3000 astronomers will bring down the wireless in any building, so I have been a bit behind in posting from the American Astronomical Society meeting in Long Beach CA…
Yesterday, Bill Keel presented a poster with the latest Hubble observations of the Voorwerpjes in the Giant Room Full of Posters, where astronomers, pretty much ALL of who work on absolutely cool stuff, present their results. So, anything you can do to get peoples’ attention helps! I decided to bring along some chocolates from Switzerland. If any unwary astronomer walked past and took one, they then had to at least look at the poster… ; )
AAS meeting update!
The last 24 hours have been good for Zoo team member Bill Keel (@ngc3314) is based at the University of Alabama. Not only did his University football team win some sort of championship (they all look the same to Europeans) last night, but the Hubble Space Telescope observed the final Voorwerpje in our approved programme! That means Bill was probably glued to the TV and downloading and reducing the data at the same time!
He’ll add the reduced image to his poster at the AAS meeting, so if you want to see the image, come join us at the poster tomorrow! He may also blog it some time later, but for the FIRST look, you’ll have to come to the poster! There may be chocolates too….
The poster is: 339.47. HST Imaging of Giant Ionized Clouds Around Fading AGN, up all of Wednesday from 9-6.
It’s January and that means that astronomers from all over the world flock to the American Astronomical Society‘s annual winter meeting (Jan 6-10 2013). This year, the 221st meeting, is in Long Beach CA. Quite a few of the team members and collaborators are going to the meeting and we’ll keep you posted on the exciting results that we’ll be presenting here on the blog and via our twitter account at @galaxyzoo.
The following talks by the team will be happening:
I’ll (@kevinschawinski) be talking about how blue galaxies turn into red ones (I needed all the blue ellipticals and red spirals you all found!) and how the two processes are completely independent. The talk is based on a paper in progress that I’m hoping to get ready for submission soon.
Kyle Willett (@kwwillett) will present an update on the reduction and analysis of the Galaxy Zoo 2 data. How do we turn your clicks into galaxy classification? This is the talk that will explain it!
Brooke Simmons (@vrooje) is going to update us on how bulgeless galaxies spotted by you! managed to grow enormous 10 millions solar mass black holes at their centers entirely through `gentle’ or `secular’ processes. No major mergers here!
Sugata Kaviraj will talk about the formation of early-type galaxies in the first half of cosmic time and discuss how your clicks from the ongoing Hubble Zoo might help uncover their secrets.
Finally, Bill Keel (@ngc3314) will present a poster with the latest analysis of the Hubble data of the Voorwerpjes, the light echoes of dying black holes.
Our friends from the Planethunters team are also going and may have some exciting news up their sleeve as well!
We’re looking for:
AAS ad: http://jobregister.aas.org/job_view?JobID=43152
The postdoc position is for two plus one year and comes with support for travel, computing, publishing etc. Research will include work with Galaxy Zoo data, especially the new Hubble Zoo data from CANDELS and also include the hunt for the first black holes in the universe.
Two Ph.D Students
AAS ad: http://jobregister.aas.org/job_view?JobID=43155
The Ph.D positions are fully funded for four years and also come with support for all things a student needs. Both thesis ideas are based on Zoo data and ideas. For the Ph.D position, you’ll need a Master’s degree in physics, astronomy, or related field.
Both postdoc and the students can get involved in the Zooniverse and getting more people to engage with science online.
Zurich is usually ranked in the top ten cities in the world in terms of quality of life and ETH is the highest ranked European university in the world. ETH ASTRO has expertise from planet formation to cosmology and is involved in a number of large projects and surveys. Also, there’s unlimited espresso.
The deadline for both is December 7 2012! For further details, please see the AAS ads.
Posting again for Karen Masters who is still in China:
I’m posting this for Karen Masters, since she’s behind the great firewall.
Hello from a hot and smoggy Beijing where I will be spending the next 2 weeks attending the 28th General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union (the IAU, most famous perhaps as the people who demoted Pluto). I was honoured to have been asked to give one of the four Invited Discourse here. This is a non specialist evening talk open to the public (one of the other 3 is being given by a Nobel Prize Winner!) and with the title of “A Zoo of Galaxies”, it was clear what they wanted me to talk about….
Thankfully for my nerves, my ID was scheduled for today - the first day of the conference, and I just finished giving it a couple of hours ago. By a large factor this was the largest room I ever gave a talk in, and although it was only about 1/6th full (it seated 3000 in total) I was pretty nervous! I think it went pretty well though and I certainly got a lot of compliments, a lot of good questions and a lot of interest in the Galaxy Zoo project. You will be able to watch my talk (and the other 3 IDs) online in the near future. I will upload the link when I have it.
Today was a busy day, because I not only gave that talk, I also gave a much shorter contributed (science) talk on my most recent research using Galaxy Zoo classifications (http://blog.galaxyzoo.org/2012/05/25/new-paper-on-the-galaxy-zoo-bars-accepted-to-mnras/). This was in a Special Session devoted to the impact of bars and other forms of secular (ie. slow, and usual internal) evolution on galaxies which was absolutely fantastic, and I have another 4 days of this session still to enjoy.
Now I get to relax and just attend the meeting for a few days….. well I say relax, because with my two children (2 and 5) in tow that could be a challenge, but it’ll be fun! They get to attend the UNAWE Childrens Workshop (http://www.unawe.org/) while we are here – their very own mini-astronomy conference! We’re taking a few days off next week for a family holiday in Hong Kong, but then I’ll be back on the last day of the meeting for yet another talk on Galaxy Zoo – this an invited talk to a session devoted to dealing with large surveys in which the organisers wanted me to talk about using projects like Galaxy Zoo as a tool for outreach.
Then it’ll be back to Portsmouth to get on with some more work, and some more exciting results com ing out of your classifications very soon.
About two weeks ago, a group of astronomers led by Ricardo Amorin posted a new paper on the peas to astro-ph. They used the giant Gran Telescopio Canarias (GranTeCan or GTC) to take really high-quality spectra of some of the peas. What they find is amazing, but not entirely unexpected. We already knew from Carie Cardamone’s paper that the peas are extremely intense starbursts, that is, they form more stars relative to their mass than any other kind of galaxy in the nearby universe. Now, Amorin et al. show that they are a real mess:
The Halpha emission lines of the peas, once studies at high resolution and signal-to-noise, show that they are actually composed of several different lines. The Halpha line is generated by the powerful ionising radiation from young, massive stars hitting the surrounding gas. The multiple lines mean that the peas have several chunks of gas and stars moving at large velocities relative to each other.
This makes sense from what we know from the few peas that have nice Hubble images.
The multiple Halpha lines are almost certainly from these multiple components and suggest that the gas (and stars) in the peas are effectively a turbulent mess. Some of those clumps whiz past each other at over 500 km/sec. Yes, km/sec. Some of the Halpha lines are also broadened suggesting that really energetic events are occurring inside those star-forming clumps, such as multiple supernova remnants or powerful Wolf-Rayet stars.
You can get the full paper as PDF or other formats here on arxiv.