FIRST@LICK: The Project
Published 7/24/2010 in Franck Marchis Blog Author Franck Marchis
On July 13, I received a short email from Elinor Gates, my colleague at Lick Observatory: "The two crates arrived. I will have them moved into the lab later today." Below a picture of these mysterious black crates. What can we find inside these crates shipped from Observatoire de Paris-Meudon? Not a vampire as you may think, but the parts of an innovative instrument. That's a long story that I summarize  briefly today. During a long stay at Keck Observatory in Hawaii in Janury 2009 (see my post here and here), I mentioned my friends and colleagues Olivier Lai  from CFHT... read more ❯

Keck AO Observations: Multiple Asteroid Systems
Published 7/20/2010 in Franck Marchis Blog Author Franck Marchis
I mentioned in my previous post that we observed several known multiple asteroid systems during our last observing run with the W.M. Keck Observatory and its Adaptive Optics Systems. If you have been following my blogs and/or the scientific articles of our group (you are courageous...) you should know that this is the scientific topic which is taking most of my time recently. Today, as you can see if you explore our VOBAD database,  we know 192 companions of asteroids. What I meant by "we know" is that one group announced to have discovered one or several satellites using techniques such... read more ❯

AIDA: A Projects Day at Harvey Mudd College
Published 6/2/2010 in Franck Marchis Blog Author Franck Marchis
A new post on this blog is long overdue. I am busy as usual but I have been as well traveling a lot recently... and it is not over. Before telling you about my great trip at ESA-Madrid where I was a few days ago, I  would like to mention  recent developments in our numerical deconvolution method, called AIDA, which was done in collaborations with a group of students from the Clinic program Harvey Mudd College. On May 4th, I attended the Project Day at HMC, a private college located in southern California in Claremount which offered several maths, science and engineering... read more ❯

Undergraduate students, our research needs you!
Published 10/29/2009 in Franck Marchis Blog Author Franck Marchis
If you are an under-graduate student at UC-berkeley or in the area, and if you have interest in astronomy, you should know that a lot of professors and researchers are looking for motivated students to help them in their research. Very recently, the department of Astronomy at UC-Berkeley opened a web page which  list all available research opportunities. There are 15 projects so far in diverse field such as planetary science, galactic and extra-galactic sciences, cosmology which propose to use tools such as data processing, observations or theory. Whatever you like you will find a project that fits you. I have... read more ❯

Jupiter got a bruise.. only one but a large one.
Published 7/21/2009 in Franck Marchis Blog Author Franck Marchis
Hello, Last Sunday I posted on my blog an announcement about the possible recent impact on Jupiter atmosphere. I did not realize that a lot of my colleagues read this blog. On Sunday evening Paul Kalas, an adjunct professor at UC-Berkeley, but also a colleague and a friend, contacted me to let me know that he was observing at Keck Observatory and could potentially observe this feature. Over the night, we discussed and prepared the observations. Interestingly, Paul is in sabbatical  in Crete (Greece), I was in San Francisco, and Mike Fitzgerald, recently hired professor at UCLA, was on the Big Island... read more ❯

Summer 2009 - new students and projects
Published 6/23/2009 in Franck Marchis Blog Author Franck Marchis
Hello, In one of my first posts I described the group of students who were working with me. Since the end of the semester (beginning of June) my group has changed considerably. I am going to give you an update since I think it is important to acknowledge my students without whom my research could not be done.Brent Macomber who worked with me since September 2006 as a UC-Berkeley under-graduate student, left at the end of May 2009. Over these past 3 years, he has been involved in... read more ❯

Today: proposal writing for Lick Observatory Shane telescope
Published 5/6/2009 in Franck Marchis Blog Author Franck Marchis
This coming Friday is the deadline for asking time at the Shane 3m-telescope  for the period 2009B (Aug 2009-Jan 2010). Since UC-observatory is still using the old snail-mail system, I need to have the proposals printed and mailed before Thursday, so I spent my day writing a few of them. The Shane telescope is located on the top on Mount Hamilton and it is part of the Lick Observatory, so less than 2h from my house. I am very lucky to have the possibility to observe over there since it is located nearby and it is the only large (>2m)... read more ❯

Students are back... Binary Asteroid projects
Published 3/11/2009 in Franck Marchis Blog Author Franck Marchis
Dear readers, I realized that I did not post anything on my blog for a week. What was going on? Well I got caught in one we called a never-ending deadline series. Last week, I started my UC-Berkeley week giving a lecture-class for undergraduate and graduate students on Tuesday. Then my student Brent came back from his road trip in the US and we started working together on his new project. Brent is finalizing the large table containing the characteristics of 165 reported multiple  Asteroid systems. I want to make this work available through our PHP server at UC-Berkeley. It is almost done... read more ❯

First day of 2009 in my office at UC-Berkeley
Published 1/6/2009 in Franck Marchis Blog Author Franck Marchis
Today is Monday January 5 ** 2009 **. My first official day of the year in my office at UC-Berkeley. It is 8am o'clock, I am already in my office, the brain full of resolutions and motivations. I am sliding on my rolling chair from one computer to another one, typing frenetically on the keyboard to be more efficient. The goals of the day is to prepare the night of observation for the Very Large Telescope in Chile (see details next post available soon),  reply to all the important emails that I received while being in vacation (still 852 emails to... read more ❯