...or something like that.
Over the past few days, I've been learning how to make detailed, attractive graphs of the huge dwarf data table we're working with. I now know how to make graphs in color, have error bars on data points, and even label the data points accordingly. I made a really nice graph today of Distance versus Surface Brightness for all of the known Milky Way dwarf companions. (I wish I could post it here! I'm extremely proud of it.) I spent a lot of time labeling each dwarf, so the graph was readable (dare I say, beautiful?!)
Also, graphing allowed me to catch a pretty important mistake, today. While plotting Size versus Mv, I noticed some of the Magnitudes were positive, when they were all supposed to be negative. After close inspection, I realized that the way I read the data table into IDL was incorrect. Every once in a while, it would cut off a character from the beginning of the string in a column. I then reformatted, and double checked that every data point was correct. It was necessary, but caused some frustration and eye-crossing. Glad it's fixed now...
Next up: Making that Size vs. Mv graph more sophisticated, with lines of constant surface brightness over-plotted onto the data. Don't know how I'm going to tackle that yet, but I will, possibly (probably) with the help of others in the lab.
Also, as per Beth's wishes, I'm going to post here more. I haven't felt like I've done anything huge or note-worthy lately, so I haven't posted. But I guess that's nonsense. If I'm in lab for eight hours a day, I must be doing enough stuff to write about. I think I've only liked posting in moments of success or excitement so far. So, New Goal: write even when feeling stuck or uninspired. Then, later, when I've worked through it, I'll be able to visibly see my progress.
As an inspirational closing note, I was sent this link last week, and have been looking at it whenever I need a pick-me-up. Enjoy: