The Luminosity, Accretion Disk, and Dust Team (LADDT) : combining UV, optical, and near infrared data for active galactic nuclei to look for a relation between the color of their accretion disks, the emission from their dust and their luminosity.
When I look at how the intellectual process changed over the last year I imagine it going from a diffuse look at research and the entire conference experience to the extreme focus on our own project during the year and finally reaching outward again in Seattle to incorporate new information and understandings. Returning to AAS made the experience complete.
I didn’t know just how much data is publicly available. Anyone can do astronomy – you just need to come up with a question and figure out how to use the archives.
I think the best part about the trip and NITARP as a whole is the chance to do authentic research and learn the methods and techniques used to tease as much information out of the data as possible. It still amazes me (and this is what I try to instill in the students in my astronomy classes) that we can learn so much from a tiny point of light if we are just clever enough to know how to look at it.