Published: March 15, 2006
Dr. Loughran and his group are preparing for their Spitzer project. They have continued to correspond among their 2006 Cohort, and are preparing-under Greg Rudnick's guidance--for data analysis by doing some background study, working our way through most of Spark & Gallagher's Galaxies in the Universe.
Two students in Dr. Loughran's research class - Vinay Patel and Matt Pellegrino - are preparing to assess Spitzer data by reading and discussing chapters 7 - 18 of Michael Seeds' Foundations of Astronomy, and the first chapter of Sparks and Gallager's Galaxies in the Universe. At least one and perhaps both of these students will work full time with the data this summer as part of the Research Experience for High School Students (REHS) program at the Notre Dame QuarkNet Center. In addition, Aaron McNeely, an astronomy teacher at a local high school, will work eight weeks this summer with these students funded by the Research Experience for Teachers program at the Notre Dame Physics Department. Aaron is a local amateur astronomer and contributor to astronomy magazines and web sites. These two students, Aaron along with Dr. Loughran will keep a sketch of the learning curve as we climb it this summer, identifying milestones and the resources we consult to achieve them, and in this way prepare for development of an e-Lab dedicated to Spitzer research.
Three additional students (seniors Cait Makielski, Ping Wong, and Paul Rumbach) have been learning to create presentation-quality astroimages using NASA/ESO PhotoShop FITS Liberator software. They are also preparing a film to be shown at Saint Joseph High School morning video assembly (to the 760+ student body). This work is preliminary to their attempt to create a film featuring their classmates' research on the Spitzer project.