36 Hours in Pasadena

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This spring I've had an overwhelming travel schedule: this month I've gone on a trip every week. I normally limit my travel to about 1 trip per month, but this spring has been a confluence of rare opportunities, warm invitations, and long-held plans. One more trip to CA this week coming up, and then after a few weeks break I have a final trip to AZ... and then 2 months of being home!

Besides the TESS launch in FL, I have recently been to CA and AZ to visit astronomy departments and give talks.  Each of these trips has been excellent, I am happy to report... but they are exhausting! You spend all day talking with people for 30-45 minutes, each time trying to find the overlap between each other's research/interests. When you talk with folks you know (such as old friends), you often only get an hour or two to catch up, maybe a meal if you're lucky!

I'm not complaining, I love to travel! These visits are a key part of doing science. You need to talk with people, spread ideas, get info on upcoming projects... This is also yet another reason why academia is not a equitable work environment. You need money to travel, as well as time, family flexibility, health... I am fortunate that my family and job have afforded me this season of jet-setting to finish up my NSF postdoctoral fellowship to help boost my networking & collaborations, and set me (I hope) on the right foot for my upcoming appointment as a Research Scientist at the DIRAC Institute (UW)!

This week's vlog: highlights from my recent visit to Caltech

Not shown (unfortunately) was a fantastic burrito from the food truck on campus, which brought back a million good memories of living in San Diego...


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After the scrubbed launch on Monday, my wife helped convince me to stay the extra two days in Florida to see the next attempt... and on Wednesday last week I was privileged to watch one of the most amazing things I've ever seen!

Check out this week's vlog for a personal look at TESS launching on a SpaceX Falcon 9:

Rocket Launch?

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I've never had the chance to see a real rocket launch - until now! I was invited to come watch the launch of TESS, NASA's new exoplanet hunting mission. This is because I was the lead on one of the first "Guest Investigator" programs, which will do all the other science with TESS beyond finding neat planets. This mission will likely be the cornerstone of my research for the next several years!

So now I'm traveling to Florida to watch a telescope get launched in to space!! WOOO!

Alas, the launch was scrubbed on Monday, but is slated now for Wednesday. You can watch the launch live here!

Video: 11 months overdue...

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I finally finished this paper draft I'm working on, the 2nd major paper in my NSF postdoc work... only 11 months behind when I'd hoped!

 Today I'm discussing project timelines, and Daniela and I go checkout some cool stuff on UW's campus. Enjoy Ep. 19 of my Astronomy Vlog! Be sure to subscribe for weekly updates!

Cherry Blossoms, Ethics, and a Selfie from OUTER SPACE!

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In this week's Astro Vlog episode I get to attend a super interesting talk about Data Science and Ethics, and give a short/fun talk about the WaveAtKepler selfie of Earth (that I discussed in a previous post) at the Seattle "Astronomy on Tap" monthly event!

Since it's spring, the beautiful cherry blossoms are also out at UW!

Check it out...

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