Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Finally looking at some images

I am back at home after three weeks on the road, and I can finally get back to some work. I have a nice thick pile of mail to go through, and an even larger stack of email to read.

So, what now? Back in December I spent five nights at Kitt Peak taking data. I am finally starting to seriously examine those pictures, five months after they ended up on my disk. While that sounds like a long time, it is not that unusual. Analyzing data properly takes a lot of time, and there are always many things piled on an astronomer's to-do list. If the data were time-sensitive, like a supernova or a comet, we'd have looked at it right away. But since I am looking at galaxies as they were billions of years ago, it's acceptable to go a little slower and make sure everything is done just right.

Now I get to watch my computer chug away at almost 25 gigabytes of images for the next few days.

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