January-March 2007 updates for NITARP
Published: March 15, 2007
- The Brown Dwarf team submitted a proposal to continue their project. The proposal was accepted. The interacting short period binary WZ Sge, will be observed using IRAC. Previously, four magnetic interacting binaries were observed using Spitzer. WZ Sge is a non-magnetic white dwarf and a brown dwarf companion. It is the closest and brightest interacting binary. The data collected will allow the team to compare the magnetic and non-magnetic binaries. Also, optical data of WZ Sge will be collected at Kitt Peak in the summer of 2007. Spectroscopic data and photometry will be obtained and together will help fully characterize the eclipse and dust in the system. The multi-wavelength data will be used in classrooms.
- The IC2118 team is moving towards producing at least one professional journal article on their studies of this region. The teachers are considering whether or not to submit their own article to the RBSE journal at NOAO. In order to do a complete analysis, the team has been working on obtaining additional data.
- The IC2118 team was awarded 2 nights of observing time in January on the Palomar 200-inch Hale Telescope. They did not have good luck with the weather, and only one spectrum was usable.
- Several of Tim Spuck's students were awarded time on the Kitt Peak 9-meter Telescope at the end of January to conduct H-alpha observations of IC2118. During February and March, Mr. Spuck and his students used a robotic telescope in Perth Australia to monitor several of the T-tauri candidates. This includes approximately 20 students in Mr. Spuck's space science classes.
- Rosa Hemphill's Spitzer student used data for cl1037 to look at star formation rates out from the center of the cluster and in pairs within the cluster. She presented at the Oregon Junior Academy of Science at Western Oregon University and again at the Aardvark Expo on March2, 2007; her project was selected for First Place honors in Physics and as Best of Fair. She will present her work at the International Science and Engineering Fair in May.
- Ardis Herrold's Spitzer student, Zak Schroeder, participated in his regional science fair, and did well enough to qualify for the International Fair to be held this May in Albuquerque. His project title is "Galaxy Clusters: The Local Effects on Star Synthesis". Zak was also interviewed by one of the local papers, the Grosse Pointe Times. The article was published on March 14.
- Tom Loughran's students, high school seniors Vinay Patel and Matt Pellegrino, prepared a paper for publication based upon their Spitzer research: "Star Formation Rate in Three High Redshift Galaxy Clusters: A Contribution to the Study of Galactic Evolution". The paper will be submitted to the RBSE Journal on April 3rd.
- Tom Loughran's students submitted a team project to the Northern Indiana Regional Science and Engineering Fair. They earned a First in Division--Intel Excellence in Computer Science award, as well as other cash awards from the Michiana Astronomical Society and the Physics Club of Notre Dame. Finally, the story of their participation in the Spitzer project was written up on the front page of the Community section of the South Bend Tribune on March 20, 2007. The SBT has a circulation of 146,476
- Russ Laher (SSC) has been working on developing a sophisticated Excel spreadsheet that will enable a regular teacher to take a Spitzer-based catalog (particularly the one associated with this project) and generate SED plots and fits.