Stephen Feeney (Flatiron) sent me plots today that suggest that we can measure asteroseismic nu-max and delta-nu for a red-giant star without ever taking the Fourier Transform of the data. Right now, there are still many issues: This is still fake data, which is always cheating. The sampler (despite being nested and all) gets stuck in poor modes (and this problem is exceedingly multimodal). But when we inspect the sampling after the fact, the good answer beats the bad answers in likelihood by a huge ratio, which suggests that we might be able to do asteroseismology at pretty low signal-to-noise too. We need to move to real data (from Kepler).
Because of concern that (in our stellar-stream project) we aren't marginalizing out all our unknowns yet—and maybe that is making things look more informative than they are—Ana Bonaca (Harvard) stared today on including the progenitor position in our Fisher-matrix (Cramér-Rao) analysis of all stellar streams. We also have concerns about the rigidity of the gravitational potential model (which is a toy model, in keeping with the traditions of the field!). We discussed also marginalizing out some kind of perturbation expansion around that toy model. This would permit us to both be more conservative, and also criticize the precisions obtained with these toy models.
Jessica Birky (UCSD) looked at chi-square differences (in spectral space) between APOGEE spectra of low-temperature stars without good labels and two known M-type stars, one giant and one dwarf. This separated all the cool stars in APOGEE easily into two classes. Nice! We are sanity-checking the answers. We are still far, however, from having a good training set to fire into The Cannon.