Making Research

Posted By on Nov 20, 2007

One of the joys, frustrations, most loved, and most hated parts of being a professor is attempting to do research. I say attempting because sometimes the data just doesn’t want to produce anything useful. There are good times. For instance, in about three months this summer and fall Fraser Cain and I, with the help of undergraduate Rebecca Bemrose-Fetter and graduate student Georgia Bracey, managed to do a quick a solid study on...

Read More

This morning I was flipping digitally through the preprints on arXiv, and I stumbled on a rich paper on the evolution of Seyfert’s Sextet. In the paper, they discuss Seyfert’s Sextet as a more evolved version of Stephan’s Quintet. Now, these two compact galaxy groups (CGG) are two of my favorite objects to image, so I couldn’t resist pausing to read the article. But I have to admit that I had to do a bit of...

Read More

Lensing Lenses & Einstein’s Cross

Posted By on Sep 19, 2007

While going through journal articles today, I came across a really neat paper on teh apparent variability of the different images of the famous lensed quasar, Einstein’s Cross (Q2237+0305, in science speak). The light from this distant quasar is blocked from reaching us directly, and is instead bent toward us along 4 different paths by the nucleus of an intervening spiral galaxy (image left, credit:  J. Rhoads (STScI) et...

Read More

Building Galaxies

Posted By on Aug 13, 2007

I just finished watching the Universe series episode on “Alien Galaxies.” I have to admit that their constant use of the word “Alien” forced me to look up the word alien in the dictionary (or at least on I have to admit that while it is legitimate to call galaxies alien, it’s probably a bit of a stretch of the definition. That aside, this episode did a good job high lighting all the...

Read More

Finding Dark Galaxies

Posted By on Aug 9, 2007

One of the great mysteries of our universe is whether there are dark matter galaxies, devoid of stars, haunting the universe. From the COSMOS survey, we know that dark matter and visible matter are not always located in the same place. This implies that there may be galaxies out there made entirely out of dark matter. The question is: how can we prove they do or don’t exist? Proving they completely don’t, never ever, no...

Read More

It’s raining stars!

Posted By on Aug 1, 2007

It has long been known that there are stellar interlopers in the solar neighborhood. These stars just passing through as they orbit the galaxy on a path that originates in galactic halo. Unlike the stars like the sun that normally live in the galactic disk, these stars are poor in metals (have low amounts of atoms like iron), and extremely old. Recent work by a team lead by Amanda Kepley (Case Western Reserve University / University...

Read More