I get to be on Japanese television!! NHK, Japan’s national public broadcasting organization, asked me for an interview about the evolution of globular clusters and the formation of tidal streams. I’m still excited about it, it was so much fun!
NHK produces a show called Cosmic Front Next, which covers one aspect of astronomy per episode. Each episode is one hour long and features several scientists. Since 2011, they have aired about one episode per week. That’s a lot of astronomy! Surprisingly, they haven’t covered globular clusters yet. So, I’m more than happy that I get to be on this episode of Season 5. Continue reading Big in Japan→
The grande finale of my Euro trip 2014 was the MODEST14 conference in Bad Honnef. MODEST, standing for Modeling and Observing Dense Stellar Systems, is a very specific conference series focussing on my prime field of study: stellar dynamics. The MODEST meetings are always my favorite get-togethers as you get to meet all your friends in this small community, and within a week you have a fresh and complete overview on the current state of the field. This specific edition of the conference series was organized by Sambaran Banerjee who works in the stellar dynamics group of Pavel Kroupa at the University of Bonn. Together with his scientific and local organizing committees he did an amazing job, turning the old mansion of the DFG Physikzentrum into a club house of a debating society. The conference picture above and many more were taken by Fabian Lüghausen. The next big MODEST meeting will be in Concepción, Chile, from March 2-6.
Blue hour’s sweet light was looming over Riverside Church when I left the astronomy department yesterday. Meanwhile, New York was turning into a huge slush puppie as the temperatures got milder. I felt like I had earned myself an afterwork beer with fellow Columbia astronomers and visiting ex-Columbiast Taka Tanaka. After being super productive during the last weeks, my Palomar 5 project is finally coming to an end! All I have to do now is wait for Yeti to deliver results. No, I did not hire Jaroslav Haas to compute likelihoods for me. Yeti is Columbia’s new >1600 core supercomputer, which has been inaugurated end of last year. I’ll post some results as soon as I get them, which will be in about one week. I’m excited, it all looks very, very promising.
After a busy but very successful week, Alejandro and Mathieu took me out for a pre-weekend drink. We ended up in a place in their neighborhood in Harlem called “Bier International”, and it turned out to be a fountain of joy and delight. I had great German beer – Reissdorf and Jever – which came with a classy selection of hearty Wurst and tasty Brezel. No doubt this place is going to be my second home in summer when you can sit outside on Frederick Douglass Boulevard. By the number of coffee shops, bars and restaurants opening up in this area you may think “this is going to be the new SoHo” (wishful thinking of Mathieu). Continue reading Bier→
This week I gave a talk at the American Museum of Natural History – or as people here call it: The Museum. It’s an extraordinary environment for a scientist to work in. And giving a talk there in front of the researchers, students and curators was definitely a great experience. Unfortunately, the museum’s by far most famous curator, Neil deGrasse Tyson was not there, which seems to be the common case for science talks at the museum. His job is giving astronomy a voice (at which he’s just amazing, also literally as he’s the narrator for the Hayden Planetarium’s new show “The Dark Universe” which I can highly recommend!), but not contributing actively any more. Among the witnesses of my talk was also Galileo Galilei, staring at me from an original painting some 350 years old. I say it again: it was quite an experience!