Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Astronomy Internship - Day 11

Today was our last day of crash courses into everything imaginable. Today's topic: Programming in Fortran. Yeah, not the most exciting thing, but not terribly difficult since I've had a course in C++ programming already. Although each one is a different language and has slightly different syntax, once you learn one, the logic behind them is all pretty much the same. So the practical application we had wasn't difficult.

We also had our last premium lunch today in which we were given $7.75 on a little card to spend at any of the campus resturaunts. Tomorrow all our meals will be being served from the campus dining halls. The quality and selection has improved recently because several camps of hyperactive teenagers and choirs seem to have been visiting the campus recently. Thus, with the massive influx of people (in relation to the 20-30 that were at the dining halls before the other groups showed up), the dining halls have been forced to have more options.

Additionally, the building in which I'm living (University Towers), apparently gets rented out to the general public during the summer as well, and to keep from looking bad, the staff here says food quality improves for their stay, which should be the rest of the program.

I've also been piecing together my goals for this project with NGC 7142 a bit better. It seems our main goal is to basically replicate the
Crinklaw & Talbert paper
from 1991, but with better data and in a broader selection fo filters.

The question now is, which program to use to do the photometry? While we've been learning to use IRAF for the past week and a half, it's still not the easiest of programs out there. Dr. Sandquist has recommended using another that's more suitable for what I'm trying to do. However, the problem is that, should I be continuing this work when I return to Kansas, KU may not have these other programs, whereas IRAF is more universal since it's by far the most widely used (and free). I Emailed my advisor earlier today to get her input, but haven't heard back from her yet.

So hopefully, by tomorrow I'll have heard back and I can get started on some real work.

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