Thacher Astronomy Research Presentations

Join Thacher astronomy students as they present the highlights of their research projects this year. 

View the Recorded Presentations
Note: Because of internet connection inconsistencies, some portions of the video have less than optimal sound quality.
Research Summaries:
1. Three Years of Asking WTF?: A Comprehensive Look at Boyajian’s Star
The Thacher Observatory has been monitoring Boyajian’s Star in five photometric bands since the first post-Kepler dips (2017). Using data from Thacher, Kepler, TESS, and LCO, we summarize our results focusing on the most interesting clues and propose a plan moving forward.
2. TESS Transit Followup and Thacher’s Transit and Eclipse Program
Transit research is the longest standing legacy program at Thacher. In the fall of 2019 we began TESS followup work in earnest as official partners in the TESS Followup Program, Sub-group 1. We have had several official submissions to the TESS team this past year, and we will give an overview of these interesting targets as well as our own custom pipeline that will supplement our future submissions in accord with the new TESS submission protocol.
3. Thacher Observatory Operations and Special Projects
While the Thacher Observatory is typically operated in an automated fashion using commercial software, there are many instances when we need custom control of our facility. We will present a couple of these special needs, the code we have developed for these purposes, our observational strategies, and results. In addition, we are developing automated code to reduce and analyze data, most notably a neural net designed to find supernovae.
4. Thacher Observatory Supernova Search and Followup
Thacher’s supernova search and followup program began in the fall of 2017 in collaboration with Prof. Foley’s research group at UC Santa Cruz. We will present a host of light curves from Thacher and LCO spectra spanning the full extent of the program, and we will highlight some recent exciting results of a Type Iax supernova and a double peaked calcium-rich transient. Lastly, we will give a status update on our supernova search program and preliminary results. 
The following schedule will be somewhat flexible. In particular, the times outlined below are the latest possible start times. If talks or Q&A sessions go short, we may begin the next item on the schedule immediately.

11:00am: Welcome and short introduction
11:05am: Three Years of Asking WTF?: A Comprehensive Look at Boyajian’s Star
11:20am: Boyajian's Star Q&A
11:30am: TESS Transit Followup and Thacher’s Transit and Eclipse Program
11:45am: Transit Q&A
12:55pm: Thacher Observatory Operations and Special Projects
12:10pm: Operations Q&A
12:20pm: Thacher Observatory Supernova Search and Followup
12:35pm: Supernovae Q&A
12:45pm: Final remarks

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