be a link to the stable magazine copy of this article sometime soon as well). I hope you enjoy it, and that

Read More

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

Willb/ October 15, 2020/ Interviews, research log/ 0 comments

Preface This article was originally published in the Amherst STEM Network magazine online (at this link) with the title “High Flying Adored: Whole Air Sampling Research Tracks Emissions from Fuel Leaks.” I’ve republished it here for posterity (the online articles are usually fleeting – there will be a link to the stable magazine copy of this article sometime soon as

Read More

Interview: Follette Lab’s MagAOX web-tool team (Telescope Time Trials)

Willb/ September 30, 2020/ Interviews, research log/ 0 comments

Preface This article was originally published in the Amherst STEM Network magazine online (at this link) with the title “Telescope Time Trials.” I’ve republished it here for posterity (the online articles usually fleeting – there will be a link to the stable magazine copy of this article sometime soon as well). I hope you enjoy it, and that you check

Read More

American astronomers have a moral obligation to support O’odham land defenders

Willb/ September 29, 2020/ lefty astronomy/ 0 comments

Kitt Peak National Observatory (KPNO), the beloved observatory which “supports the most diverse collection of astronomical observatories on Earth” is in turn supported by – that is, resides atop – a sacred mountain of the O’odham people. The observatory, which has provided smaller institutions and the public an equal opportunity to conduct and publish astronomy research for over half a

Read More

Interview: Follette Lab’s accretion database team (Accretion Machines)

Willb/ September 22, 2020/ Interviews, research log/ 0 comments

Preface This article was originally published in the Amherst STEM Network magazine online (at this link) with the title “Accretion Machines.” I’ve republished it here for posterity (the online articles are usually fleeting – there will be a link to the stable magazine copy of this article sometime soon as well). I hope you enjoy it, and that you check

Read More

Interview: What makes a planet? Daniela Bardalez Gagliuffi seeks answers in the lowest mass stars

Willb/ April 1, 2020/ Interviews, research log/ 0 comments

I wrote this article originally for the Amherst STEM Network, where I’m the Astronomy Department Editor, and it is reposted here for posterity. You can find an amazing magazine version of it following this link. What makes a planet? If you grew up before the mid-2000s, you probably learned that Pluto is a planet, and might have reacted strongly to

Read More

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

Willb/ January 24, 2020/ prepare to astronomize, 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.

Read More

make your own color magnitude diagram ! – prepare to astronomize

Willb/ January 13, 2020/ prepare to astronomize, 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.

Read More