A talk at the 50th anniversary of the founding of the MIT Planetary Astronomy Laboratory, April 17, 2018
Over the past 46 years, I've developed some amount of skill at
turning bits of information produced by instruments on telescopes
into images and spectra of objects in the sky. It's turned out
that it has been possible to make a living putting this knowledge
to work on a number of interesting projects from the moon to our
solar system's planets, satellites, rings, and asteroids
to the stars of our Mily Way galaxy and the planets which orbit
them to distant galaxies which help us to learn about the
Large Scale Structure of the universe.
This talk was assembled on the occasion of the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology laboratory at MIT where I got my start analyzing data for the first offering of 12.143, Experimental Optical Astronomy with Tom McCord, reducing lunar spectra as a Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) student for Carle Pieters, and reducing and analyzing spectra of the Martian surface from the first 2-D digital spectrograph for my Masters thesis with Bob Huguenin.