Wednesday, May 11, 2011

John Huchra Measuring Redshifts at the Whipple Observatory

One of the things I've been working on recently is the final publication of the 2MASS Redshift Survey (2MRS). This is the largest complete map of the local universe (ie. it looks at as much of the sky as is possible - about 95% when you consider our Galaxy blocks some of it), and represents the culmination of decades of work on redshift surveys by John Huchra (1948-2010). I worked with John on the 2MRS as a postdoc for 3 years (2005-2008) and myself and Lucas Macri (a former student of John's) have been working on finalizing the 2MRS and publishing it in John's name (based largely on text he wrote in various unpublished descriptions of the survey). We plan to release the data very soon.

As part of this whole effort I'm going to be speaking in a special session at the upcoming American Astronomical Society meeting (#AAS218) in Boston, MA about "John and the 2MRS". For my presentation I've been looking for pictures of John observing to get redshifts, and with some help (particularly from Dan Brocious at the Whipple Observatory, and Boyd Estus at Heliotrope Studies, Ltd) I managed to get my hands on the below clip of John Huchra observing redshifts at FLWO in the 1980s, presumably as part of his famous CfA redshift survey (it's a segment from "So Many Galaxies, So Little Time", narrated by Margaret Geller).

By definition this was exactly what I was looking for!

By the way you can read an article I wrote about John (shortly after his death in October 2010) on the Galaxy Zoo blog. 

No comments:

Post a Comment