2018-06-04

#GaiaSprint, day 1

Today was the first day of the 2018 NYC Gaia Sprint, with satellite events in Santa Barbara and Seattle. 90 astrophysicists converged on Flatiron to pitch and start hacking. For those who don't know the event, the idea is that it is a working meeting, where participants are asked to move their scientific projects forward and start new ones, and there is (almost) no formal schedule at all. Everything other than the pitch at the beginning and the wrap-up at the end are crowdsourced.

One of the two scheduled hours of the entire week was the introductory pitches today. The pitches ranged across a huge range of topics and interests. The pitch slides are here.

As my loyal reader knows, there are far more projects to do with Gaia DR2 than years left in my life, so I have to choose! I decided, with little consideration, to concentrate on the spectroscopic-parallax project with Eilers (MPIA). This is a tool-building project, with methodological aspects that are interesting, and so it isn't a terrible choice. It also serves the long-term goals of SDSS-V. In service of this project, we matched our sample to the WISE data and removed our Galactic latitude cuts so that the model could automatically capture the dust reddening and extinction. We'll see if that works, tomorrow.

At the evening check-in, some great stuff was shown, especially some extremely odd kinematics of the Milky Way disk, and some population results on binary stars.

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