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 (Spot, Leopard, ds9, APT, a browser, Excel or spreadsheet program of your choice) 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!
    • Make 3-color mosaics using Spitzer data and software of your choice. (ds9? Leopard? something else?)
    • Start to explore what the mosaics look like. What is artifact, what is real. What the PSF looks like.
    • 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 the lowest energy solution is best -- L1688, as per Working with L1688. BUT there is something to be said for learning to search the Spitzer Archive all by yourself from scratch.

Skills to learn : reading journal articles. searching using leopard or SHA. 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?) how does resolution matter?

pages on the wiki - 1, 2, 4, and 5 from Working with L1688, as applied there or to another region. 3 is lower priority. 5 is literature searching, and you've kind of already gotten the important parts for CG4 -- there's a list in the proposal.

Plan for your visit

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. Note also this is likely to be a lot of lecturing. I trust that you will be aggressive re: asking questions!

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. we have done some of this already. i kinda want to review it in person to (a) make sure all the students are keeping up with us, and (b) to give you a chance to ask new questions as you re-encounter this stuff. color-color and color-magnitude diagrams and SEDs included here. several wiki pages on this.

3. basic photometry practical concepts. Introduction to items 6 and 7 from Working with L1688. i need to update the APT wiki page so that we can do this!!

Rest of the visit will be much more hands-on.

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 APT to do photometry, at least enough to get the idea of how it works. it is unlikely that we will all grind through everything together. we will pick some objects to do, do the photometry, compare results, talk about how much work is left to do.

6. Bandmerging. Working with large data tables. Using photometry **i reduced for you** to explore star formation with spitzer. color-color diagrams and seds. what they mean. if we have time, comparison to results other studies get elsewhere. This is basically the rest of Working with L1688 -- items 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11.

NOW, keep in mind that much of this is NOT trivial. You can do it, I am sure of it, but it is definitely the deep end of the pool, and it 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 lots of the rest remotely later on. We may never get to items 11 or even 10 from Working with L1688. But we will still have stuff to write up for the poster.

Plan for after you go home

Finish photometry. Finish analysis. Ask more questions as you absorb the information. Include data from other bands. Experiment with maybe doing similar analysis on other regions.