MAS May Monthly Meeting

Mining the Spitzer Space Telescope Data Archive for Dust

MMSD Planetarium Team

Geoff Holt was accepted into the NASA/IPAC Teacher Archive Research Program (NITARP) this past year which teamed him up with other teachers around the country and an astronomer from CalTech/JPL. This program aims to give teachers experience doing actual astronomy research, and they can get students involved if they wish. Over the past year, Geoff and five James Madison Memorial High School students have been participating in this research team. Their goal has been to mine the Spitzer Space Telescope data archive in search of sources that have an excess of infrared light compared to a black body curve. The infrared excess is most likely due to dust in evolved stars, young stellar objects, debris disks around stars, active galactic nuclei, and luminous infrared galaxies. They travelled to Hawaii in January to present their results at the American Astronomical Society meeting. Come to hear more about their research and how you can mine the Spitzer archive as well.

Note: Due to continuing state guidance in light of COVID-19, this meeting will be conducted virtually via a Zoom-hosted conference. All MAS members will receive an email 24-48 hours before the meeting with instructions on how to join. Due to Zoom meeting size limitations, this meeting is only open to MAS members and a few select guests. We will attempt to record the presentation and make it available via MAS’s facebook page shortly after the event concludes.