Published: September 15, 2007
Things have been very busy with students involved in the Spitzer AGN Group.
First, Thomas Travagli and Alekzandir Morton, who used the Spitzer in the second round of the Spitzer AGN project, completed their research paper and submitted it to the RBSE journal at the NOAO office at the University of Arizona. It was accepted, and after some revisions, it was published in the 2007 journal.
Second, as noted in an earlier report, the boys wrote a proposal with the help of Mark Lacy of the SSC to revisit their target of last year, S5 0716 +714, in an attempt to get a more accurate determination of its redshift, which is not well known now. Following a suggestion and discussion with scientists at the AAS meeting in Seattle last year, the boys decided to write their own proposal instead of relying upon teachers or researcher to pick a good project.
In early October, they learned that Dr. Soifer of the SSC approved their project, and an additional observation of the target using the IRS instrument has now been put in the schedulng pipeline. As a result of this news, which we believe may be the only time high school students actually wrote the proposal alone to get the time, Thomas and Alekzandir seem to be the only high school students to ever submit and have accepted a proposal for the space telescope. Local papers picked up on the story and added to the attention these young men have been garnering.
In other news, a student from last year's SSC visit, John Michael Santiago, has started work on Dr. Steve Howell's WZ Sge project investigating the properties of a special magnetic cataclysmic variable star. John Michael and Jeff Adkins will visit the SSC in mid October to discuss plans, reduce data, and learn about this interesting object and how Spitzer was used to observe it.