Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Journal Club

Today I gave one of two lunchtime talks for Steward Obervatory's weekly Journal Club.

Journal Club is fairly common among astronomy institutions. It consist of a student or faculty member talking about a paper that has been published in one of our journals. Sometimes the paper is a obviously an important development in a certain field. Sometimes it has some neat pictures to look at. And some times the paper is poorly written and fun to talk about.

Today I spoke about a paper that was not overly important, but contained a mysterious result. Some collaborators of mine looked at some cool white dwarfs (the remains of dead stars) with the Spitzer Space Telescope, and found that many of them are fainter than expected in infrared light. The really interesting thing is, there is no good explanation for this faintness!

So, I learned something cool, I got to talk to my colleagues about it, and I learned some tricks for PowerPoint. Not too bad for a half-day's work!

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