Today I’ve been to Princeton University in our beautiful neighbor state New Jersey. Together with my visitor Steffen Mieske from ESO Chile, I spent a gloriously sunny day at the astronomy department, meeting up with Jenny Greene, Jerry Ostriker and his student Andrea Kulier. Steffen gave a talk about his recent paper on black holes in ultra-compact dwarf galaxies – fascinating stellar systems in galaxy clusters which no one really understands. His presentation was well received and Jerry turned into a fountain of ideas afterwards. No doubt, that was the best start for his three weeks stay at Columbia Steffen could have wished for. After a quick cup of coffee with Francis, who is now a postdoc in the Princeton Plasma Physics Lab, we are heading back home to NYC now. Being able to make day trips to high-profile institutions like that adds to the many advantages of being based in the City! Just a one-hour ride with a local train and you’re among the fathers and mothers of WMAP, SDSS, the Hubble Space Telescope, and all the other fun things that produce large fractions of all citations in astronomy.


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