Binary Red Supergiants in 90 seconds

Last week Skype a Scientist sent out a call for grad students and post docs to create 90 second videos explaining their research to the public.┬áThe best 10 were then selected to give 10 minute live-streamed talks on May 12th and it turns out they liked my video! So, here it is … with guest appearances from Meg and Marlowe… Read more →

Astrobites Guest Post on RSGs!

Take a look at my astrobites guest post on Ming Yang’s paper on how to find Red Supergiants in the Small Magellanic Cloud. My collaborators and I have recently used this method to separate out RSGs from Asymptotic Giant Branch stars in the local group galaxies of M31, M33 and the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds! Read more →

20 Years of Astronomy

On February 2, 2000 I decided to become an astronomer. Twenty years ago my sixth grade class went on a week-long field trip to Yosemite National Park. Part of the trip included a night hike into the valley to see the stars. It was my first time seeing the Milky Way and attempting to fathom the vastness of the Universe… Read more →

The Amazing Betty Kitty

12/21/2007 – 11/15/2019 Warning: This is long. But, she was an amazing cat, so it’s worth it. Betty was born on 12/21/2007 at the Washington DC Humane Society to a stray momma cat that had been turned into the shelter. For reasons that aren’t well understood, she was adopted out before being spayed (but after being named and microchipped) to… Read more →

Flying on SOFIA

On October 15, 2017 I got the amazing opportunity to travel on SOFIA, the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy. My University of Washington advisor, Emily Levesque, proposed to observe the dust of massive red supergiant stars using FORCAST, a mid-IR camera and spectrograph. My long-time collaborator Phil Massey was a co-I on the proposal and they both agreed to take… Read more →

Snowy trip to Las Campanas

In early September, Phil Massey and I flew back to Las Campanas to observe for 2 nights on the Baade 6.5-m Magellan telescope using MagE, a moderate resolution optical echelle spectrograph. Though the seeing was awful (between 1.5 – 3″ !!!), we still managed to find some red supergiant + B star binaries in the Magellanic Clouds. We even found… Read more →