FIRST@LICK: The Project

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.

Keck AO Observations: Multiple Asteroid Systems

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. 

AIDA: A Projects Day at Harvey Mudd College

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.

Jupiter got a bruise.. only one but a large one.


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.

Summer 2009 – new students and projects

My two summer 2009 students Emilio Enriquez and Abigail Reiss
My two summer 2009 students Emilio Enriquez and Abigail Reiss

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.

Today: proposal writing for Lick Observatory Shane telescope

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)  telescope that I can access without having to take a plane and thus deal with airport.

Students are back… Binary Asteroid projects

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.