CG4 Bigger Picture and Goals

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The punchline

We have to come up with a poster for the Seattle AAS. BUT because the poster can be simple or complex, this goal is a little squishy, perhaps squishier than you might be comfortable with. What I describe here (and elsewhere on the wiki) is the kind of goal I would give a grad student. But getting through even a part of it (rather than all of it) is still a success!! This may be hard to really internalize, but it's true.

Big deadlines

Really, there are only 2 deadlines.

  • The abstract deadline is usually in the Fall, like October-ish. They will post deadlines and schedules at the AAS not long after they get through the Miami meeting in late May. We have to know at least enough about our results to write an abstract. BUT we already know enough to write our proposal abstract, so we could write a poster abstract right now.
  • Poster needs to be printed before all of us vanish for the holiday break. I will print it here. So, including editing and padding time, probably we need to get the poster done circa Dec 15.

Our visit in June (14-16) may seem like it has some deadlines, but in terms of the science, my plan would be to backtrack a little for the first half-day or so (?), to make sure we're all on the same page. So there's really no science deadlines for that.

Operationally, though, June 14 does imply some deadlines. It would be good to know how many people are coming at least a few weeks before y'all show up on my doorstop. And of course it would be good to make travel reservations early enough to make sure you get good rates. So I am arbitrarily picking May 15 as a deadline for getting travel logistics (including people logistics) locked down. Similarly, I'd say make sure you have a functional laptop that you know how to use with as much of the relevant software installed as possible by June 7.

Tasks, Schedule, Plan

There are some things that can be done relatively easily remotely, with a handful of telecons, and there are some thing that really need to be done in person. Playing with making 3-color mosaics with software of your choice is something we can do remotely. Learning how to use software like APT is best done in person. Here is what I envision for us for the next several months, including the visit in June, and then the following months.

The overall "story arc" of the science can be found on the Working with L1688 page.

Goals between now and June

  1. Start to get comfortable with low-mass star formation.
  2. Start to get comfortable with searching, reading, interpreting the literature.
  3. Start to play with Spitzer mosaics. May have to be image other than CG4; depends on my time to make the mosaics!
    1. Make 3-color mosaics using Spitzer data and software of your choice. (ds9? Leopard? something else?)
    2. Start to explore what the mosaics look like. What is artifact, what is real. What the PSF looks like.
    3. Searching the archives for additional images.

You've already made progress on the first two. We will make more progress on the second over the next few weeks with our journal club plan.

For the 3rd goal, I need to find a done Spitzer mosaic for you to play with. Either I will get the CG4 ones done, or we need to find another region where we can use the pipeline mosaic. It's possible that

skills to learn : searching using leopard. downloading and unpacking the files. identifying the files you want from the stack of files you get. using software (spot/leopard or ds9 or anything else of your choice) to create 3-color images using at least one spitzer band. identifying image artifacts.

big things to notice - what is bright in which wavelength? (bonus question: why?)

pages on the wiki - items 1-4 on

we can do a leopard/spot class over a telecon (everyone clicking together) or we can just work independently based on the instructions on the wiki and then have a telecon to answer questions. up to you guys.

between all of those skills and the end of the school year chaos, that ought to get us awful close to your visit in June.

UPDATE on finding images:

there are LOTS of other famous objects already in the archive - nearly all of the Messier catalog is already done, for example; the things that are missing are all globular or open clusters (and therefore pretty boring with spitzer).

if you want to start by looking at lynds clouds... in order to find some objects, start with the spreadsheet i created for source selection before, but look in the part where it says there are already spitzer data, plus publications listed in simbad. then look at the optical images like we did before to see what it looks like in optical. (NB: several lynds clouds will ALSO be in famous Messier star forming regions.)

Stuff i want to review during the first half-day of your visit. note lots of vocabulary and skills embedded in this list, not necessarily called out:

1. basic spitzer operations (how spitzer works, why the cameras do what they do, and what that means for the images you get, etc.. beginnings of this on the wiki. )

2. basic (low mass) star formation and how we know what we know. (this i think is best done in person because i have images and movies to show you, and i just can't imagine that this will work easily except in person.) color-color and color-magnitude diagrams and SEDs included here. there are several wiki pages on low-mass star formation, which you could read in advance or just wait for me to show the content to you in ppt form. and the pages linked from there. note in particular how you tell what is a cluster member from what is a background object ("finding cluster members"). also see and , although that latter page is pretty skeletal.

3. basic photometry practical concepts (pretty much all absorbed into photometry page on wiki )

Later in the visit, depending on what it is you want to do.... note that much of this is much more hands-on than the list above, which is ncessarily more lecture-based, and i trust that you will be aggressive re: asking questions.

4. reviewing stuff from above re: three color images using spitzer data, what is bright in which band and why. discussion of any remaining questions from the "things to think about and try" sections of the wiki pages.

5. using spitzer photometry **i reduced for you** to explore star formation with spitzer. color-color diagrams and seds. what they mean. comparison to results other studies get elsewhere.

6. using optical photometry programs (such as maximdl) to do your own photomery on spitzer data, and what you need to do to make it work (all on the units page on the wiki )

7. using mopex to make mosaics. overview of what it does. making it work "good enough" for your classes. and what i do that might be different for research (not yet on the wiki - there's a placeholder page)

8. using mopex to get photometry. overview of what it does. making it work "good enough" for your classes. and what i do that might be different for research (not at all on the wiki yet)

NOW, keep in mind that 7 and 8 are NOT trivial tasks. you can do it, i am sure of it, but it is definitely the deep end of the pool, and will take much more than part of an afternoon to accomplish. it is entirely likely that we will just get to do the beginnings of it, talk about how it should work, and then do the rest remotely later on.