Friday, July 15, 2016

July 15

Twinkletwinklelittle star
How I wonder what you are. 
Up above the world so high. 
Like a diamond in the sky.
Twinkletwinkle little star.
Now I know what you are.

A line in a guide I was reading today reminded me of something I learned in my textbook: why stars twinkle. The turbulence in the earth's atmosphere causes some of the light from the star to refract in different directions, causing a twinkling (or, as astronomers put it, stellar scintillation). Childhood mystery solved.

In other news, I was told during my morning meeting that I should be focusing on data reduction, not photometry. Images must be reduced before photometry can be done (I had just been following the order given to me in the lecture series). So I will be reading a user guide or two so I understand how CCD image reduction works before diving into the tutorial. I will practice with the raw vband images Lydia and Tori have already reduced so I can compare my results to theirs before starting on the iband images I will ultimately be working on.

After doing some more reading, I headed down to the intern picnic and had a hot dog (slightly crispy) grilled by Nathan and Niels and ice cream brought and scooped by Allyse (thank you Allyse!). I also figured out that she brought two scoops because she had two cartons of ice cream! Lunch was followed by a volleyball game during which we counted ourselves lucky if the ball made it over the net more than once (with or without hitting the ground). Next stop, Olympics!

My abstract (take one) will be posted in a separate blog post by Monday morning.

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