I am on quasi-vacation this week (just staying up with email); hence no posts. But today I crashed a meeting in Napa Valley hosted by Wechsler (KIPAC), Conroy (UCSC), and others. I saw just a few talks, but they were excellent: Jeremiah Murphy (UFl) on supernovae explosions, Conroy on abundance anomalies on globular clusters, Blanton (NYU) on photometry, Finkbeiner (CfA) on photometric calibration, and Sarah Tuttle (UT) on the HETDEX spectrograph hardware. Great stuff.
Murphy showed us that there are crazy neutrino dynamics in the first fraction of a second in a supernova explosion; in particular there should be stellar oscillations imprinted on the neutrino signal! Conroy showed that there are light-element vs heavy-element abundance anti-correlations in essentially all globular clusters, and indications that some stars are very over-rich in helium. There is no good explanation. Blanton went carefully through the properties of astronomical imaging and photometry, for two hours. I loved it, and at the end, Kollmeier (OCIW) said she wanted more! Finbeiner showed that PanSTARRS and SDSS have great, precise, consistent photometry, and the calibration is all, entirely, self-calibration. This justifies strongly things I said at AAS this year. Tuttle talked about trade-offs in hardware design. The mass production of spectrographs for HETDEX is a huge engineering challenge.