Monday, April 21, 2008

It's been quiet

Sorry for being quiet on here recently. I took a short vacation late last week through the weekend, but am now back to work.

Life in astronomy research is incredibly boring at the moment. There are always exciting things happening, and news of new discoveries coming out daily. But I've been falling behind on that. I'm continuing to struggle with the calibration of data I wrote about a while ago, and I have lots of bookkeeping on past work and planning of future work that is underway. And while it is all important, it is incredibly boring and draining to work on. So I'll spare you all the details there.

All of this boring work, though, is crucial to any good science. Record keeping, triple-checking of results, consternation over results that don't seem right (maybe we found something new, or maybe we screwed up), and other such hand-wringing are crucial to the believability of any finding.

This is a core tenet of science: all results should be tested and checked and documented, and then other researchers should confirm those results by their own methods. Until all of this tedious checking and re-ckecking is done, we should always hold results in doubt, even if the results agree with what we expect!

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