Tuesday, August 16, 2016

August 16: LAST DAY

Last day before the presentation! This morning, I went over my presentation twice, once with the interns and once with my adviser, then revised it based on their suggestions.

The interns went to Crossroads for lunch. I went to get manicotti (spelling?) and it was out. They refilled it, so I went to get the breadstick that came with it and they ran out. Great timing on my part. 

After an enlightening lunch full of Never Have I Ever and two truths and a lie (Maria has never been in a pillow fight and Nathan used to participate in surfing competitions when he lived in Florida), I headed back to play catch up on blogs (best game of the day, right?) and put the finishing touches on my presentation. 

The end of the internship is bittersweet. I get more free time but now I have to work on summer homework (again, joking - I'll miss Carlson and the reading room and all of the wonderful people I met here!). Only the presentation is left (possibly the worst part).

Here is a list of the things I have learned:
  • walking in a circle several times is not the most effective way to find things
  • I am earth (at least according to Madi and Maria-see last post)
  • computers are terrifying
  • ask for help even if you think you are being annoying
  • the Joker makes me laugh
  • files can be compressed
  • I can compress and extract files
  • which button to press when compressing and extracting files
  • how to find/move/copy/save files
  • also, some astronomy
To everyone I worked with at RIT: Thank you for a wonderful summer!

Monday, August 15, 2016

August 15

Sunday evening, after getting some help from my adviser, I was able to run the results table through the code and get an ultraviolet magnitude for RZ Psc.

The next day I talked to Kristina about the troublesome (faint) M star that I was trying to measure and decided to work on getting an upper limit. The interns also helped me with my presentation.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

August 11 & 12

While I was not on vacation on these days, I clearly was taking a slight mental break because I completely forgot about blogging (although that seems to happen a lot to me). I can't exactly recall what happened but sometime in the last half week I performed photometry on RZ Psc and (finally) got a measurements table (dumb mistakes made this an extremely tedious process, as if placing apertures wasn't tedious enough on its own). Then I looked at the code and cried (joking. mostly).

I put a first draft of my presentation together and ran through it in a few peer revision sessions.

Sometime along the way Maria and Madi matched the interns with their planets:
Apparently, I am EARTH because I am down to earth. When I complained that it meant I got all the pollution, the interns pointed out I also got the life and biodiversity. Yay for earth ☺

While I am talking about seemingly random things, Nathan taught me how to do this: ☺
Press alt, then 1 on the number pad and lift up. He also talked about unicode and the coding stuff behind this but clearly ☺ is more important.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Updated Abstract

RZ Psc-an infrared-bright, variable star, far from any star forming regions-has an ambiguous evolutionary status, for which both pre- and post-main sequence perspectives have been presented. Due to the unique characteristics of this star, determining its age would assist in explaining its properties, which in turn could further our understanding of stellar evolution. Our research aims to identify a potential group of young stars, known as a stellar association or moving group, that may have formed at the same time and place as RZ Psc. If no moving group is found, it would provide evidence that RZ Psc is an evolved star that may be part of a binary system (a system of two stars orbiting each other about a shared center of mass). Hence, we are studying stars in the vicinity of RZ Psc over a range of different wavelengths to produce Spectral Energy Distributions and determine the stars’ space motions. This project focused on processing raw CCD (charge-coupled device) images from the WIYN 0.9 m telescope, producing calibrated images, and performing photometry (measuring the flux, or brightness, of stars).

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

August 10

Today was a Wednesday, which meant Wednesday lecture day. Dr. Easton gave us interns an enlightening talk on his various projects, including the Archimedes Palimpsest, the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, world travels, Shakespeare's seventh signature (which turned out to really say M. Lacy, not W. Shakespeare), BAD techniques ("blur and divide"), movie consulting, possible drunk Picasso collages, candle wax, and truly awful poetry.

Other than that, I troubleshooted issues with astroimagej and had finally finished placing apertures and making sure they were the right size when the program decided to not work and I had to restart it. So, I had to start over again completely. Hopefully I will finish with the photometry by the end of the day Thursday.

I also met with Professor Kastner and My adviser, Kristina, and discussed my presentation (which is coming along, albeit slowly).

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

August 9

Inspired by fellow intern Alice Li:

  • Began presentation
  • Searched for comparison stars in astronomical databases
  • Met with Joel
  • Decided to use an A type star Lydia & Tori found (U-V mag is ~0 so v magnitude is about = to u magnitude. Therefore, I can use its measured magnitude in the visual band as an ultraviolet magnitude for comparison in relative photometry).
  • Returned to Carlson
  • Ate lunch
  • Found a fitted u magnitude for a relatively bright star in VizieR to use as another comparison star
  • Worked on photometry (ran into problem with settings and had to email the RU's before I could continue)
Productive day! Sometime earlier this week, I also learned that I will be presenting first (yippee). Now I spend way too much time wondering what to wear and how to introduce myself. (Like, do I have to bow for this? No, this is a science presentation, not a violin performance. But won't it be awkward just standing there after a 10 minute talk staring at dozens of people waiting for them to ask questions [that, hopefully, I will be able to answer]? It seems that, as with the violin, practice may be the only thing that can help. Oh, joy.)

Monday, August 8, 2016

August 3-5, 8

I realized I've been quite negligent with my blog posts so I decided to catch up by doing most of last week in one blog post. Tuesday I realized my images were showing up oddly so I met with Tori Wednesday. She said the images I sent her looked fine when she did photometry-we looked at the same images and on her computer it looked fine but on mine the stars were showing up "hard." My laptop was just doing something weird, so I spent the day redoing image reduction and plate solving some of the images so they would show up correctly in astroimagej on my computer. Thursday I met with my lab group in building 17 and was told to do photometry on the u band images. I spent the rest of the day and the next day scouring databases for viable comparison stars. Unfortunately, not many stars have known ultraviolet magnitudes. There was only one star in the field that I found on Aladin and it was incredibly faint. I was on vacation over the weekend and on Monday, but Monday evening I tried doing photometry on RZ Psc using the faint star and it didn't work. When asking me for the value, imagej sent me to SIMBAD, where it said that the star I had found was itself a variable star, so I am going to have to find a different way to get comparison stars.