Thursday, June 10, 2010

Moving on to Phase Two

After almost three full weeks of working in IDL to organize and analyze the known data about previously discovered dwarfs around the MW and M31, I'm getting ready to move towards creating an algorithm to find undiscovered dwarf galaxies.

To kick-start this process, Beth had me read bits of a paper by Walsh, Willman, and Jerjen entitled "The Invisibles: A Detection Algorithm to Trace the Faintest Milky Way Satellites." Basically, the method is to take stars from known dwarfs, and combine them into "fake" dwarfs, that can then be placed behind different backgrounds of stars to create a program to look for similar objects in the real local neighborhood. Who knows! Maybe this could lead to the discovery of the Barlev-Fuchs 1...

In other news, I've more or less tied up all of my loose ends in terms of plots and data analysis on the known dwarfs, and Beth even showed the plot from Tuesday in her brief talk at AstroPhilly yesterday at Swarthmore! It was nice to see a figure of mine projected on a big screen at a talk for the first time! AstroPhilly was good, too. It was interesting to hear about the range of projects going on at neighboring institutions. Also, we got to look at Swat's new 24" telescope. I'm jealous, mostly because currently our dome needs manual pushing in order to rotate.

Looking ahead -- Beth will be in France at at conference next week, and so I'll need to figure out things to keep me productive in her absence. Hopefully that can be panned out tomorrow afternoon.

No comments:

Post a Comment