Spitzer proposals, Raleigh-Jeans tail

Today was all Spitzer proposals, one with Morad on post-starburst galaxies (because Spitzer can tell us if the starburst really did use all of the available fuel), and one with Blanton on low-luminosity galaxies (because we showed that low-luminosity galaxies are PAH-deficient, and no-one knows why).

I was reminded of the terrible "dwarf" terminology of astronomy; one of many classifications in astronomy that is either over-determined or under-determined, depending on who you ask, and for which the multiple determining factors are weighted differently by different investigators. Sounds like an issue for Hogg's Universe.

In the process of estimating Spitzer observing times, I was reminded that it is trivial to derive the Raleigh-Jeans blackbody approximation by dimensional analysis and the realization that, since it is the classical limit, h cannot appear in the formula.

1 comment:

  1. One more reason the dwarf terminology is imprecise and should be scrapped: The preferred term is "little people." And anyway, how would you or your standard-heighted colleagues (like Blanton) feel being reduced to an epithet for gassy, dying astral bodies?