SQL, Galaxies, and the Dungeon!
I finished the first week of my REU (and am on day one of week two)! It was a mildly frustrating week because I couldn’t access my data until Friday, but I’m starting to figure things out now. I am doing SQL queries to find the redshift and ugriz magnitudes of galaxies so I can use a program called PEGASE to calculate galactic properties (such as star formation, stellar mass, age). I figured out my query but I am still a little bit suspicious of it. I’ve done a patch of sky 10 degrees (ra) by 3 degrees (dec) and have only come up with ~15000 galaxies. When I did a query with no redshift limits on a patch of sky .25 degrees (ra) by 3 degrees (dec) I ended up with a sample of ~11000 galaxies – so I am going to do another 20 degrees and see what I end up with and maybe start panicking then. I have also been double checking some of my objects to make sure they are galaxies (I am fairly new to anything coding related – even something as basic as SQL, so I don’t want to take any chances [again with the suspicion!]). Here are some images:
And here is what one of my queries looks like:
So! All in all, things are going pretty well. I enjoy the other REU students! My lab colleagues (aka DungeonBuddies) are super rad – even when they make their Macs talk and sing in creepy computer voices! We’ve also agreed upon 3pm dance parties and are contemplating how to make a mirror ball. Our lab (dungeon) is neat. Here is a picture of my work space:
After I compile my data the hardcore computing starts. I opened the unix server that I will be using, thought it looked like the Matrix and closed my computer in terror. So, advice for fellow mad scientists-in-training, make sure you love computers and know how to use them (beyond tumbling and such!). I’m looking forward to crash coursing in all things computer over the next several weeks.
Also, I bought a bike!