Space Astronomy Summer Program 2011 at STScIttasnimana | August 29, 2011
Hello, I am Tonima Tasnim Ananna, a Bryn Mawr Physics and still undeclared Haverford Astronomy major. A week ago, my internship at STScI ended. Too many amazing things happened that I am grateful for, and here are some (non-project related) highlights of my summer:
- Met John Grunsfeld in person, he serviced the HST three times, and is a prominent cast member of the Hubble IMAX movie. He sent his application for the Deputy Director position (of STScI) from outer space, and of course he was hired. He is a really fun speaker too.
- Met Adam Reiss, the co-discoverer of Dark Energy. We worked on a problem set (Problem set # 4, Modern Galactic) at Haverford based on his historic 1998 paper.
- I met Alberto Conti, the person who proposed the Google Sky project to Google. He is Italian, as was my mentor Massimo Robberto. There are a lot of Italians working at STScI. It’s nice to see Galileo’s legacy being carried on.
- Took a trip to Goddard Space Flight Center. We saw the gold mirrors of JWST being assembled! Our tour guide was the ‘Stock Ops’ (who sends out the final command to the astronauts) of the 2009 HST servicing mission, and he told us details of the mission. While we visited Goddard, on account of being a non-citizen, they gave some of us a shiny ID badges, but sadly took them away when we were leaving
- My mentor co-wrote the script for the Hubble Imax movie (because he is the Orion Nebula guy at STScI), and he told me that Leonardo DiCaprio left out the part about the trapezium of stars because apparently he couldn’t see a trapezium.
- Met a Bryn Mawr alumna, Jennifer Lotz, at STScI. She remembers Steve Boughn! =D
- Lisa Frattare, SASP organizer, said we have a lifetime supply of HST lithographs and posters, we just need to ask them and they will mail it to us. Some interns were planning to start an ebay account selling HST posters, but I don’t think they will actually do it.
There are a couple of cool things that I am missing, but I should move on to my project. I think I was able to make a significant amount of progress on making the Orion catalogs this summer. When I started out, there were so many problems with the magnitudes of the sources, the images of sources in the catalog, monster error bars etc. As I have mentioned in a previous post, there were 5 detectors in which the Orion was imaged, and my mentor Massimo pointed out some problem in the ACS catalog and got me started. After that, I found problems and made changes in the other catalogs by myself, and in the end he told me he was very happy with the catalogs and the Atlas. I added more comments and changed the layout of the final Atlas so a lot of details about the sources and the images appear in the Atlas as well. There are some isolated problems that I left for him because I only had a finite amount of time, but I have flagged all that I could find and didn’t have time to solve, and the data should be ready for publication after he checks these. Massimo says a catalog with more than 8000 sources would never be 100% error free, but if we can hit 95%, he’d be happy.
If it’s not clear what I mean by the Atlas and catalog, this presentation might help clarify: prezi.com/gl45yozphnf4/final-the-hst-treasury-program-on-the-orion-nebula-cluster/
More specifics about the changes I made also appear in the presentation. I hope everyone had as wonderful a summer as I did!