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Blogs by Center for Exoplanet & Habitable World Members

Habitable Zone Planet Finder Team

  • HPF Goes On Sky!
    Introduction Things have been quiet here on the HPF blog for the last few months, but that has certainly not been the case in our lab!  Our team has been working diligently, making the final push to deliver HPF to … Continue reading →
  • The Camera of HPF
    Introduction: Spectrometer Cameras A spectrometer, as the name implies, records a ‘spectrum’ of an object. This spectrum, in its most basic form, is just a series of images of the instrument entrance aperture (whether it be a star, slit, optical … Continue reading →
  • Stellar Activity in the Near-Infrared: We Need a New Ruler!
    Introduction We talk about stellar activity a lot on this blog.  Once HPF gets on sky, radial velocity noise from stellar activity will likely be the biggest impediment to finding exoplanets.  Thus, if we want HPF’s chief scientific mission of … Continue reading →
  • The Plot Thickens: Habitable-Zone Exoplanets around Proxima Centauri and TRAPPIST-1
    Introduction As the time approaches to commission HPF on the Hobby-Eberly Telescope, we are learning that the spectrograph will be coming online in truly exciting times for exoplanet science!  The detection of habitable-zone exoplanets around two nearby M dwarf stars—including … Continue reading →
  • NEID, HPF’s sister spectrograph
    Recently, the HPF team was selected to build the NEID spectrograph, the next generation spectrograph for the 3.5m WIYN telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory, located on the Tohono O’odham reservation in Arizona. The word neid means ‘to see’ in the language of the Tohono … Continue reading →

NEID Spectrograph Team

  • Under Construction Already!
    It has been a busy summer for NEID and its team.  Now that the project has officially started, there are many tasks that must be done in a short amount of time.  Plans must be made, parts must be ordered, … Continue reading →
  • NEID Featured on the Many Worlds Blog
    As part of NASA’s Nexus for Exoplanet Systems Science (NExSS), science journalist Marc Kaufman documents new and interesting research related to NASA’s various exoplanet science programs on the Many Worlds blog.  His latest post features NEID, and its role in … Continue reading →
  • NEID: The Introduction
    Welcome to NEID!  Here, we will document the development and deployment of a new high resolution planet-finding spectrograph that will be installed in 2019 on the 3.5-meter WIYN Telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory near Tucson, Arizona. This instrument will … Continue reading →

Jason Wright: AstroWright

  • Doing SETI Better
    One of the reasons SETI is hard is that we don’t know exactly what we are looking for, and part of that difficulty is that we still aren’t sure of who we are.  It seems counter-intuitive, but in order to be good at looking for aliens, we have to become experts at understanding ourselves. Looking […]
  • Primer on Precise Radial Velocities
    Objects in space are specified by their Right Ascension, Declination, and distance.  The first two are easily measured, usually to better than a part in a million; the last is notoriously tricky to measure, sometimes uncertain to an order of magnitude. The time derivatives of these quantities are the reverse: proper motions are unmeasured for most […]
  • Schelling Points in SETI
    How do you find someone who is also looking for you if you can’t communicate with them? I was reading the Wikipedia article on the water hole concept in SETI, and saw under “see also” the entry “Schelling point“. Investigating led me to a fascinating bit of history. Thomas Schelling is a heterodox economist and foreign policy […]
  • Star-Planet Interactions, and Jupiter Analogs
    Waaaaay back in 2015 the International Astronomical Union held its General Assembly in Honolulu. I went and gave a review talk on star-planet interactions at a Focus Meeting. One nice thing (in the long run) about these Focus Meetings is that they generate proceedings that get published. It’s sort of old-fashioned now, but it’s still […]
  • Tabby doing a Q&A on the WTF star on Twitter
    Tabby just did a 20-questions-and-answers thing on Twitter.  I found it hard to read the whole thread, so I’ve compiled it here.  Enjoy! @lsu @Kervanderv A1: The dip lasted 5 days but now we're back to normal. #TabbysStar — Tabetha Boyajian (@tsboyajian) May 26, 2017 @lsu @Bharat_J25 A2: This is the latest light curve up […]

Steinn Sigurdsson: Dynamics of Cats

  • Why Fortran Lives
    Julia is a nifty new language being developed at MIT I stole this plot from github, it shows Julia’s current performance on some standard benchmarks compared to a number of favourite tools like Python, Java and R. Normalized to optimized C code. And, there, in a single plot, is why Real Programmers still use Fortran…!
  • Alternative Approaches to Science Teaching
    Just read a series of interesting articles on inquiry based science: Inquiry Science rocks: Or does it – David Klahr tries to test the efficacy of discovery learning (APS News 12. 2012). Direct Instruction rocks: Or does it – Richard Hake takes issue with Klahr’s inferences. To be contrasted with: The Efficacy of Student-Centered Instruction…
  • LHC: dilating the Higgs
    Continuing lazy live blog of the LHC Shows the Way workshop, with random interludes of alternative considerations, including the more esoteric aspects of German finance… Patio session (informal presentation of in-progress results on blackboard, outside) – didn’t catch speaker’s name, got here a couple of minutes late. Being reminded that Higgs is not the only…
  • AAS: scientism vs religiosity
    The annual AAS meeting opened up with the award of the van Biesbroeck Prize of the society to Father Dr George Coyne, former director of the Vatican Observatory. The van Biesbroeck Prize is for extraordinary service to astronomy, in particular his role organizing the Vatican Observatory Summer Schools, and the role he has played at…
  • Annual Meeting of the American Astronomical Society: 2010
    liveblogging the AAS… It is freezing in DC, but at the Marriott hotel across from the National Zoo the action is hot and heavy as 3000+ astronomers swarm to the annual meeting of the American Astronomical Society. This is for the 7 astronomers who phoned it in, literally in one case, you know who you…

Kimberly Cartier: AstroLady 

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