Wednesday, July 27, 2011

July 27, 2011

This morning I downloaded more HST optical images.  I also got an email from Rupal telling how to tell if the optical image is off.  I have to find the coordinates of the guide star and compare them to a list of guide stars.  The problem is, with a search radius of 2.5 arcminutes, about 25 possible stars are given.  So I have to look through by hand for the closest star to the location I entered. 

Another problem rises when trying to align the optical and radio images.  The radio images have a resolution of about 2 arc seconds and the optical images have a resolution of about .1 arc seconds.  Not sure what that means? Here is a picture to show the difference.

The image on the left is optical and the image on the right is radio.  Both images are showing the same area and are the same scale.  That makes it difficult to use the radio image as a reference for the optical image, but I had to do that.  This is really an unfair example; most of the radio images are better in resolution, but still not as good as the optical images.

July 26, 2011

This morning I finished creating contours for the radio/xray data that I have so far.  I had a meeting at 12:30 with the astro group for updates on the current projects.  After the meeting, Rupal and Bob helped me get some HST optical images to create overlays with both the radio and xray images.  To do this, I had to align the BCG in optical and radio images.  First I need to figure out if the optical or radio image is off and adjust the incorrect image.  I adjusted the first radio image just to get a feel for the process, although I am not sure if is the right image.  Having the optical image with radio and xray contours tells a large amount of information about the cluster and its activity.  Plus, the optical images look much nicer than the other images.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

July 25, 2011

Today a group of all the high school and some of the college interns went to Rochester Precision Optics, an optics manufacturing company in Henrietta.  They explained how they make lenses and told us some of the applications the lenses are used for.  RPO is used as a subcontractor for projects including a small part on the HST and a wide variety of military uses. 
On to the work day.  Creating contours has gotten more time-consuming because there is a larger portion of background noise.  When the signal levels are lower, it becomes difficult to separate from noise.  Still, it is not very difficult.  I got through three clusters today, which filled up my entire working time. 

Saturday, July 23, 2011

July 22, 2011

Today I got more radio images to work with.  Unfortunately, some of them have a large amount of background noise, making it difficult to separate the actual signal from the noise when making contours.  The automatic limit settings in ds9 are not very good at taking away low level noise.  In fact, they make the noise more prominent in the images.  So I need to set the limits by hand, which is not really a bad thing.  It takes more time, but it ensures that I get contours from only the main source.  Like every Friday, we grilled hot dogs and hamburgers outside, even though it was on the warm side.  We played apples to apples and threw a frisbee around.  I had to leave early, but I got a bit of work done in the morning.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

July 20, 2011

This morning there was a meeting at 9:00 to check up on group progress.  I was told that I had to align my images before applying contours by using a program called FV.  The first time I tried to download the program, the site wanted authentication.  Then it said that the site was too busy.  Eventually (at 10:50), I managed to download the program.  One of the college interns checked the initial alignment of the images (x-ray compared to radio) and found that it was accurate enough to apply contours already.  Oh well.  Just to show everyone, here is one of the x-ray images:
Perseus cluster
Obviously it does not have contours, but I had to lower the image size.  This happens to be the most interesting of the x-ray images. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

July 19,2011

This has been the most productive day so far.  I figured out the problem with saving the images, so the work I did can be recalled later.  The only radio images I have are Hydra and Perseus, so I got the contours done for those clusters.  To make the rest of the clusters easier, I made and saved contours for each of the X-ray images.  Then I rearranged the folders so that images of the same cluster are in the same place. 

Monday, July 18, 2011

July 18, 2011

Today I downloaded the images I need from the Chandra archive.  I had to look through multiple images for the same cluster and find the highest quality images to download.  Next, I sent in the request for the images.  After the package was ready, I downloaded and decompressed the package.  Finally, I had to unzip the image files.  As one could imagine, this took most of the morning.  One of the other people in my group e-mailed me the first two radio images so that I could get started.  I created contours for each X-ray and radio image and copied the contours to the opposite image type.  Now my problem is how to save the images while keeping the copied contours.  That could cause difficulties if I do not want to start over tomorrow.

July 15, 2011

I missed Friday's post, so here it is.  I got the pictures of the galaxy clusters in the morning and started to get to work.  Unfortunately, the clusters were very different from the single galaxy I was practicing on.  It did not help that the clusters were in UV light and looked like a bunch of dots rather than an image.  At the 1:00 meeting, I was still confused as to why I was processing the images as a third comparison program.  Everyone else was confused, so I was assigned a different project.  Now I am taking contours of the clusters in X-ray and radio waves and combining them. This should make me more productive to the group.

Friday, July 15, 2011

July 14, 2011

Today was very short.  I did not need to come in this morning because there was work being done on the floor of the Insight Lab room.  When I did come in, the high school interns were having a picnic lunch outside.  That finished around 1, so I got back to learning IRAF, which is going very well.  At 2:30, I had to leave work for an appointment.  What little time I did spend working was very productive.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

July 13, 2011

Today I went through several IRAF tutorials after I found that the program has a sample image to work with.  At around 10:30 the fire alarm went off, but we did not realize that it was the fire alarm for about 10 seconds.  So the lab group went early for team building.  At lunch, there was a movie/recorded talk about entrepreneurship, which was interesting.  The afternoon was spent mostly moving to different computers to work on for IRAF because I am not used to Solaris.  In the end, I ended up in the CIS computer lab on a computer with Solaris.  Note to self: stay where you started.  It might be easier in the end.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

July 12,2011

More reading articles.  I looked up some basic information on IRAF, the program language I will use to manipulate the pictures of galaxy clusters with.  Overall, today was relatively unproductive.  I am going to ask more about when and how to get the images to work on so that I can be more useful.  Fortunately, lunch with the other interns broke up the boredom.  I also visited one of the other interns, who is working on modifying the DSE.

Monday, July 11, 2011

July 11,2011

Today I read some articles on cooling flows in galaxy clusters.  The articles are long and relatively difficult to understand.  I will eventually start processing images from HST to determine flow rates within selected galaxy clusters.  For now, I will be reading lots of articles to build a knowledge base so I know exactly what I am looking at in the pictures.

Friday, July 8, 2011

July 8,2011

This morning I worked more on learning IDL.  At lunch all the high school interns went to the Global Village to eat as a group (an improvement over eating alone in random locations).  Early in the afternoon I went to a meeting where I learned exactly what I would do during the internship.  I will be working on cooling flows in galaxy clusters that show a lower cooling rate than expected.

July 7, 2011

Today I started learning IDL programming.  This is difficult because I had no programming experience, but I am picking it up quickly.  I also researched a little bit on active galactic nuclei (AGN).  Over the summer, I will work with more analysis of AGN, but I still do not know exactly what.  Hopefully I will learn more tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

July 6, 2011

This was the first day of the internship.  The morning was a scavenger hunt that took us all around the campus looking for objects.  We were split into three groups with different pictures to find.  Each group made a video proving which objects were found and presented during lunch.  In the afternoon, we went to the labs we would work with over the summer.  I went to the Insight Lab, which is working with astronomical imaging.  Most of the time was introductions and getting settled (typical first day).  I am looking forward to the rest of the internship.