AstroWright Science at #AAS229

It’s the “Superbowl of Astronomy” again, this time in Grapevine, Texas, at the 229th meeting of the American Astronomical Society.  You can follow the fun on social media at #AAS229.

AstroWright group members are there in force.  Here they are:

Wednesday, January 4

Jacob as an undergrad at THE Ohio State University

Jacob as an undergrad at THE Ohio State University

Poster #146.30: NSF graduate research fellow Jacob Luhn presents his work connecting flicker with jitter, a project he’s doing under the supervision of Hubble Fellow (and soon-to-be PSU faculty member) Fabienne Bastien.  Back in 2005, I published a paper trying to quantify the amount of radial velocity noise intrinsic to a star with that star’s properties: evolved stars, quickly spinning stars, and young stars all have more of this noise, which is called “jitter”.  More recently, Fabienne published one showing that photometric noise also correlates with evolution—she dubbed this noise “flicker”. Soon after, I was a co-author on one of her papers showing a good correlation between flicker and jitter.

Now, Jacob is expanding the sample way beyond the 10 stars we used (4 were upper limits!) to make this relation quantitative and explore its relationship with stellar properties.  This will allow us to predict, in advance, which Kepler stars will make good radial velocity follow-up targets.

Thursday, January 5

Kim Cartier

Kimberly M. S. Cartier a.k.a. @AstroKimCartier

Texas A 10:30am 202.04D: Kimberly M. S. Cartier (a.k.a. Astrolady, a.k.a. @AstroKimCartier) presents her ***DISSERTATION TALK!*** on the Exo-Atmosphere of WASP-103b. Kim has nominally been my student, but her primary research advisers have been Ron Gilliland(!), Ming Zhao, and Thomas Beatty. She has worked an a range of projects, the theme being exoplanets with space telescopes, with a brief digression into SETI with me. She’s done a lot of projects, so she’ll have a lot to talk about, probably sticking to the science part of her thesis. Her final science project will be using MINERVA with Tom to do precise differential colors with photometry—”chromometry” Tom’s calling it—you’ll have to go to the talk to learn more! For the other side of her thesis (this mostly with me) you’ll have to visit her poster on Friday (see below).

Posters #245.25, 26, 27: Brendan Miller, Winonah Ojanen, and Spencer Miller present their work on Swift and Chandra data studying M dwarf coronae and high-energy photons’ effects on planetary atmospheres, something I’ve been working on with Brendan for a while, now.

Friday, January 6

Texas D 2:10pm 320.02: Jason Eastman talks about our spectroscopic commissioning results with MINERVA

Kim at her poster last year

Kim at her poster last year

Poster #335.01: The other piece of Kimberly M. S. Cartier‘s thesis: “Multimedia Astronomy Communication”. Kim has been applying best practices in social media outreach and online and print journalism to astronomy research. Together, we’ve written a couple of articles (there’s more to come!) and she’s been working with Penn State’s media relations folks on press releases. Last time she presented her “meta-poster” on good poster design, and this time she’s giving a much broader overview of effective communication of astronomy research to different audiences, and in different media.

Journalists: Kim is pursuing a career in science journalism with her PhD in astrophysics. I encourage you to stop by her poster to chat!

Saturday, January 7


Dr. Bastien as a graduate student at Vanderbilt.

Texas D 10:10am 403.02: Hubble Fellow Fabienne Bastien takes her work on flicker (see Jacob’s poster above) to new domains—in particular those F-ing stars those stubborn F stars and stars observed by TESS and K2.  Those missions will measure flicker, but in a different way than Kepler did, and also target a different typical sort of star from Kepler.

She will also briefly present the recommendations of the RV community on how to reach 10 cm/s RV precision from her recent Aspen Center for Physics workshop. If you couldn’t make the workshop, be sure to stop by. Also, while you’re there, congratulate her on her new tenure-line faculty position at Penn State :)



Texas A 10:50am 401.05: In a talk in a competing session (you’ll have to hustle over after Fabienne’s talk) CEHW postdoctoral fellow Thomas Beatty discusses thermal inversions in hot Jupiters.

Have fun at the meeting!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *