Published: January 15, 2008
Mr. Loughran's students, seniors Curt Collingwood and Clare Mundy, have completed a semester's effort to get up to speed on the Spitzer distant cluster star formation rate project. They will advance the project by conducting error analysis, and using Spitzer IRAC data (not yet reduced) to minimize uncertainty by narrowing down the number of SED models used to calculate total infrared luminosity.
Curt and Clare assisted in the preparation and presentation of two posters at Winter 2008 AAS meeting in Austin. One of these posters, " Establishing a School-based Research Community (SRC) for Astronomy ", presented the results of the study thus far as published in the 2007 RBSE Journal article by former students Matt Pellegrino and Vinay Patel. The second paper, " Student Exploration of Star Formation Rate in Three High-Redshift Galaxy Clusters: an NOAO/Spitzer education and public outreach project ", presented the curricular context within which this research was conducted.
Also this quarter, Mr. Loughran arranged for two events which added value to a NASA outreach effort. NASA sent its mobile visualization unit, "Vision for Space Exploration Experience", to South Bend for a week in mid-October. As Co-PI of the Notre Dame extended Research Community, a teacher-led and NSF-sponsored GK-12 program, He arranged for a solar telescope to be present outside the visualization center at a local high school. (See the photos, below.) He also arranged and served as master of ceremonies for an evening of astronomy at the University of Notre Dame, held in conjunction with the NASA "Space Exploration" visit. Mark Klem, Project Manager for Propulsion and Cryogenics Advanced Development at NASA's Glenn Research Center, joined Notre Dame Astrophysicist Peter Garnavich in presenting two facets of the technology of space exploration: NASA's Orion lunar mission, and the Large Binocular Telescope. A press release for the event is appended to this quarterly report; an article on the ND Department of Physics website can be found at http://newsinfo.nd.edu/content.cfm?topicid=24886