Posts made in April, 2008


AAVSO/BAA Day 1: Binary Adventures


Posted By on Apr 11, 2008

Variable stars come in many forms – there are happy little regular stars, widely separated and merrily circling ones dancing an eon long dance. Some white dwarfs – dead stars, cooling into stellar embers of stars – become vampires as they gravitationally suck mass from their companion and heat themselves back out of the stellar grave. There are stars with touching atmospheres that are merging, spiraling, reheating in...

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After several days of travel, I’ve settled into the front row of the BAA/AAVSO meeting in New Hall, in Cambridge, UK. Dr. Paula Skody is giving an excellent talk on pro-am collaboration to make Hubble Space Telescope observations of cataclysmic variables. She studies pulsating white dwarfs – stars whose outer 99% have oscillations that can be seen as high speed, slight changes in brightness. The most interesting of these...

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A Sunny Morning in Oxford


Posted By on Apr 9, 2008

I awoke to the following this morning. I now understand why every faculty member I’ve ever had who went to Oxford complains about the ugliness of their current university (any one of many). Really, can anything in the states compete? They also have quite civilized dorms, with a proper tea set laid out with biscuits. And strange objects are also left on lamp posts. Walking to the building Chris works in he spotted on a lamp post...

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Out of Munich and into England


Posted By on Apr 9, 2008

After giving a 2pm talk yesterday, I was off and running for the airport and quick flight to London. To say that I am a laid back traveler is probably an understatement, and to say I vaguely plan things ahead and then forget to print out useful emails is perhaps more accurate (but then, I always have my laptop, so why kill trees?). I tend to travel light, plan minimally, and always be prepared for stupidity. My “one bag, one...

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