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

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

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

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

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)

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 to doing science with that data. This article touches on why astronomical images need to be corrected before use, and goes into detail about the bias correction process. If you’d like to follow along and create your own image of

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these are no Pyrrhic victories

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

The old english “whelmen” was paired with the prefix “over” sometime 600 years ago, and “overwhelmed” overtook the base word “whelm” in our vocabulary, probably because humans are hyperbolic creatures by nature. I advocate for a return to tradition, or a mutation of tradition, when I write to you now and say we should reclaim the bare “whelm” to describe

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anticipating failure

As trite as I think it is to discuss time and the perception of time (especially in the context of quarantine), this semester has really wrought havoc on my sense of time. In this past week alone, I’ve shifted between operating on so many different timescales that I’ve found myself completely disorientated, staring down the barrel of another week. To

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Interview: Lena Treiber (Observing Outbursts from Orbit)

Interview: Lena Treiber (Observing Outbursts from Orbit)

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

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

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 (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

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a little update to my first game

I published a small update to Fly Trap, my small second person adventure game, where you play as (spoiler) an ant from venus, exploring a ruined building on earth. This was mostly spurred by the recent announcement about the discovery of phosphine on venus, and the big press buzz about that. There’s a little embed in this post you can

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