binaries, velocities, Gaia

Early in the day, I discussed with Hans-Walter Rix (MPIA) the wide-separation binaries that Adrian Price-Whelan (Princeton) and I are finding in the Gaia DR1 data. He expressed some skepticism: Are we sure that such pairs can't be produced spuriously by the pipelines or systematic errors? That's important to check; no need to hurry out a wrong paper!

Late in the day, I had two tiny, eensy breakthroughs: In the first, I figured out that Price-Whelan and I can cast our binary discovery project in terms of a ratio of tractable marginalized likelihoods. That would be fun, and it would constitute a (relatively) responsible use of the (noisy) parallax information. In the second, I was able to confirm (by experimental coding) the (annoyingly correct) intuition of Dan Foreman-Mackey (UW) that the linearized spectral shift is not precise enough for our extreme-precision radial-velocity needs. So I have to do full-up redshifting of everything.

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