chemistry projects, deployable space telescopes

In a research-packed day, Anna Ho, Melissa Ness, and I met with Kevin Schlaufman (OCIW) to discuss what we should do with tens of thousands of stars, each of which has a dozen or more abundances measured with good precision. He had a million things to suggest! He said that there are physics-of-type-Ia-supernovae questions that could be answered with the distribution of Mn relative to Fe at low metallicity. He said that the Ni to Fe ratio might also tell us things about the deflagration-to-detonation transition. He said that we might look at the relationships between abundances and velocity differences (induced by, say, binary stars) to see if we can say something about chemical abundances and binarity. He also pointed out that there are other low-hanging fruits in the APOGEE data. So. Many. Projects. It was a great conversation and possibly the start of something.

In the late afternoon, Marcia Rieke (Arizona) gave the Astronomy Colloquium, about JWST. It was the first-ever Neugebauer memorial lecture (named after Gerry Neugebauer, one of my PhD advisors); she concentrated on engineering issues, and particularly those that flowed from Spitzer Space Telescope. The crowd was all interested in the deployment, since it is so insane. After the talk I interviewed Fiona Harrison (Caltech) about NuSTAR, which successfully deployed an immense boom to position its grazing-incidence optics.

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